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University of Exeter Business School

Business and Management Research Skills

Module titleBusiness and Management Research Skills
Module codeBEMM158
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Alison Legood (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module exposes students to the field of business and management research, in particular and academia, in general. This includes the underpinnings and debates in management research and how they inform and shape research as well as key research skills such as conducting a literature review, reflecting on research contributions, publishing and the review process, presenting research, research impact, and seeking funding. Ethics and reflexivity in scholarship underpins the module. The module emphasises active student learning and this implies a greater responsibility on participants to prepare for each session in order to gain maximum benefit from the learning environment.

Additional Information:

Draws on international research, and international publishing practice and communities. May have international guest scholars contributing to class discussion.

Focuses on skills for becoming a researcher, and joining the academy.

External Engagement
May have external speakers to discuss research impact and communication.

Ethics and Corporate Responsibility
Ethics in research is a topic and underpins the module.

Research in Teaching
Research is the core focus, and embedded throughout the module. My own, and the research and experiences of guest lecturers, is discussed.

Module aims - intentions of the module

To provide training in the essential skills of conducting and reporting research in business and management. The module also seeks to develop researchers as ethical and reflexive scholars.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. critically understand the assumptions underlying business and management research
  • 2. develop and improve skills in conducting and communicating research in business
  • 3. explain current debates and issues in business and management research

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. develop and improve skills in developing research questions, proposal writing, literature review
  • 5. explain a range of concepts and perspectives in business research methods
  • 6. explain how different epistemological perspectives imply different methodological approaches
  • 7. discuss the advantages and limitations associated with particular methodological approaches
  • 8. explain and discuss the ethical and legal issues in business and management research
  • 9. explain the socio-political context within which business and management research takes

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. acquire skills in critical analysis and reflection and open minded enquiry
  • 11. develop time-management, communication and presentation skills
  • 12. develop skills in independent study and group work

Syllabus plan

This module provides a guide to understanding the tacit and explicit processes whereby new researchers are socialised into the field of business and management research. The module explores important debates in business and management research and considers how they relate to our understanding of knowledge. These issues are located within the context of important debates about the purpose and politics of business and management research. The module also exposes students to key research skills that are involved in business and management research such as: reviewing the literature, developing research questions, reflecting on research contributions, research designs, research ethics, writing funding proposals, presenting your work and getting published.

The module will cover the following principle subject areas:

  • The Purpose of Management Research
  • Current Debates in Management Research
  • Reviewing the Literature and Developing Research Questions
  • Contributing to Existing Research and Knowledge
  • Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed * Research Designs
  • Ethical Issues in Management Research
  • Reflexivity and Research Relationships
  • Presenting Research to Academic Audiences
  • Publishing and the Review Process
  • Research Impact
  • Applying for Research Funding

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity24Lectures/discussions
Guided Independent Study126Reading, preparation for classes and assessmentson for classes and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dialogue with module leader and Throughout the module1-12Verbal
Individual Seminar Presentation10 minutes1-3, 4-7, 10-12Verbally during seminar
Presentation of Initial Research Idea10 minutes2, 4-12Verbally during seminar

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual Essay 1502,000 words1-12Written comments based on assessment criteria
Individual Essay 2502,000 words1-12Written comments based on assessment criteria

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual Essay 1 (50%)Individual Essay 1 (50%, 2000 words)1-12July/August Assessment Period
Individual Essay 2 (50%)Individual Essay 2 (50%, 2000 words)1-12July/August Assessment Period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

There is no single text that covers all of the content in the module. Students are advised to read selectively from the following general texts and from the detailed list of week-by-week readings will be provided during the module. Additional readings will be recommended during lecture/discussions as appropriate.


Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P.R. (2015) Management Research. 5th edition, London: Sage.

Thornhill, A., Lewis, P. and Saunders, M. N. K. (2019) Research Methods for Business Students, 8th edition, Pearson.

Creswell, J. D. and Creswll, J. W. (2017) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches, 5th edition, Sage

Gray, D. E. (2018) Doing Research in the Real World, 4th edition, Sage


Journal Articles


Bansal, P., & Corley, K. (2012). Publishing in AMJ—Part 7: What’s different about qualitative research? Academy of Management Journal, 55: 509–513.

Bartunek, J. M., Rynes, S. L., & Ireland, R. D. (2006). What makes management research interesting, and why does it matter? Academy of Management Journal, 49: 9–15.


Edmondson, A. C., & McManus, S. E. (2007). Methodological fit in management field research.  Academy of Management Review, 32: 1155–1179.

Jogulu, U. D., & Pansiri, J. (2011). Mixed methods: A research design for management doctoral dissertations. Management research review34(6), 687-701.

Colquitt, A. and George, G. (2011) From the Editors: Publishing in "AMJ"—Part 1: Topic Choice. The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 432-435

Bono, J. E. and McNamara, G. (2011) From the Editors: Publishing in "AMJ"—Part 2: Research Design. The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 657-660

George, G. (2012) From the Editors: Publishing in "AMJ" for Non-U.S. Authors. The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 55, No. 5, pp. 1023-1026

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Resources will be posted on ELE as appropriate.

Key words search

Management research; business research methods

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date