Research and Project Management Skills

21931 Research and Project Management Skills
Course area UTS: Business
Delivery Autumn 2015; standard mode; City
Credit points 6 cp
Result type Grade and marks
Subject coordinator
Dr Stephen Schweinsberg
e: [email protected] | ph: +61 2 9514 5278 | fb: | tw: @UTS_Business
University of Technology, Sydney
City Campus | PO Box 123 Broadway | NSW 2007
Teaching staff
Tutor: Professor Jock Collins
e: [email protected] | ph: +61 2 9514 3613
Subject description
This subject contributes to students' vocational and professional attributes by providing a foundation in the analytic, research and project management skills that can be applied to the solution of problems encountered in their professional lives. It develops expertise in research design and methods needed to effectively conduct both academic and applied management research. Topics include project management, survey research, experiments and quasi-experiments, case studies, content analysis, interviews and focus groups.
Subject objectives
Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Practice the fundamental elements of project management
2. Critically evaluate a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods used in management, organisational and industry sector research and their associated ethical considerations
3. Review, critically evaluate and present results from a variety of different types of research studies
4. Design, develop and report on research in a suitable format for a professional or academic audience
This subject also contributes specifically to the following program learning objectives:
communicate information clearly and fluently in written form appropriate for stakeholders (3.1)
Contribution to the development of graduate attributes
This subject contributes to the students' vocational and professional attributes by providing a foundation in project management and the analytic and research management skills that can be applied to the solution of problems encountered in their professional lives. It develops expertise in research design and methods, as well as project management skills needed to effectively conduct both academic and applied management research. Topics include survey research, experiments and quasi-experiments, case studies, content analysis, interviews and focus groups.
Teaching and learning strategies
This subject involves a variety of teaching and learning activities, which may include: lectures, workshops, industry presentations, problem-solving exercises, field visits, and case studies. Content for this subject will be supported through the use of UTSOnline.
Overview of project management techniques and processes
Literature reviews
Qualitative and quantitative research methodologies
Surveys, questionnaire design, sampling and attitude measurement
Interview and focus group protocols, coding of responses, content analysis
Basic statistical concepts and data analysis
Basic data presentation and analysis
Research ethics
Report writing
Week/Session Dates Description
1 23 Feb Lecture: The Theory and Foundations of Management Research
Tutorial: Knowing good research when you see it.
Darcy, S. (2010). Inherent complexity: Disability, accessible tourism and accommodation information preferences. Tourism Management, 31(6), 816-826.
Pitsis, T. S., Clegg, S. R., Marosszeky, M., & Rura-Polley, T. (2003). Constructing the Olympic dream: a future perfect strategy of project management. Organization Science, 14(5), 574-590.
Text book – chapters 1 and 2.
2 2 March Lecture: Preparing Literature Reviews
Tutorial: When the existing literature is the research – The role of the review.
Loe, T. W., Ferrell, L., & Mansfield, P. (2000). A review of empirical studies assessing ethical decision making in business. Journal of Business Ethics, 25(3), 185-204.
Test book – chapter 5.
3 9 March Lecture: Research Ethics
Tutorial: Designing an Observational Study of the Student Experience – Interactive observational exercise in buildings 1 and 2.
Text book – chapters 4, 16 and 17.

4 16 March Lecture: Designing Research Projects
Tutorial: The Power of Mixed Methods
Bryman, A. (2007). Barriers to integrating quantitative and qualitative research. Journal of mixed methods research, 1(1), 8-22.
Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational researcher, 33(7), 14-26.
Textbook – chapters 3 and 8.
5 23 March Lecture: Introducing Qualitative Research
Tutorial: Rationale and Value in Qualitative Research.
Reid, C. & Collins, J. 2013, ''No-one ever asked me': the invisible experiences and contribution of Australian emigrant teachers', Race Ethnicity and Education, vol.
16 , no. 2, pp. 268-290.
Text book – chapter 7.
6 30 March Lecture: Qualitative Data Analysis
Simpson, A., Clegg, S., Lopes, M., Cunha, M., Rego, A., and Pitsis, T. (2014) Doing compassion or doing discipline? Power relations and the Magdalene Laundries, Journal of Political Power.
Text book – chapter 23
7 6 April There are no formal classes this week owing to the Easter Monday Public Holiday. Stephen Schweinsberg will be available by appointment this week if any student wishes to discuss issues relating to their assignments.
8 13 April ALS Week – No classes
20 April Mid semester break – No classes
9 27 April Lecture: Surveys, Questionnaires and Sampling
Tutorial: Introduction to SPSS
Text book – chapters 6,9,10 and 21.

10 4 May Lecture: Descriptive Statistics
Tutorial: Working with descriptive data – Computer lab
Lock, D., Darcy, S., & Taylor, T. (2009). Starting with a clean slate: An analysis of member identification with a new sports team. Sport Management Review, 12(1), 15-25.
Text book – chapter 22.
11 11 May Lecture: Inferential Statistics
Tutorial: Working with inferential data – Computer lab
Nicholson C., DeMoss M. (2009) Teaching Ethics and Social Responsibility: An Evaluation of Undergraduate Business Education at the Discipline Level. Journal Of Education For Business, 84(4), 213-218.
12 18 May Lecture: Action Research Affecting Organisational Change
Tutorial: Developing real world case studies into theory
Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of management review, 14(4), 532-550.
Text book – chapters 11 and 13.
13 25 May Lecture: Writing for different audiences

Text book – chapters 24 and 25
Other readings TBA
Lecture slides will be made available to all students on UTS online by 9am on the day of the lecture at the latest. Additional readings and computer lab materials will be placed on UTS online one week ahead of the class where they are discussed.
Students should keep up to date with UTS Online for any last minute changes to subject program. Discussion boards will be available for lectures and each assessment task and students should post questions there before sending emails direct to teaching staff.
Additional information
Attendance and/or participation requirements (as per UTS
3.8.1 Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of tutorials/seminars in this subject.
3 .8.2 If a student does not satisfy the prescribed attendance and/or participation requirements for this subject, the Responsible Academic Officer may:
(1) refuse permission for the student to be considered for assessment;
(1) refuse permission for the student to be considered for assessment;
(2) refuse permission for the student to attempt an assessment task;
(3) refuse permission for the student to undertake an examination in that subject;
(4) record a final result of 'Fail' for the student's enrolment in that subject.
3.8.3 If a student is prevented from meeting prescribed attendance or participation requirements as a result of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's reasonable control, the student may lodge an application for special consideration under Rule 8.3 for consideration of alternative arrangements.
3.8.4 Where appropriate, the Responsible Academic Officer in consultation with the Subject Coordinator may approve suitable alternative arrangements.
3.8.5 Approval of alternative arrangements for attendance and/or participation does not imply exemption from payment of any fees or charges, nor does it imply exemption from, or concessions relating to, assessment or examinations. Alternative arrangements will be subject to normal assessment grading.
Assessment task 1: Literature Review and Research Design (Individual) Objective(s): This addresses subject learning objective(s):
1 , 2, 3 and 4
This addresses program learning objectives(s):
Weight: 50 %
Due: Friday 24 April 2015
Length: 2500 words
Task: Students are to identify a management based research problem from a 2014/2015 online news story. The report should discuss the design of a project that may provide a solution to the problem using a quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods approach. The report should contain an essay of about 2000 words on the chosen approach including an extensive literature review on the method being employed as well as a discussion of why it would be suitable to apply to the chosen scenario, how it would be applied, your research design, and any foreseeable issues which may arise using this approach for the scenario.Discuss the sort of results you would expect and what would be an appropriate form of analysis. Note: A copy of the news story, which has formed the basis for your research, must be included with the final report.
Further Assessment criteria will be available on UTS Online from week 2.
Assessment task 2: Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis Assignment/Examination (Individual) Objective(s): This addresses subject learning objective(s):
1 , 2, 3 and 4
Weight: 50 %
Due: Monday 1 June 2015
Length: 2500 words
Task: Individually you are required to design and carry out a questionnaire-based survey on people’s attitudes towards some “topical” issue. Several appropriate topics will be mentioned in class, but feel free to choose your own. The questionnaire and data analysis should be designed to answer the following questions:
a. Overall, what are people’s attitudes to the ‘target issue’?
b. Do these attitudes vary systematically with the type of person?
c. What statistically significant relationships, if any, exist between these different attitudes and personal traits?
The subject variables which define the ‘type of person’ may be demographic variables, such as age, gender, ethnic origin, occupational or educational background, but may also be attitudinal variables, such as political affiliation.
Subject ‘types’ defined by combinations of these variables should also be considered. (For example, a comparison of attitudes of young males, old males, young females and old females, could be made.) Your study should give consideration to at least three subject variables. The choice of these variables should be made on the basis of their plausible relevance to the target issue being investigated.
The questionnaire will have a maximum of 20 questions, and should be designed so that it can be completed in only a few minutes. The questionnaire should contain at least one “open-ended” question. Responses to this question should be analysed using “content analysis” and graphically displayed as will be described in lectures. ( Note: Care should be taken that an open-ended question is chosen which will give rise to responses which will allow of a substantial content analysis to be carried out. More than one such question can be included to ensure that at least one results in a suitable set of responses.)
A minimum of about 30 subjects is required for this project, although a greater number may make the analysis and interpretation of some of the results easier.
The questionnaire responses are to be coded into a spreadsheet (or data matrix) format, and analysed using ‘univariate’ and ‘bivariate’, analyses, as will be described in class using SPSS software. Considerable graphical analysis will also be required.
There are three assessment components involving the questionnaire-based survey.
1) Research proposal
This will consist of the following sections:
a) A title page: title of project.
b) Introduction (about two pages)
– statement of issue to be investigated
– brief literature review
– background and significance of the issue
c) Aims and Expectations/Hypotheses (about half a page)
d) While the questions themselves are not necessary at this stage, an indication of your dependent and independent variables, the open ended question you will ask and the planned survey sample should be given e) References
2) Questionnaire and Covering Letter
This will consist of two documents;
a. A copy of the covering letter to be provided to survey participants
b. The final copy of the questions correctly laid out 3) Written Report
A write-up of your key research findings
Time in lectures will be devoted to the topic of report writing. This is to be done individually.
In order to ensure that your research complies with the ethical standards of UTS and the Faculty of Business, ALL questionnaires (including the covering letter or introduction) must be approved by the lecturer before they are distributed. For the purposes of this exercise, it is better to avoid issues or questions that have the potential of being embarrassing or sensitive to some people. Therefore, before any of the questionnaires are distributed, please submit part 2 of the assessment, i.e. the COMPLETE and FINAL version of the questionnaire, including the covering letter, by the due date.
Further Marking criteria will be provided on UTS Online in week 2, information:
Minimum requirements
Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.
Recommended texts
Gray, D.E. (2013). Doing Research in the Real World (3rd ed.). London: Sage.
1. Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2011). Business Research Methods (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
2. Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., & Jackson, P. (2012). Management Research (4th ed.). London: Sage.
3. O’Leary, Z. (2013). The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project (2nd ed.). London: Sage.
4. Robson, C. (2011). Real World Research (3rd ed.). UK: John Wiley and Sons.
5. Zikmund, W. G., Babin, B. J., Carr, J. C. & Griffin, M. (2013). Business Research Methods (9th ed.). Mason, Ohio: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Academic liaison officer
Dr Maria Ossimitz, Accounting Discipline Group, telephone 9514 3069
Mr Harry Tse, Economics Discipline Group, telephone 9514 7786 or 9514 5456
Dr Otto Konstandatos, Finance Discipline Group, telephone 9514 7758
Dr Paul Wang, Marketing Discipline Group, telephone 9514 3692 Dr Katie Schlenker, Management Discipline Group, telephone 9514 5303
Any arrangements should be negotiated within the first six weeks of semester.
Student Services Unit/Counselling: Student Services provides a range of free and confidential professional services to support different aspects of your life and learning at UTS ( . These services include counselling for personal and learning problems or issues. If you are experiencing difficulties with your overall study program, for whatever reason, phone 9514 1177 (City campus) or 9514 5342 (Kuring-gai campus).
Students with disabilities or ongoing medical conditions: If you are a student who has a disability or ongoing medical condition that requires support services you are encouraged to contact the disability support officers or Special Needs Service (phone 9514 1177; for a confidential interview. Supporting documentation regarding your disability or ongoing medical condition is required if you wish to apply for assessment adjustments, including alternative assessment conditions. Each faculty has appointed academic liaison officers (ALOs) who are responsible for approving assessment adjustments. Meeting with the disability support officers or Special Needs Service before seeking assessment adjustments from your ALO is required.
Improve your academic and English language skills: Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language and Presentation Support) service in Student Services.
HELPS (Higher Education Language and Presentation Support): HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and [email protected] ( . HELPS is located in Student Services, on level 3 building 1 at City campus and via the Student Services area at Kuring-gai ( phone 9514 2327 or 9514 2361).
Study skills / learning support: If you are experiencing difficulty with your studies or need to develop the necessary study skills you require for your course, there is a host of useful information and websites to help you on the UTS Business School, Teaching And Learning website. Links on how to write better, study more effectively, available support services/staff to help, how to complete assignments; as well as tips for successful study and online study skills resources can all be accessed
Careers Service: The UTS Careers Service aims to actively support the career development needs of all UTS students (
Statement about assessment procedures and advice
Assessment of coursework subjects
All staff and students involved in the assessment of coursework subjects at UTS are subject to the Policy for the Assessment of Coursework Subjects. The policy is applicable to the assessment of all coursework subjects. This policy does not apply to thesis subjects that are taken by students enrolled in research degrees, but does apply to any coursework subjects undertaken by research degree students. It does not describe policy that relates to academic progression through a course of study.
The policy should be read in conjunction with the Procedures for the Assessment of Coursework Subjects. Both are available at:
Statement on copyright
Australian copyright law allows you as a student or researcher to copy and use limited amounts of other people's material in your study or research without their permission and free of charge.
This applies to any sort of published or unpublished work, and includes written material, tables and compilations, designs, drawings (including maps and plans), paintings, photographs, sculpture, craft work, films (such as feature films, television programs, commercials and computer video games), software (such as computer programs and databases), sound recordings, performances and broadcasts (including podcasts and vodcasts of these) and text, including books, journals, websites, emails and other electronic messages.
It is important to remember that you can only use a limited amount for your study or research purposes and that you need to correctly acknowledge the author and reference their material when you use it in your work.
Incorrect or improper use of copyright protected material could result in breaking Australian copyright law, for which significant penalties apply. Incorrect or improper use of copyright protected material at UTS would result in consideration under the UTS Student Misconduct rules.
UTS Rules and the UTS Student Charter require that students familiarise themselves and comply with UTS student policies and procedures. The copyright information advising what you can copy and how much you can use can be seen at:
Statement on plagiarism
Plagiarism is a broad term referring to the practice of appropriating someone else's ideas or work and presenting them as your own without acknowledgment. Plagiarism is literary or intellectual theft. It can take a number of forms, including:
copying the work of another student, whether that student is in the same class, from an earlier year of the same course, or from another tertiary institution altogether
copying any section, no matter how brief, from a book, journal, article or other written source, without duly acknowledging it as a quotation copying any map, diagram or table of figures without duly acknowledging the source paraphrasing or otherwise using the ideas of another author without duly acknowledging the source.
Whatever the form, plagiarism is unacceptable both academically and professionally. By plagiarising you are both stealing the work of another person and cheating by representing it as your own. Any instances of plagiarism can therefore be expected to draw severe penalties and may be referred to the Faculty Student Conduct Committee.
Cheating means to defraud or swindle. Students who seek to gain an advantage by unfair means such as copying another student's work, or in any other way misleading a lecturer about their knowledge or ability or the amount of work they have done, are guilty of cheating.
Students who condone plagiarism by allowing their work to be copied will also be subject to severe disciplinary action.
Avoiding plagiarism is one of the main reasons why the UTS Business School is insistent on the thorough and appropriate referencing of all written work.
Statement on UTS email account
Email from the University to a student will only be sent to the student's UTS email address. Email sent from a student to the University must be sent from the student's UTS email ad