Research Methods in Businesss

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s): Dr. Shawn Best

Course Director Name: Dr. Shawn Best

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information: 439-2000 ext. 3869

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:30 AM to 12:30 AM  

Course Lecturer(s) Office Location:  Building C (Windward Hall) 

Course Support: Mahailia Charles,, 3863

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

This course will focus on different selected topics of particular relevance to the national, regional, and global economy and other business research interest. Additionally, this course will highlight the importance of systematic research and problem solving and explore the different types of research methodologies. The course will look at the role of the researcher and will investigate the practicalities of research such as problem formulation, choosing a suitable research methodology, review of literature, presenting results and findings, and drawing conclusion. The course will also highlight issues related to research such as ethical issues in doing research and the use of technology for research purposes.

Course Objectives: 

This course aims to acquaint students with knowledge of the methodologies utilized in modern business research.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students should have expanded capabilities to:

  1. Outline the purpose and distinct focus of business research methods;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the stages of the research process;
  3. Transform research ideas into a research project with research questions and objectives;
  4. Write a research proposal;
  5. Conduct a critical review of literature;
  6. Reference literature accurately;
  7. Formulate and choose an appropriate research design methodology;
  8. Recognize issues related to research ethics;
  9. Employ the appropriate use of qualitative and quantitative research techniques
  10. Demonstrate effective communication skills in business and management.
  11. Ability to propose business solutions through the use of theories, research and analytical   skills.

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

ISLO-3: Students will be able to demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills.

ISLO-4: Students will be able to critically think, motivate and collaborate to solve business problems.

SAS Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less 

Course Materials:

 Text: Research Methods for Business Students (5th edition) by Mark Saunders, Phillip Lewis and Adrian Thornill  (Pearson/Prentice Hall).

 Supplementary Readings/Resources: Research Methods in Business Studies (4th edition) by Pervez Ghauri and Kjell Gronhaug.

Assigned articles and case studies (Posted on Sakai and handed out in class)

Course Grading Requirement:

The objectives of this course will be achieved by utilization of a combination of class lectures, in class videos, online videos to be watched from home, group activities, class discussion of case studies and homework. The performance of students will be assessed as follows:

  1. Homework assignments,  in-class activities, and quizzes: 30%
  2. Assessment 1: (Literature review): 30%
  3. Assessment 2: Presentation of research topic: 10%
  4. Quantitative Data Analysis: 15%
  5. Assessment 3: (online survey, interviews): 15%

Course Schedule

Topics to be researched this semester. TBD.

This is the planned schedule of assignments and readings for the course. The instructor reserves the right to make changes as required to adapt to student needs or comprehension levels.

Week 1   

Topics / Exercises


topic 1

  • The nature and importance of research
  • The research paper

Get textbook, read ch. 1&2

Week 2   



 topic 2

  • The research topic 
  • problem statement

Formulate a research topic, write a problem statement, write research questions.

Week 3   



topic 3

Use of technology in research The literature review

  • Use of online databases such as Proquest, EBSCO Host and ERIC. 
  • Conduct a literature search on a selected topic and critically review the literature

Week 4   



Topic 6

  • Research ethics 
  • Plagiarism
  • Ethical issues at specific stages of the research process
  • IRB, and Participation 

Week 5    



topic 5

Citing sources and references


Use APA sixth edition to reference sources used in research.

Assignment 1: APA Formating


Week 6    



Topic  6

Gaining access and research participation

Informed consent, methods of gaining access.

Week 7   



Topic 7              

  • Research approaches 
  • Selecting samples
  • Approaches to research and research design
  • Sampling

Week 8  





Paper 1due: Research proposal

Week 9 



Topic 8, 9

Data collection techniques

  • Secondary sources of data
  • Questionnaires, interviews, surveys 
  • Assignment 2 due: Online survey and interview

Week 10 




Variables and Measures

Defining variables and measures

Week 11 



topic 12

Data Analysis:  Quantitative techniques.

  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Inferential Statistics

Assignment: Use SPSS software for simple analysis of quantitative data sets.

Week 12  



Topic 13         

Data Analysis: Qualitative techniques

Coding data, types of qualitative data analysis processes

Week 13  




Issues in research writing

Bias, credibility, validity, reliability generalizability

Week 14     



Topic 14

Writing and presenting the research project


Week 15   




Present research paper

Final Papers due; Final research paper.

Week 16  

Quantitative Analysis Assessment


School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.