Topic outline

  • Topic 1: HEG.MGT.001-Research Methodology and Writing Skills

    Course Summary

    This course provides an overview and motivation for the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods, including observation, interviewing, questionnaires and surveys, and the use of case studies. This course will provide students with the necessary background in research methods to carry out different kinds of research during their graduate studies, but also be able to recognize in the future what makes good research, whether this is in journalism, social and economic reporting, industry, politics, and academia.

    The course is designed to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical experience to carry out independent research that knows when it is academically and scientifically sound.

    Course Objectives

    This course presents the process of research from the inception of a purpose statement or research thesis through to the writing up of a report or essay. Through exposure to different research methods, students will learn which method is appropriate for the research questions and/or hypotheses they generate.

    The class will be primarily hands-on with students formulating their own topics and ideas for the course. During the course, they will design a research plan, and begin the work on their own essay or thesis. This course may serve as the first step in formulating the topic, purpose, and research method for their thesis. At the end of this course, students should have a fully developed research plan and will be assigned a thesis advisor to oversee their thesis project. The course brings students to examine the why and what for of research by reading up on different theories and methods. This will include qualitative and quantitative methods, mixed methods, as well as inductive vs. deductive inquiry. In addition, students will learn to recognize research integrity and validity, formulate research questions and hypotheses, and develop the design for a thesis or report, as well as how to conduct a literature review and prepare an annotated bibliography.

    Expected Outcome / Learning

    This research methods course provides learning in terms of critical thinking and evaluation of other people's research, and it places an accent on the importance to learn clear communication to distinguish a fact from a finding, from knowledge-gathering, or from arguments based on unexpressed assumptions. Students will have learned to use both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and to analyze research - their own and others' on the basis of the validity and appropriateness of the research tools and methods used for the given subject and research objective.

    Upon the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    - Develop a purpose statement that may be in the form of a research question or a hypothesis.

    - Understand the principal tendencies in the theory of research

    - Design a research plan and understand the detail of the various necessary steps.

    - Conduct a thorough literature review and prepare an annotated bibliography.

    - Understand why quantitative and qualitative methodologies are used in gathering data and which methods benefit what kind of outcome.

    - Analyze the data collected.

    - Write up and present the findings.

    At the end of this course, students should have a fully developed research plan and will be assigned a thesis advisor to oversee their thesis project.


    Entry into graduate studies is the only prerequisite. This course is a must for all graduate students who study and work in the social sciences, business management, humanities, economics, and finance.

    Required Textbook

    Donald R. Cooper, Pamela S. Schindler, Business Research Methods, 11/e, McGraw-Hill, 2011 (ISBN-13 9780073373706)

    Suggested Readings

    Creswell, John W., Research Design: Qualitative Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches, Los Angeles, London, Sage Publications, 2009 (3r edition) (ISBN: 978-1-4129-6557-6 paperback) Publisher's website:

    Students will be required to join the Social Science Network at <http://ssrn.coml> and may also join the Business Network at <> These will give you access to articles, videos & discussion groups. Registration is free.

    Further supplementary readings will be provided in the reading assignments for each module. Assessment Methods and Grading Policy

    Suggested On-Line Readings

    Further supplementary readings will be provided in the reading assignments for each module.

    Assessment Methods and Grading Policy

    Student's performance will be assessed by the work they do in the course – including participation in the discussions that are a part of each lesson. Online course grading is based less on a final examination or final essay, and more on completing the assignments throughout the course.

    These assignments may include some or all of the following:

    (1) Quiz - quiz questions (may include multiple answers or choice questions).

    (2) Short response - questions to be answered in very short written responses (max. two paragraphs).

    (3) Essay - a short 2 to the 3-page essay, a draft for a larger essay, and/or a short critical review of specific readings. Most important is that you clearly indicate the source of your information with reference footnotes or endnotes. (One page should contain between 250 and 300 words in total, including footnotes).

    (4) Case study - a short critical review in your own words of the specific reading as assigned in the module. This review must not be longer than 2 pages and can be as short as 200 words (count one page as having page between 250 and 300 words).

    (5) Final essay - the final term essay paper (up to 10 pages long) You will be free to use information from any book or other source for your essay, but you must at all times clearly indicate the source of your information with reference footnotes or endnotes. Please note that a term paper must be developed according to an academic format and at a minimum contain an introduction, a middle section, and a conclusion. The middle section is that part of the paper in which you introduce information, provide data or case studies/examples, develop your ideas, and/or analyze the result. In the conclusion, you do not introduce new information; rather, you explain what is interesting about the study you wrote about and why it is meaningful for you, or for your society, or for the global international community in general.

    (NOTE, we count expect to see between 250 and 300 words per page. Please use a convenient type/font for easy reading, such as "Arial", "Trebuchet" or "Times New Roman", size 12).

    Students' grades will be assessed as follows:





    Discussion Questions




    Research Project










    It is important to note that graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to retain their matriculated status. A “C” grade, therefore, is passing, but below the score needed to stay matriculated.

    Grading Policy




    Points per Credit





























    Students must maintain the readings, discussion participation, quizzes, and assignments to obtain a passing grade in the course. To obtain a superior grade, students must demonstrate a high degree of quality in their work.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT PLAGIARISM (copying other writers' text without due citation or recognition) WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Plagiarism is equal to cheating in exams as it means "stealing" solutions to problems, ideas, or written text from other people and pretending they are your own. Students caught committing these forms of cheating will be subject to course failure and will be reported to the Dean of the University. Two instances of cheating or plagiarism will be cause for academic suspension.

    For information on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, please read the pages 41 and 41 in the book: TURABIAN, Kate L., A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 7th Edition, The University of Chicago Press, 2007.

  • Final Assignment: Research Orientation

    Week 8: Review and Research orientation

    • 1) Review weeks 1-7. Students are required to complete the week 8 Quizz for revision.
    • 2) Q to A Assignment: Students are required to answer the discussion questions on topics related to the HEG EMBA curriculum in the form of an essay (300-500 words).
    • 3) Research Orientation: Students are guided individually to identify the topics of their research as final dissertation for their MBA studies.