Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Applied Research Tools for Business

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION Organizations are complex entities set up to create contexts to engage human behaviour in achieving specific targets. The complex interactions that take place in organizations spell the need for understanding their behaviours and adopting a scientific approach to predict their behaviour and also provide evidence-based solutions. Organization scientists are expected to provide data-driven solutions to ensure that organizations keep striving and functioning effectively.

This study-unit first provides a brief review of the different perspectives of looking at organizations and then proceeds to provide a comprehensive list of methodological tools designed to study and evaluate phenomena in organizations to provide knowledge-driven solutions. Very often the methodologies adopted are linked to one’s conceptualization of organizational reality and this link will be emphasised. An overview of some common qualitative and quantitative approaches as well as their underlying principles will be provided to enhance the student’s familiarization with such concepts. In addition, the unit shall provide an understanding of the typical research report and how and why it adds value to the decision-making process in organizations and how research reports reflect one’s conceptualization of organizational reality.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this study-unit are threefold. First, it strives to bridge the gap between theory and practice with regards to research designs and methodologies. Second, it seeks to help students identify and apply those data collection methods and designs which are most appropriate for the specific research scope they are trying to achieve. Third, it aims to expose the relevance of evidence-based data to understand the complexity of organizations. In achieving these objectives, this study-units discusses the relevance, significance and effectiveness of quantitative, qualitative and mixed method approaches to scientific research.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Provide a basic understanding of the various principles underlying several organization theoretical perspectives;
- Discuss several organization research methodologies and list their advantages and disadvantages as well as their use;
- Understand the link between the different organization theory perspectives and the various relevant methodologies used to research about organizational life;
- Develop a basic understanding of the sections making up a research report.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Identify organization perspectives and link to various methodological approaches;
- Describe several methodological approaches and state their pros and cons.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text/s

- Saunders, M., Lewis, P & Thornhill, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students (6th edition), Harlow: Pearson.

Supplementary readings

- Hair, J.F., Money, A.H., Samouel, P. & Page, M. (2007) Research methods for business, Chichester: Wiley.
- Quilan, C. (2011) Business Research Methods, Hampshire: Cengage Learning.
- Rosenthal, R., & Rosnow, R. L. (2007). Beginning behavioral research: A Conceptual Primer (7th edition). Boston, MA: Pearson.
- Zikmund W.G., Babin, B.J., Carr, J.C. & Griffin, M. (2013) Business Research Methods. South-Western/Cengage Learning (International Edition).


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Written Tasks SEM1 Yes 40%
Multiple Choice Questions Examination SEM1 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Frank H. Bezzina
Vincent Cassar
Emanuel Said

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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.