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HI6008 Business Research

Holmes Institute is committed to providing the highest quality education in a dynamic, student-centred learning environment. Holmes Institute fosters in its students rational thought, intellectual integrity and social responsibility.
Holmes Institute Faculty of Higher Education offers business courses that combine discipline-based excellence with practical application. The faculty operates on campuses in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Hong Kong.
The faculty offers a Bachelor of Business, a Bachelor of Professional Accounting, a Master of Professional Accounting, a Master of Business Administration and a Graduate Diploma in Business.
Details about the members of the faculty can be found on the homepage of the Faculty of Higher Education at
HI6008 Business Research
At Holmes Institute, the Master of Business Administration, Graduate Diploma in Business and the Master of Professional Accounting programs offer domestic and international students the opportunity to study a set of contemporary subjects in the field of business. These subjects prepare students for the challenges in business environments of the 21st century. These programs emphasize the global and cross-cultural dimensions of business. Teaching utilizes a combination of delivery methods and includes critical analysis and case study methods. A combination of exams, case studies and company analysis are used in assessment.
The Masters’ programs of Holmes Institute focus on:

  • Developing career related capabilities
  • Business numeracy and literacy
  • Developing managerial proficiency
  • Working in the new economy
  • Leadership skills
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social responsibility and ethics

HI6008 Business Research seeks to engage students in exploration of the entire business research process and how to plan, organise and carry out own business research project.
The entire business research process is investigated in a great detail from defining a suitable business research question, conducting thorough literature review, selecting appropriate research methodology to collect and analyse data, and to write the research paper.
Ethics in business research is also addressed.
On successful completion of this subject you will have the ability to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the research planning process ,business research methods  and understanding importance of professional ethics, and of how to recognize and address ethical issues when they arise in a business research project
  2. Apply concepts of business research to business scenarios.
  1. Evaluate the impact of existing business research in a business environment
  2. Evaluate and Compare various business research methodologies then apply them to a specific business research project
  3. Develop a research proposal, research project plan, literature review to be able to solve business problem and explain research outcomes.
  4. Evaluate professional practice issues in business research
  1. Justify chosen research methodology (quantitative/qualitative) and explain procedures for data collection, proposed data analysis, and limitations of your proposed study.


Awards Duration Core/Elective Subject weight Campus
MBA, MPA, Grad Dip 1 semester Core 3 credit points Melb/Syd/Bri


Mode of delivery On campus
Prerequisites Nil
Workload Students are expected to attend all classes
Delivery Two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorial every week
Independent study 6 hrs

Students please note:
Holmes Institute provides each student with a Holmes webmail. Faculty and Administrative staff can only communicate with you using your Holmes Institute mail address. Emails from private and/or business email accounts cannot be used and may not be answered.

Assessment 1
Literature Review
Week 6
1, 2, 3, 5
Assessment 2
Research Proposal
Week 12
50% 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Assessment 3
Individual Reflective Journal
Week 13
20% 1, 2 ,3 ,4 ,6, 7


Item Due date Weighting Length
Individual Assignment 1
Literature Review
Week 6
30% 2000 to 2500 words
Individual Assessment 2
Research Proposal
Week 12
50% 1500 to 2000 words
Individual Assessment 3
Individual Reflective Journal
Week 13
20% 1000 to 1500 words


Assessment 1 Literature Review – Individual Assignment (2000 to 2500 words)

For this assessment, students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the extant, academic literature related to an approved, business topic.
In consultation with their lecturer, students need to decide on a business-related topic/concept. Students need to select approximately eight to twelve (8-12), but at least three (3), peer-reviewed articles or comparable sources (online resource can be accessed using ProQuest or Google Scholar) that are related to the topic (as the basis of their literature review).
In the context of their chosen topic, students need to review the articles and sources selected, i. e. read and critically analyse (compare and contrast) the literature. In doing so, students are required to discuss the key ideas/arguments put forward by authors, identify communalities/similarities, differences and conclusions drawn by different authors. Based on this analysis and discussion, students are expected to point out potential gaps in the literature that will form the basis of Assessment 2, the research proposal.
Marking criteria of the literature review include: the quality and currency of the literature selected; the student’s ability to compare and contrast author’s arguments/viewpoints and identify gaps in the existing literature in the context of the chosen business topic; the demonstrated ability to use Harvard referencing.
Assessment 1:  Marking Criteria:

Marking Criteria’s Marks
Literature review scope and objective   5
Comparative Analysis 10
Quality and currency of articles and sources used   5
Gaps identified and conclusions drawn   8
Use of Harvard Referencing   2

Assessment 2 Business Research Proposal – Individual Assignment (1500 to 2000 words)

For this assessment, students are expected to present a written research proposal that is based on the literature review (Assessment 1) and demonstrates their understanding of business research/research paradigm.
Based on their literature review, students are required to write a business research proposal outlining the details of the proposed research project that addresses the gaps identified in the literature. Derived from the business topic, the proposal needs to include clearly state research questions (primary and secondary), and provide a solid research methodology that supports the feasibility of the research project
Marking criteria of the research proposal include: the justification of the research questions that operationalize the research topic; the demonstration of a detailed research methodology addressing research instrument, sample size and sampling approach, research location/s and schedule as well as providing a critical assessment of the limitations of the methodology and the expected outcome of the research project.
Assessment 2: Marking Criteria:

Marking Criteria’s Marks
Research Project Introduction and justification   5
Research Questions and justification 15
Research Methodology 30

Assessment 3:  Individual Reflective Journal – Individual Assignment (1000-1500 words)
For this assessment, students are expected to write a weekly journal over the duration of the 12-week teaching period that documents a critical analysis of their learning process. In the journal students need to reflect/review how they have progressed with the learning goals related to assessments 1 and 2.
Students need to write their individual reflective journal concurrently to performing assessment tasks 1 and 2, i.e. from the first week of the subject. For each week, students need to make journal entries that provide a reflection of their ‘journey’ of gaining, and applying knowledge of the research paradigm. For each week students should reflect and compare the theoretical knowledge with what they apply into practice. As assessment 1 and 2 are completed, students should clearly identify learning goals achieved.
Assessment 3: Marking Criteria:

Marking Criteria’s Marks
Introduction and Reflective Journal Scope   5
Critically and depth of learning reflections  reflective analysis 10
Conclusion   5


Prescribed Textbook (compulsory)
Prescribed text:
Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2015), Business Research Methods, (Fourth Edition), UK, Oxford University Press.
Recommended Reading

  • Zikmund, W. G. (2012), Business Research Methods, (9th edn), USA, Cengage
  • Sherri L. Jackson (2015), Research Methods and Statistics; Critical Thinking Approach, (5th edn), USA, Cengage.
  • William, T., James, P. and Arora, K. (2015), Research Methods: The Essential Knowledge Base, (2nd edn), USA, Cengage


Wk Topics scheduled Assessment Tutorial Activities Chapters
1 The nature, process and strategy of business research   TBA in class Chapter 1 and  Chapter 2
2 Research design  and planning the research process   TBA in class Chapter 3 and
Chapter 4
3 Literature Review and Writhing Business Research   TBA in class Chapter 5
and  Chapter 29
4 Ethics and Legal Consideration in Business Research   TBA in class Chapter 6
5 The Nature of qualitative research, sampling and participant observation
  TBA in class Chapter 17, Chapter 18 and Chapter 19
6 Interviewing, Focus Groups and Language in qualitative research Individual
Assessment 1
TBA in class Chapter 20, Chapter 21 and Chapter 22
7 Qualitative  Data Analysis   TBA in class Chapter 23 and Chapter 24
8 The Nature and  Sampling in Quantitative Research   TBA in class Chapter 7 and Chapter 8
9 Structured Interviewing and Questionary Design   TBA in class Chapter 9, Chapter 10 and Chapter 11
10 Structured Observation and Content Analysis   TBA in class Chapter 12 and Chapter 13
11 Secondary Analysis and Quantitative Data Analysis   TBA in class Chapter 13 and Chapter 14
12 Mixed methods research: combining quantitative and qualitative research Individual
Assessment 2
TBA in class Chapter 27
13 n/a Individual
Assessment 3
TBA in class n/a
Study week*
Exam week*

* Note: Students must consult the Academic Calendar and Blackboard for the dates of the Study and Examination Week.
Studying in higher education presents many experiences and challenges. These might involve academic, personal and/or professional issues. At Holmes Institute, we have a range of people who can help you with various challenges. The following table identifies contact points should you require any support.

Information for Current Students Holmes Institute Student Handbook
Academic Probation / Mentoring Academic Mentors, Associate Dean
Accommodation Holmes Institute Home Stay
Computers, Blackboard, Email IT and Blackboard Help Desk emails:;
Disability Needs Holmes Institute Campus Directors
Employment and Careers Career Development Team
Enrolment Higher Education Coordinator on Campus
Exams Higher Education Coordinator on Campus
Financial Issues Holmes Institute Campus Directors
Personal Issues Dean Operations, Mentoring Team
Proquest Database Librarian on each Campus
Study Skills Holmes Institute Academic Support & Study Skills Team
Visa Issues, COEs etc. Higher Education Coordinator on Campus

This subject outline was prepared by the Course Development Team for the Postgraduate Programs, Faculty of Higher Education, Holmes Institute. It was correct at the time of publication. Change to the Subject Outline may occur at any time. However, the Faculty of Higher Education endeavours to inform the students accordingly. This publication is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism, or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process or placed in computer memory without written permission. Enquires should be made to Holmes Institute Faculty of Higher Education. © Copyright 2017.

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