SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMN221769
Module Leader Peter Duncan
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Finance and Accounting
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)
  • C (May start)-A (September start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

The Research and Consultancy Methods module consists of a taught element focused upon management research and consultancy design intended to underpin the research dissertation module or applied consultancy project. The overarching aim of the module is to develop critical knowledge, understanding and relevant competencies required to effectively design and conduct management research|consultancy and report on the findings. The taught element introduces students to the nature of research and business consultancy processes involved in carrying out research and consultancy in an area of management, business or enterprise. The module prepares students for applying their investigative abilities and knowledge to their respective MBA dissertations or Consultancy projects, in an organisational or industry context; and to facilitate undertaking management intervention in the workplace. To do this, the module is designed to allow students to d evelop disciplined, logical and systematic approaches to investigating a research or consultancy problem. This requires a critical awareness and appreciation of research methodology and consultancy approaches and the ability to understand and discriminate between different research paradigms, philosophies, approaches and strategies to select and defend the most appropriate for the area of investigation. The module highlights the commonality and distinctiveness of research and consultancy methods and processes, and their potential contribution to professional practice. From this platform, the related key concepts, techniques and the essentials for designing and undertaking management research are explored. Developing an understanding of ethical issues relating to the design and conduct of research and consultancy is embedded within the module. Data gathering and analysis abilities are developed and enhanced through the use of appropriate tools and techniques. The taught element culminates in the design of either a research proposal or a consultancy tender|proposal.


The process of Research. Writing your aim, objectives and research questions. Using Literature. Finding secondary sources and recording themes (library rep) . The consultancy process. Research philosophies. Research methodologies (eg survey, case study). Analysing quantitative data. Analysing qualitative data. Research & Consultancy ethics. Pulling it all together.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of module, the student should be able to:1. Critically evaluate various research approaches, methods and techniques for their chosen topic of further study|research, or to assist in organisational problem solving via a consultancy intervention; 2. Search for, retrieve, select and critically evaluate information - especially published literature in books, journals and web resources - to support research and consultancy objectives; 3. Discuss the ethical and practical issues and implications of undertaking research and/or consultancy based applied projects; 4. Demonstrate the ability to gather, analyse and present data through the use of appropriate software packages (eg Survey Monkey; Excel; SNAP);5. Apply research and consultancy methods, knowledge and ability with originality in situations of a professional nature where there is a requirement for initiative in a complex or unpredictable context;

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is distinguished by a combination of supported learning in the early stages of the module and the requirement for independent and individual learning in the subsequent stages. Teaching and learning will be carried out mainly in lectures and seminars, complemented by both guided and independent research. In addition laboratory based classes shall provide practical experience of using data analysis|presentation software. The module exploits both passive learning (exposure to, and acquisition of, knowledge through lectures), and encourages active learning (interest driven student engagement). In seminars active learning is achieved through student participation via student presentation of work-in progress, problem based learning, tutor facilitated analysis, discussion and feedback. Additionally, the services of external guest lecturers and University central services shall be employed to share experiences of designing and managing research and consultancy projects. To support the process, project supervisors shall be allocated in the early stages of the module, when students have identified their intended area of investigation. Accordingly, in addition to tutor and peer support to enrich the learning experience, the students also benefit from the expertise of their respective supervisors who have an appropriate research|scholarly background in the area. The role of the supervisor is to support the development of the required conceptual maps and thought processes that underpin the proposal and the project; and provide advice and guidance regarding project administrative, procedural and approach issues. A key process resulting from the taught element of the module shall be the formulation of learning (or research) sets. These shall be groups of students that work together to form a study group and will be facilitated by tutor support throughout the taught element. These research sets shall help provide support and belonging throughout the more independent stages of the project. Assessment and Feedback Strategy The assessment for the module is entirely coursework based. Students shall be provided detailed instructions and guidelines of the assessment in the module handbook distributed during the briefing session. Information provided will include the assessment requirements and criteria, submission deadlines, mark template and supporting narrative for both pieces of assessment. The feedback strategy for the module is informed by Glasgow Caledonian University guidance and will operate in accordance to the principles embedded therein. Opportunities for formative and summative feedback are provided for by interaction in seminars, tutor and peer feedback, comments on written drafts, and submission of the final report. The module handbook will contain section on how the student can enhance their marks, guidance on academic writing, detail of assessment criteria and mark schemes, and clarity re the expectations of the tutors. Supervisors shall also receive a copy of the student module handbook. Key elements of feedback include: Interactive Feedback To enable students to seek clarification on guidance and feedback received, and encourage discussion, which facilitates deeper reflection, learning and feedforward. Diagnostic Feedback Will be exploited to challenge students to challenge themselves, clarify expectations and misconceptions and motivate students. Peer Feedback To enable students to see themselves and their output using the lens of others, in a supportive environment to encourage reflection, learning and peer group support. Individual Feedback Students shall receive individual written feedback complemented by verbal explanations if required. Feedback Timing Feedback will be provided on a timely basis. Feedback relating to issues raised in lectures, seminars and at meeting with supervisors shall normally be immediate. Feedback on drafts submitted shall be provided following review of such submission. Written feedback on the final submitted Proposal shall normally be available in the three weeks following the submission date. Additional verbal feedback may be sought from the module team|supervisor if required following written feedback.

Indicative Reading

Books : -284 Saunders, M; Lewis, P; & Thornhill, A (2009) Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Pitman Publishing, London. Cope, M. (2009) The Seven C's of Consulting: Your Complete Blueprint for any consultancy assignment, (2 nd Ed). Financial Times Prentice Hall, London. Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (2006); How to Research, 3rd Edition, Open University, Buckingham Brewerton, P. and Millward, L. (2001); Organizational Research Methods, Sage Publications, London Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, L. S. [Eds] (2005) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, London Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, L. S. [Eds] (2008) Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials, Sage Publications; Thousand Oaks California Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P. R. (2008) Management Research, 3 rd Edition, Sage, London Gilbert, N. (2008) Researching Social Life. 3rd edition, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California. Gill, A. and Johnson, P. (2010) Research Methods for Managers. 4th Edition, Sage Publications, London. Jankowicz, A.D. (2005) Business Research Project, 4th Edition, Thomson Business Press, Quinton, S. and Smallbone, T. (2006) Postgraduate Research in Business: A Critical Guide, Sage Publications, London. Remenyi, D. (2003) How to become a successful IT consultant, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. Riley, M., Wood, R. C., Clark, A. M., Wilkie, E. and Szivas, E. (2000) Research and Writing Dissertations in Business and Management, Thomson Learning, London. Sturdy , A., Handley, K., Clark, T. and Fincham, R. (2009) Management Consultancy: Boundaries and Knowledge in Action, Oxford Scholarships Online (E-Book). Yin, R. K. (2009) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 4th Edition, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California. Journals : Academy of Management Journal Academy of Management Review ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interface ACM transactions on Information Systems ACTA Informatics Administrative Science Quarterly Annals of Tourism Research British Journal of Management Business Ethics Quarterly California Management Review Communications of the ACM Corporate Governance: An International Review Creativity & Innovation Management Decision Support Systems European Journal of Information Systems European Journal of Innovation Management European Management Journal Harvard Business Review IEEE Transactions on Computers IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management Information & Management Information and Organization Information Processing and Management Information Systems Journal International Journal of Hospitality Management International Journal of Human-Computer Studies International Journal of Tourism Research Journal of Business Ethics Journal of Change Management Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research Journal of Information Technology Journal of Knowledge Management Journal of Management Information Systems Journal of Operations Management Journal of Organizational Change Management Journal of Strategic Information Systems Journal of the Association of Information Systems Journal of Travel Research Leadership Leisure Sciences Management Review MIS Quarterly Organisational Dynamics Organizational Studies Sloan Management Review Strategic Management Journal The Leadership and Organizational Development Journal Tourism Management

Transferrable Skills

Students studying this module shall further develop the following: -360 1. Interpersonal talents 2. Analytical and critical thought 3. Creative thought 4. Cognitive and intellectual abilities 5. Data analysis and synthesis 6. Problem solving abilities 7. Independent learning and self management 8. Time management 9. Ethical conduct 10. Reflective learning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Independent Learning (FT) 50.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Tutorials (PT) 12.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Seminars (PT) 12.00
Directed Learning PT 22.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Assessment (PT) 30.00
Independent Learning (PT) 50.00
Directed Learning FT 22.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 50% Research Proposal or Consultancy Proposal