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The purpose of this seminar is to prepare DBA candidates to carry out their dissertation and prepare a sound research proposal. This seminar builds on the discussion/lecture carried out in the first semester concerning the philosophy and theory of research methods by familiarising candidates with approaches and techniques, which they may use in carrying out their dissertation. The candidates will also be exposed to how they can prepare an acceptable research proposal.  The purpose of the research proposal is to convince the readers that the candidate has an important research idea, a good grasp of the relevant literature and the major issues, and a sound methodology.

Course Objectives

When candidates have completed this seminar, they should be able to:

·                     Understand the main methodologies used in management research; 

·                     Compare and contrast different paradigms of scholarly inquiry in management;

·                     Understand and be able to utilise the major qualitative and quantitative methods that are used to gather and analyse data;

·                     Understand the key steps in carrying out a dissertation and select a proper methodological approach;

·                     Prepare a research proposal for the dissertation and formulate a plan for the research agenda.


Candidates should read carefully the section on plagiarism in their handbook, and be aware of the severe penalties that will follow in proven cases of plagiarism






Candidates are required to prepare a research proposal to be submitted at the end of the second semester.  Candidates are also required to defend their proposal at the end of the second semester.  The research proposal must address a specific topic that will be used in AGW 715 Dissertation and Viva.  Please use the proper APA Format for your research proposal.  Candidates are expected to present an acceptable research proposal based on the following outline:


1.0             Background of the Study

2.0             Research Problem

3.0             Research Questions

4.0             Research Objectives

5.0             Significance of the Study – Theoretical and Practical     

6.0             Literature Review

7.0             Conceptual Framework and Hypotheses Development

8.0             Research Methodology

9.0             Expected Findings




            Progress report         20

            Participation              10          30%

Examination (Final)                             20%

Research Proposal                             50%


Total                                                    100%


The final examination will be held during the first semester of examination week.  

Course Contents




28th July 2007


Venue:  Training Room

School of Management

·         Introduction to scientific and empirical research in management.

·         Philosophy of physical sciences and social science research. Introduction to qualitative methods, data collection issues relating to qualitative methods (exploratory survey).

·         What is theory?  Do we need a theory in our research?  Which theory is relevant to our research?  How do we go about using the theory for our research?

·         Background of the research problem. What is the difference between a problem and a symptom?

·         Identifying research problem and problem statement.  How to state a research problem in our research?

·         Developing research questions and research objectives.  How are they related to research hypotheses and other parts of the dissertation?

Associate Professor Yuserrie Zainuddin

25th August 2007

·         Developing the state-of-the-art of the research phenomenon.  What is a literature review?  How to write literature review properly?  How literature review supports the development of a theoretical framework?

·         Developing theoretical framework.  What is a theoretical framework? Do I need a theoretical framework?  What is the purpose of a theoretical framework?

·         What is a variable?  What are the different types of variables? 

·         Hypotheses development – identifying the types of hypotheses.  How do we derive the hypotheses for our study? How do we state the hypotheses derived?

·         Research Design:

·         Research method – survey, experimental design, quasi-experimental design, and longitudinal study.

·         Sampling – sampling frame, sample elements, sampling techniques.  What is access sampling and target sampling?

·         Unit of analysis – individual, group, dyad, organization and country.

Associate Professor Yuserrie Zainuddin

22nd Sept. 2007


·         Data collection methods – questionnaire (structured and unstructured, e-questionnaire etc.), interview (personal, telephone etc.), participation-observation, etc.

·         Questionnaire development – rule and procedure.  How do we develop a questionnaire?  How do we know that our questionnaire is measuring what it is supposed to be measure?

·         Reliability and validity – How do we determine that our measurement is reliable and valid?  What are the reliability and validity tests that can be used?

·         Operationalisation of variables – why are we measuring constructs?  What are the different types of scales and how do we use these scales in our research?

Assoc. Prof. Yuserrie Zainuddin

27th Oct 2007

·         Introduction to Data Analysis

·         Preparation of Data


·         Exploring, Displaying and Examining data

·         Reliability and Validity

·         Hypotheses Testing

·         Types of Test

·         How to select a Test?

·         How to Select An Analysis?


·         Test of Differences

·         Measures of Association

·         Multivariate Analysis


·         Advanced Data Analysis


·         Control Variables

·         Moderators

·         Mediators


·         Candidates will be given articles to read about each technique of analysis prior to the classroom session and the candidates are required to read them before coming to class





Assoc. Prof. T. Ramayah

Second semester

December 2007

Lets get physical


Hands on SPSS Lab Session

Assoc. Prof. T. Ramayah


Guide for Research Proposal and Proposal Defence.


Candidates are advised and required to follow the schedule below. This is to ensure that the proposal is properly supervised by the supervisor/s. Research proposal is an individual assignment.  Please note that the proposal you are preparing will be your research proposal to be defended in second semester.  




Due Date



·        Identifying and appointing supervisor/s and a topic

3rd  Aug 2007



·        Background of the study

·        Research Problem

24th August 2007




·        Research Questions

·        Research Objectives

7th Sept.2007



·        Literature Review

·        Significance of the study – theoretical and practical

·        Theoretical framework and hypotheses

16th November 2007



·        Type of study

·        Research method employed

·        Sampling – population, sampling frame, sample/respondents, sampling technique and sample size.

·        Unit of analysis

31st  December 2007



·        Variables and measurements

·        Data collection techniques

·        Statistical analysis

·        Questionnaire

31 January 2007



Submission of the whole proposal (draft)

30th March 2007



Submission of final proposal to be examined




Proposal Defence

April 2007*


* subject to change.


Evaluation Criteria


Total mark = 200% @ 15 % (total marks)

Mark allocated = 100% for Phase 1 - 6. 

Mark allocated = 100% for Phase 7 – evaluation will based on formatting (APA Style) and overall evaluation from Phase 1 – 6.


Five marks will be deducted for late submission for every phase.





Required Texts:


Cavana, R.Y., Delahaye, B & Sekaran, U (2001).  Applied Business Research,  John Wiley, Australia.


Hair, Jr., J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2006). Multivariate Data Analysis (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.


Other Recommended Readings:


Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.


Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50,179-211.


Burrell, G. & Morgan,  G. (1979).  Sociological Paradigm and Organizational Analysis, Heineman. London.


Chalmers, A. F. (1982).  What is This Thing Called Science?, 2nd ed. University of Queensland Press.  Queensland Australia.


Cooper, R. D. & Schindler, S. P. (2003). Business Research Methods. Boston: Irwin McGraw Hill.


Cavana, R. Y., Delahaye, B. L. & Uma Sekaran (2001). Applied Business Research: Qualitative and Quantitative, Australia: John Wiley & Sons.


Davis, D. (2000). Business Research for Decision Making. USA: Duxbury Press.


Hair, J. F., Babin, B., Money, A. H. & Samouel, P. (2003). Essentials of Business Research Methods, USA:  John Wiley & Sons.


Kerlinger, F.N. (1986). Foundations of Behavioural Research,

Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 3rd. Ed.




Levin, R. I. & Rubin, D. S. (1998). Statistics for Management. USA: Prentice-Hall International, Inc.


Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill A. (2000). Research Methods for Business Students, England: Pearson Education.


Sekaran, U. (2003). Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach. Singapore: Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pvt. Ltd


Tabachnick, B. G, & Fidell, L.S. (2001).  Using Multivariate Statistics, 4th ed. Allyn & Bacon. US.


Zikmund, W. G. (2003). Business Research Methods. USA: Thomson Southwestern.





Baron R.M, & Kenny D.A. (1986).   The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173-1182.


Churchill Jr. G.A. (1979).  A paradigm for developing better measures of marketing constructs,  Journal of Marketing Research Vol. XVI (Feb): 64-74


Fry L.W. & D. A. Smith (1987).  Congruence, contingency and theory building,  Academy of Management Review, 12(1): 117-132.


Gioia, D.A & Pitre, E. (1990).  Multiparadigm perspectives on theory building,  Academy of Management Review, 15(4): 584-602


Gresov, C. (1989).  Exploring fit and misfit with multiple contingencies,  Administrative Science Quarterly,  34: 431-453.


Holmbeck, G. N. (1997). Toward Terminological, Conceptual, and Statistical Clarity in the Study of Mediators and Moderators: Examples From the Child-Clinical and Pediatric Psychology Literatures, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 95(4): 599-610.


James, L. R. and Brett, J. M. (1984). Mediators, moderators, and tests for mediation, Journal of Applied Psychology, 69: 307-321.


Kenny D. A. (2003) Mediation, dakenny/mediate.htm


Lynch Jr. J.G. (1982).  On the external validity of experiments in consumer research,  Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 9: 225-239.


McKinnon, D. P., Warsi, G., and Dwyer, J. H. (1995), A simulation study of mediated effect measures. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 30(1), 41-62.


Mitchell T. R. (1985).  An evaluation of validity of  correlational research conducted in organizations,  Academy of Management Review Vol.10(2): 192-205


Morgan, G. & L. Smircich (1980).  The case for qualitative research, Academy of Management Review, Vol.5 (4): 491-500.


Sawyer A. G & A D. Ball (1981).  Statistical power and effect size in marketing research,  Journal of Marketing Research,  Vol 18 (Aug): 275-290.

Schoonhoven C. B. (1981).  Problems with contingency theory: Testing assumptions hidden within the language of contingency “Theory”.  Administrative Science Quarterly, 26 : 349-377.


Shadish, W. R. and Sweeney, R. B. (1991). Mediators and moderators in meta analysis: There’s a reason we don’t let dodo birds tell us which psychotherapies should have prizes, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59: 883-893.


Sharma, S., Durand, R.M. & Gur-Arie, O. (1981). Identification and analysis of moderator variables, Journal of Marketing Research, 18: 291-300.


Sheppard B.H., J. Hartwick, & P.R. Warshaw,  The theory of reasoned action: a meta-analysis of past research with recommendations for modifications and future research,  Journal of Consumer Research, 15.(Dec.): 325-343.


Venkatraman N. & J.C. Camillus, (1984).  Exploring the concept of “fit” in strategic management,  Academy of Management Review, Vol. 9 No.3: 513-525.


Whetten, D. (1989). What Constitutes a Theoretical Contribution?, The Academy of Management Review, 14(4): 490-495


Zedeck, S. (1971).  Problems with the use of “moderator” variables,  Psychological Bulletin Vol. 76(4): 295-310.