HR9710 - Management Research Report: Investigating a Business Issue from an HR Perspective

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What will I learn on this module?

This module explores the nature and practice of client-based business and management research, providing you with the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of research practice and many of the practical skills needed by the effective HRM&D practitioner. The module aims to enable you to develop intellectual and practical skills for undertaking an individual student-led, ethical investigation into a HR focussed business problem or issue and relevant to CIPD professional practice. Using appropriate research methodologies and data collection methods, you will critically synthesise a body of Human Resource Management and Development knowledge, relevant to the programme, with an organisational issue that you have identified. You will then provide recommendations for improvement change based on your analysis.

The module is student-led but you are supported by lectures and workshops, which provide an introduction to undertaking Business and Management research, and by group supervision meetings supporting you in the conduct of the research investigation and the submission of the research proposal and report.

The lectures and workshop series will cover the following topics:
1. Developing a research aim/question (focusing and scoping the research) and writing a research proposal
2. Developing a literature review
3. Choosing a research methodology and methods in compliance with ethics
4. Qualitative & Quantitative data collection techniques
5. Qualitative & Quantitative data analysis techniques
6. Communicating findings, analysis, conclusions and recommendations

Upon completion of the module you will be able to:
1. Conduct independent and ethical academic and practical research, including to CIPD requirements, involving the application and critical evaluation of appropriate theories and methods
2. Engage critically with relevant literature to establish a framework in which to analyse and synthesise the results of your primary or secondary research
3. Generate / collect relevant primary or secondary data using an appropriate and justified method and recognising the ethical implications of your approach
4. Analyse your data using an appropriate and justified method of analysis
5. Make appropriate and justified conclusions and recommendations and critically evaluate the process of research you have undertaken

How will I learn on this module?

The lectures and workshops introduce you to the underpinning knowledge necessary for undertaking an individual student-led investigation into an applied business problem or issue and provide you with the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice for your own proposed research area. The lectures are delivered on an interactive basis drawing upon directed learning and your own practitioner experience. Workshops are practical IT lab-based sessions giving the opportunity to learn through a series of exercises and activities. The necessity of independent reading and learning is also a critical dimension of this module. In this regard, the taught sessions are supported by a teaching and learning plan that outlines the process for learning, tutor-led work, and directed reading. A comprehensive Module Handbook detailing the special structure required for this management research report, the assessment criteria, advice on ethical issues and a logbook for individual supervision sessions is also provided.

The small group supervision sets give you the opportunity to seek guidance on the research process. These sessions are facilitated by members of the programme teaching team. The supervisor, as facilitator of the sessions, will provide you with on-going formative feedback on your progress as you engage with the research process. Supervisors will be appointed in line with NBS policy which recognises the requirements of CIPD and AACSB accreditation. The group supervisions will also involve peer group appraisal as you report on your progress in investigating the chosen issue in your own organisation.

A detailed module handbook is provided for all students via the eLP.

A supporting reading list provides you with key references to enable you to undertake a more detailed and in-depth review of the research approach and methods that you choose to adopt for your own research. Examples of past management research reports are also available.

Assessment-for-learning

a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

Stage 1 – Management Research Report Proposal
In order to give you a clear sense of direction before starting the research project within your organisation, you are required to complete a detailed research proposal for your chosen project using the proposal framework document available in the assessment folder and in the Module Handbook (and on the eLP module site). This is worth 10% of the final mark.

Stage 2 - Management Research Report Submission
In order to demonstrate all the learning outcomes for this module, you are required to complete a detailed and thorough management research report investigating a 'live' organisational problem or issue within the field of Human Resource Management and Development. The report should outline the outcomes of both primary and secondary research, detailed analysis of the findings with clear, realistic recommendations for action to the client. You are required to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice throughout the report and in a reflective statement appendix. The report should be around 8,000 words, and will be worth 90% of the final mark.

b Additional formative assessment - details of process and rationale

Formative assessment will take place through reflection and discussion in the lectures/workshops and in the group supervisions.

Detailed assessment criteria are provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you in the management research report proposal and submission and you will have the opportunity to clarify these in the lectures/workshops and group supervisions. You are expected to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice in the lectures/workshops and group supervisions and such reflective practice will prepare you for including reflective practice in your report submission.

You will be allocated a group supervisor and will also be able to discuss your progress during the group supervision meetings.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The selection of a suitable management research topic rests with you. However, to achieve this, you will be supported by the following academic staff:

• Lecture/ workshop tutors, who will usually be from, or have an interest in, your programme subject area, or a related field and have expertise and experience in research methods
• Supervisor, who will usually be from, or have an interest in, your programme subject area, or a related field and have expertise and experience in research

In addition, you will be provided with support from your peers in the lectures/workshops and group supervision meetings. The lectures/workshops are based upon programme cohorts, so you will be grouped alongside other members from your particular degree programme. Members of the group supervision meetings will also be drawn from your programme cohort.

The module is supported by an e-learning portal, which acts as a repository for: lecture/workshop materials, lecture/workshop exercises and materials, exemplar management reports, assessment details. In addition, the eLP houses the online reading list (including direct links to textbooks, journal papers, academic and conference reports) and various support facilities such as the recordings of certain lectures. You are also supported by a detailed Module Handbook.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Apply and critically evaluate appropriate concepts, theories and models (MLO1)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Establish a framework in which to appraise, analyse and synthesise the results of primary or secondary research (MLO2)
• Critically reflect upon the research topic and approach to its study (MLO3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Undertake independent primary or secondary research, adopting an evaluative and critical perspective throughout this research (MLO4)
• Generate and analyse relevant primary or secondary data using an appropriate, and critically justified, method while critically evaluating the limitations of the data source/s and the method/s employed and also recognising the ethical implications of the research work undertaken (MLO5)

How will I be assessed?

The module assessment comprises two components

• Management Research Proposal of 2,000-word max (MLO1) (MLO2).
• Management Research Report of 8,000 words (MLO1) (MLO2) (MLO3) (MLO4) (MLO5)

Full and detailed guidance will be given on this assessment in the Module Handbook. The eLP will be used to permanently host this detailed guidance, also a copy of the marking criteria, to ensure that students can access it throughout the management research process. Feedback is provided via a specific marking rubric for both components.

Pre-requisite(s)

NA

Co-requisite(s)

NA

Module abstract

This module provides you with the opportunity to examine, in depth, a business and management challenge of direct interest and within your work. It aims to equip you with the necessary intellectual and practical skills for undertaking your individual student-led, ethical investigation. You will participate in lectures/workshops, which provide an introduction to undertaking HRM related Business and Management research, and group supervisions which will support you in undertaking independent research in your organisational context. The lectures/workshops and group supervisions will help you to identify a suitable research area, to generate empirical (primary) or secondary data, to analyse this data, to draw theoretically informed conclusions and to make appropriate and realistic recommendations. You will be assessed through two tasks: the development of an initial research proposal and the submission of a final management research report.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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