Research Methodology

Course Number: INDUSTDY 7000
Course Name: Research Methodology (Online)
Course Description:    Introduction and background to the scientific methods of inquiry, types of research, problem clarification, data gathering techniques, research data analysis and proposal and research paper writing.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Master of Science in Integrated Supply Chain Management
Master of Science in Organizational Change Leadership

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Describe the importance of research.
  • Identify types of variables studied in research.
  • Create a research hypothesis.
  • Select a problem suitable for a research study.
  • Know and follow ethics in research.
  • Correctly draw a sample from a population to research.
  • Create a measurement instrument that is valid and reliable.
  • Identify types of tests used in research.
  • Plan methods for conducting a research study.
  • Interpret inferential statistics.
  • Compare and contrast various types of studies including.
    - Descriptive studies
    - Experimental studies
    - Quasi-experimental studies
    - Historical studies
    - Case studies
    - Review and critique research papers
  • Write a research proposal (Unit 2 will address details of the research proposal).

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1: What is Research?

“Research” conjures up many feelings in individuals. It can be seen as a hurdle to complete a degree, a means to earn tenure, or a way to create new knowledge. Some consider looking up a topic on Wikipedia to be research while others require the finding an unknown answer to a hypothesis.

A broad interpretation is often attached to research. College students refer to a term paper they write as a research paper. Quotes can be found in newspapers from research studies. Can these be considered research? In this first unit, you will explore the meaning of the word “research.” What is it? What is it not? Terminology commonly used in research will be introduced. Guidance will be given to selecting a research problem. Finally, we will consider ethical procedures to consider in research.

Unit 2: The Research Proposal

In this second unit, we are skipping to the end of the Exploring Research textbook. We will ignore statistical processes this unit but will return to them next unit. This is to get your group started on your major project, the research proposal.

The proposal is the starting point of research. It introduces the research, creates a background, describe the purpose and objectives of the study and outlines the methods of conducting the study. It is a working document that is constantly reviewed an often changed until it is molded into a piece that can be put into motion to conduct the research. A good research proposal results in little to do but collect data, analyze these data and write up conclusions.
Because the research proposal is so important, it will be the major focus of your throughout the course. For this reason, we begin to tackle this task at the beginning of our course rather than at the conclusion.

Collaboration between your group members will be vital. Constant and deliberate progress will end in a proposal that will be ready to submit and begin a study. Procrastination will result in a hastily written proposal that will demand much change before it can be implemented. Your group will function best if you can divide and conquer the tasks of writing the proposal. Each member's personal contribution will be to the delight of other group members. Lack of contribution will likely not be received well by your group. So, in a nutshell, you must work diligently together on this project!

Unit 3: Sampling, Collecting Data and Measuring

In Units 1 and 2, you were introduced to research and began the research proposal. Now begins the real work. In this unit, we will look at the tools used conduct research. How do you collect a sample from which generalizable statements can be made? How do you establish validity and reliability? How do you measure variables such as behavior?

As we work through this second unit, we will also begin to add some tools to analyze data. We will show you how to use a spreadsheet as an easy method to analyze data.

Unit 4: Using Statistical Procedures

It is natural that things come in large and small sizes. Most, however, come in average sizes or amounts. A normal distribution has a small number of occurrences at the extremes and the bulk of the occurrences near the mean or average. Inferential statistics depends on this type of distribution. In this unit we will look at the normal curve and discuss inferences we can make from our data.

Unit 5: A Comparison of Types of Research

Selecting the type of research depends on the nature of the study. For example, a research might want to describe the current state of a phenomenon, such as the increase or decline of the number of people investing in stocks. A simple descriptive study will suffice. A study of the relationship between willingness to invest and factors such as wealth, gender, age, etc. will require a correlational study. A researcher wanting to know people's anxieties of investing might conductive a qualitative study by collecting statements and opinions from investors. An experimental study could be used to determine if increased knowledge of a company would cause an increase of investment in that stock.

Type of research differ as the purpose of the study differs. In this unit we will look at several different types and the problems that can be studied with each.

Grading Criteria for Activities

Assignment Possible Points
Chapter Quizzes (10 @ 10 pts. each) 100 points
Submitted Assignments 100 points
Participation in Discussions 50 points
Final Exam 100 points
Research Proposal 50 points
Total: 400 points

Grading Scale

A 90% - 100%
B 80% - 89%
C 70% - 79%
D 60% - 69%
F 0% - 59%


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