Unit Information and Learning Guide
Teaching Period: September Trimester 2020
This information should be read in conjunction with the online learning materials
which can be found on your MyUnits page.
Unit coordinator: Dr Amy Huang Business School College of Arts, Business, Law and Social Sciences
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© Published by Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, August 2020.
This publication is copyright. Except as permitted by the Copyright Act no part of it may in
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Information about the unit 4
Contact details 6
How to study this unit 7
Resources for the unit 9
Study schedule 10
The detailed information about the learning experiences and readings are available on the
unit LMS site. The LMS site presents information on a session-by-session basis. Students
are expected to visit the LMS site weekly for updates and instructions.
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Information about the unit
Understanding Business Research: An Introductory Approach
This unit introduces the research process and covers a broad range of contemporary
research designs in business-related disciplines. The aim of the unit is to provide students
with the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the value of research in the
business context in order to address management dilemmas.
BBS100 Academic Skills for Business or BJU100 Australian Legal System
Aims of the unit
The broad aims of this unit are to:
• Prepare you to better understand how research informs practice within the business
• Enable you to independently examine and critique existing research;
• Provide opportunities for you to develop conceptual and analytical skills involved in
research problem formulation, and conducting literature reviews; and
• Develop appropriate communication skills in the preparation of assessable course
Learning outcomes for the unit
On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
1. Describe how research can be applied in solving management dilemmas;
2. Critically evaluate research based on a given set of criteria;
3. Identify, characterise and understand the rationale for using different research
approaches in business research;
4. Describe the principles involved in selecting research methodology and research
5. Retrieve, synthesise, evaluate and report on information/data used in business
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Graduate attributes developed in the unit
This unit will contribute to the development of the following Graduate Attributes.
Critical and creative thinking
Independent and lifelong learning
What you need to know
Generic information which students need to know is available at this “What you need to
know” web page.
The information includes:
• links to the Assessment Policy
• a description of Academic Integrity
• links to information about:
Examinations; Non-discriminatory language; Student appeals; Student complaints;
Conscientious objection and assessment policy
• determination of grades from components/marks
• information for equity students
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Unit Coordinator’s contact details
Name: Dr Amy Huang
Local Affiliate contact details
You will be notified who your local affiliate will be at the beginning of the teaching period.
They will provide you with their contact details directly.
Administrative contact details
If you cannot get in touch with your unit coordinator, please contact:
Murdoch Student Advice
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How to study this unit
An experiential approach to learning is taken in this unit, with podcasts plus workshops. The
workshops require participation in discussions, case analysis, presentations, and group and
team exercises. The workshops are a collaborative learning process and experience
demonstrates this is most effective when students are prepared and participate. There are
online components for this unit for all students, and you are encouraged to access LMS
weekly and actively participate in online discussions and download any additional material
There are 6 x 3.5 hour workshops and 1 x 3 hour revision session, one every second week
throughout the trimester. Students are required to complete reading and activities before and
after each workshop. Each workshop has three interconnected components; pre-workshop,
workshop and post-workshop.
Pre-workshop will include: video podcasts, online readings,
discussion and other collaborative learning activities.
Workshops will include: a review of the pre-workshop
materials, discussion questions, case studies and other
applied learning activities.
Post-workshop will include: summarising, collaborating and
reflecting on the topic/s covered.
As this is a 3 credit point unit, we expect you to spend 150 hours overall working on this unit.
Although not compulsory, students should attend as many of the workshops as possible.
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Small group and interactive teaching and learning activities
The learning activities may use small group discussions, group work and case study
activities. Please see the LMS site for specific information about these sessions.
Unit changes in response to student feedback
This unit has been adapted to accommodate student preferences for more online learning.
Additional activities have been developed to support student engagement with the process of
learning. Student feedback is encouraged and appreciated at all times via email to the Unit
Non-standard teaching period dates
Not applicable to this unit.
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Resources for this unit To undertake study in this unit, you will need: Essential textbook Blumberg, Boris F., Donald R. Cooper, and Pamela S. Schindler. 2014. 4th edition Business Research Methods. McGraw-Hill Education. 9780077157487 Other references/recommended reading:
• Other recommended reading as directed for each topic via the LMS site Online resources:
• Sage Research Methods http://srmo.sagepub.com/
• Australian Bureau of Statistics: http://www.abs.gov.au The following will be provided during the teaching period:
• Online learning activities
• Online discussion forums
• PowerPoint slides for podcasts
• Podcasts – recording of key content
• Workshop handouts
• Electronic journal articles
• Articles on the web
Your Unit Coordinators may use software called Urkund when viewing work that you
submit. Urkund is a pattern-matching system designed to compare work submitted by
students with other sources from the internet, journals/periodicals, and previous submissions.
Its primary purpose is to detect any submitted work that is not original and provide a
thorough comparison between the submitted document and the original sources.
More information about how to avoid plagiarism is contained within the Murdoch Academic
Passport (MAP) unit https://our.murdoch.edu.au/Educational-Development/Murdoch-
University policies on academic integrity http://our.murdoch.edu.au/Educational-
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Study schedule Session Session Topic and Readings (from Blumberg) Assessment
1. Business Research
• Read: Chapter 1
2. Business Research Process
• Read: Chapter 2
• Bliss Artist Case Study
3. Literature Review & Ethics
• Read: Chapters 3 & 4
• Apple Case Study and Milgram
4. Research Design
• Read: Chapters 5
5. Sample Design
• Read: Chapters 6
• Guinness Case Study
6. Secondary data
• Read: Chapters 9
• Data Mining Case Study
7. Primary Data Collection I: Focus groups &
• Read: Chapter 8 pp 250-259
8. Primary Data Collection II: Case Studies;
• Read: Chapters 11 & 12
9. Primary Data Collection III: Research
• Read: Chapters 7 & 8
10. Primary Data Collection IV: Questionnaires
• Read: Chapters 13 & 14
11. Analysis and Reporting
• Read: Chapter 15
12. Exam Revision
7. Revision Session Exam (40%) Exam
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Assessment for this unit is conducted in accordance with the Assessment Policy.
Schedule of assessment items
You will be assessed on the basis of:
Online Test Online Test includes:
• Multiple choice and
• True or false questions
1,3,4 20% Session 6
Research, collect and summarise
2,5 40% Session 4
Examination Case study
1,3,4,5 40% University
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Assessment 1: Online Test (20%)
The test is online via the LMS; it will be available for 96 hours (4 days) and you can take
the test anywhere that you have access to the Internet.
Test Content Covered Marks Due
Test Text (Blumberg) Chapter 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 20% Session 6
• You will have 40 minutes to complete the test.
• It is a timed test – once the test has commenced, students have only 40 minutes to
complete. Students cannot pause the test.
• There will be 40 questions including multiple choice, and true and false questions.
• Questions are in a random order. There is a bank of questions so potentially no two tests are the same.
• If any student missed the online test for a legitimate reason and can provide documentation to substantiate their absence (for example, medical certificate), the weight of the test will be added onto the weight of the final exam. There will be no deferred test.
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Assessment 2: Annotated Bibliography (40%) Individual Assessment
• Due: Session 4
• Length: 1,500 words
• Chicago referencing style
***Research topic: Are business students work-ready?***
Governmental and media reports suggest that university graduates are not adequately
prepared to work in globalised workplaces that are complex and diverse. This view is echoed
by; graduates and graduate employers. Using the references cited below explore what
competencies would make business graduates more employable in the global environment,
and how Universities can help develop such competencies.
An annotated bibliography provides an explanation of the best available research on a given
research topic. The annotation usually contains a brief summary of content and a short
analysis or evaluation of the research article.
You must use Chicago referencing style for details see:
https://libguides.murdoch.edu.au/Chicago. Use 12 size Times New Roman font and 1.5 line
The goal of this assessment is to reflect, summarise, critique and evaluate research, about
the research topic: Are business students work-ready?
For the annotated bibliography, use five journal articles including the two referenced below.
You must find three other recent (since 2015) journal articles that address the research topic
‘Are business students work-ready’. Prepare an annotation of each article with the goal of
informing the reader as to the content, relevance and quality of the research (about 300
words for each article).
You must annotate five journal articles including the following two: Jackson, Denise. 2013. “Business graduate employability–where are we going wrong?” Higher Education Research & Development 32 (5): 776-790. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2012.709832 Tymon, Alex. 2013. “The student perspective on employability.” Studies in higher education 38 (6): 841-856. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2011.604408 And three (3) recent (2015+) peer reviewed journal articles that you find, that are related to the research topic ‘Are business students work-ready’.
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Assessment 3: Examination (40%)
The final examination will be:
• A case study and you will be expected to answer questions to solve a management
• A sample case study and questions will be provided via the LMS
If you are facing difficulties in completing your assignments, you should consult your affiliate
and Unit Coordinator before the due date. Requests for extensions to submission deadlines
must be made before the due date through the affiliate to the Unit Coordinator, in writing,
providing evidence to substantiate the reasons for the request. It is at the Unit Coordinator’s
discretion whether or not an extension is granted.
Any assignment that is received after the due date and time is deemed to be late. The time
and date as recorded by LMS will be used to make the determination of timeliness. Late
assignments will be penalised 10% of the total available mark for each calendar day or part
thereof that the assignment is late.
All work is to be submitted electronically. It is your responsibility to retain at least one
electronic copy and one hard copy of the assignment prior to submission. This copy should
remain as the original submitted format and must be available for immediate submission if
the original assignment is irretrievable. Your electronic file should be named with:
• The unit number
• Assignment number
• The first three characters of your family/last name
• First initial
• Student number
Determination of the final grade
The final grade is made up of the sum of scores achieved across all assessment
components. See Section 11 in the current Assessment Policy regarding grades.
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The detailed information about the learning experiences and readings are available on the
unit LMS site. The LMS site presents information on a session-by-session basis. This
session structure corresponds with the study schedule in the unit guide. Students are
expected to visit the LMS site weekly for updates and instructions.