University of wales institute, cardiff

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Journal of the Institute of Marketing

Journal of Marketing Research

Other Sources:

Financial Times


Marketing Week


Access to Specialist Requirements


Module Title

Module Number

JACS Subject Code

ASC Category/ies

Research Methods






ECTS Credit

Module Value

% Taught in Welsh

Module Type







Teaching Period


Semester 1


Module Leader



Professor Eleri Jones

Cardiff School of Management

Colchester Avenue

Assessment Methods

Assessment Type

Duration/Length of Assessment Type

Weighting of Assessment

Approximate Date of Submission


20 minutes


Week 10

Dissertation proposal

3000 words


End of Semester 1


This module provides a comprehensive introduction to research as practised in business and management disciplines. It provides an overview of the key quantitative and qualitative methodologies that are needed to undertake, evaluate and present a small scale research project. Following an introduction to research the module will move on to explore the major paradigms and debates in business research. It will help students to build appropriate strategies for reviewing literature and developing a coherent set of aims and objectives for a research study. The module will cover the major research methods (observation, surveys, case studies, interviews and action research), the implications of using them as well as the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and presentation of findings. It identifies how to develop research questions/hypotheses and how to produce a robust and realistic research proposal and research design considering issues of data validation, triangulation and reliability. Following satisfactory completion of Part 1 students will progress to implementing the research proposal and writing up the dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module students should be able to:

  • Interpret existing research as a prelude to carrying out further investigation and demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of a range of research designs and their appropriate utilisation.

  • Source, evaluate and appropriately reference information from a range of sources;

  • Integrate the findings of existing research to ask a new research question;

  • Engage in critical thinking when reading and comprehending research articles;

  • Critically evaluate a range of quantitative and qualitative research paradigms;

  • Conceptualise a problem; formulate hypotheses and objectives; design a research strategy, collecting, analysing, and interpreting quantitative and qualitative data as appropriate;

  • Apply theoretical principles underlying descriptive and inferential statistics;

  • Select and justify the most appropriate analyses, interpret the results, and write up the results accurately and completely;

  • Develop a robust research proposal appropriate for an MBA dissertation.

Learning and Teaching Delivery Methods


24 hours

Workshops (4 x 2 hours)

8 hours

Seminar presentations

2 hours

Small group tutorials

2 hours

Student-centred learning

164 hours


200 hours

Indicative Content

Introduction to research: academic and non-academic research (e.g. market research; opinion polls; economic indicators; media research). Ontology, epistemology, methodology and method. Alternative paradigms of business and management research.

Reviewing the field: Choosing a research question and methodology: Writing a research proposal. Critical analysis of published research. On-line and library research skills. Research skills: writing and presentation skills; referencing procedures. Time management.

Research ethics: confidentiality; plagiarism; copyright; IPR.

Measurement & data collection strategies: Types of measurement. Choice of qualitative/quantitative variables. Sources of data. Quantitative methodologies: surveys; experiments; modelling, sampling; questionnaire design; choosing survey media. Small sample surveys and analysis. Qualitative methodologies: Ethnography; action research; hermeneutics; discourse analysis; history; biography. Qualitative methods: sampling; interviewing; participant observation; self-reporting; data recording and transcription; critical incident diaries; deep description.

Data analysis, interpretation & evaluation: Quantitative data analysis: Data coding and management. Factor analysis. Regression, correlation, causality; extrapolation. Quantitative analysis software: Excel and SPSS. Qualitative data analysis: Categorising; comparing; the use of narrative. Qualitative analysis software: NVIVO.

Writing the dissertation.

Recommended Reading and Required Reading

Required Reading:

  • Bryman, A and Bell, E (2007), Business Research Methods (2nd edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Collis, J and Hussey, R (2003), Business Research (2nd edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Gill, J and Johnson, P (2002), Research Methods for Managers (3rd Edition), London: Sage.

  • Lancaster, G (2005), Research Methods in Management, Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

  • Saunders, M, Lewis, P and Thornhill, A (2007), Research Methods for Business Students (4th Edition), New Jersey: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.

Recommended Reading:

  • Alreck, PL and Settle, RB (1995), The Survey Research Handbook, Chicago: Irwin.

  • Babbie, E (2006), The Practice of Social Research (International Student Edition), Belmont: Wadworth Publishing.

  • Bell, J (2005), Doing Your Research Project (Fourth Edition), Maidenhead: Open University Press.

  • Black, TR (1999), Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences, London: Sage.

  • Creswell, JW (2007), Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design Choosing Among Five Traditions (2nd edition), London: Sage.

  • Easterby-Smith M, Thorpe R, and Lowe A (2002) Management Research: An Introduction (2nd edition), London: Sage

  • Gilbert, N (2001), Researching Social Life (2nd edition), London: Sage.

  • Gillham, B (2008), Developing a questionnaire (2nd edition), New York: Continuum.

  • Gray, DE (2004), Doing Research In the Real World, London: Sage Publications

  • Huberman, AH and Miles, MB (2002), The Qualitative Researcher’s Companion: Classic and contemporary readings, London: Sage.

  • Hussey J and Hussey R (2002), Business Research: A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students (2nd edition), London: Macmillan.

  • Keats, DM (2000), Interviewing: A Practical Guide for Students and Professionals. Buckingham: Open University Press.

  • Pallant, J (2007), SPSS Survival Manual (3rd edition). Buckingham: Open University Press.

  • Partington, D (2002), Essential Skills for Management Research, London: Sage

  • Peterson, RA (2000), Constructing Effective Questionnaires, London: Sage.

  • Robson, C (2002), Real World Research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner- researchers (2nd edition), Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Scheyvens, R and Donovan, S (2003), Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide, London: Sage

  • Sekaran, U (2003), Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach, Chichester: John Wiley.

  • Straus, A and Corbin, J (1998), Basics of Qualitative Research, London: Sage

  • Travers, M (2001), Qualitative Research Through Case Studies, London: Sage

  • Wilkinson, D and Birmingham, P (2003). Using Research Instruments: A Toolkit for Researchers, London: RoutledgeFalmer.

  • Wolcott, HF (2001), Writing Up Qualitative Research (2nd edition), London: Sage.

  • Yin, RK (2003), Case Study Research: Design and Methods (Third Edition), Sage.

Access to Specialist Requirement

Library and learning resources
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