BUSINESS RESEARCH DESIGN
MBA 6610 TGWA
Spring Semester 2008
Instructor: Robert Wheatley, Ph.D.
Course Prerequisites: MBA 5505 or equivalent.
Office Hours Tuesday & Thursday: 12:45 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Other times by appointment
Office Location: 253 Bibb Graves Hall
Office Telephone: 334-670-3161 (Office)
334-670-3459 (Administrative Office)
Time of Class: 1:00 to 3:45 p.m. W
Class Location: 302 General Academic Building
Course Description: Designed for the student to develop and demonstrate competency in business research
methodology and techniques. This course teaches the MBA student proper research techniques and includes a
research proposal. Prerequisite: MBA 5505 or equivalent.
Purpose: To provide a framework to solve research problems, interpret research, and to understand
the interaction among the various parts of the research process. MBA General Management option requirement.
Satisfies the MBA research requirement.
Course Objectives: On completion of the course, the student should be able to:
1. Explain measurement, experimentation, survey design and related concepts and methodologies related to
organizational research, including multivariate analysis.
2. Apply measurement and design strategy concepts and principles to new business situations, including
proper data preparation and description.
3. Develop a clear and well organized research proposal.
4. Diagram, illustrate, and evaluate research designs and strategies, including the choice of measurement
scales, survey methods, instrumentation, and sampling design.
5. Evaluate research-generated material, including secondary data.
6. Analyze and interpret material using appropriate statistical methods.
7. Apply critical, scientific, and ethical thinking to solving research-related problems.
8. Complete a business research project, properly displaying data.
9. Solve problems
10. Participate fully and voluntarily in class
11. Critically review work, accept suggestions, and make revisions
12. Give a well organized oral presentation of research/proposal
Text(s): Cooper, D., & Schindler, P. BUSINESS RESEARCH METHODS, Tenth Edition. New York: McGraw-
1. Have available two CDs for possible use in the course. Each CD must contain the following information marked
externally on it: (1) the student's name, (2) the course and section numbers (MBA 6610 TGAA), and (3) the Page
Number of the assignment or the assignment title. The Volume label on the CD should be the student's name. All
CDs must contain ONLY the relevant file (assignment) with an appropriate file name. No other files are to be on
2. Have available each of the following: Narrow-lined notebook paper and plain unlined paper.
3. Have available a calculator with statistics functions.
Grading: Test 1 35% of final grade
Test 2 35% of final grade
Proposal 20% of final grade
Assignments 10% of final grade
1. Announced in advance: All work is due on the day designated, at the beginning of the class period. It will
be considered late after it is collected. Work must be received on time for full credit. Late work will be dropped
one letter grade for each class period late—regardless of the situation. Students may submit work earlier than the
2. Not announced in advance: All work is due prior to the end of class. No make-ups will be permitted. If
prior approval for an absence is given, that student will have one fewer class scores to average—ONE TIME
ONLY. For the second absence when work is due, a “zero” will be recorded.
3. For all in-class assignments, students without their own textbook will receive a zero.
4. Group assignments will be rank ordered and grades incrementally assigned to ranks (groups).
5. All individual and group work is KEPT on file by the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to return
all work to the instructor immediately after class that day. After reviewing their work, students are responsible for
returning all work to the instructor. All nonreturned work results in a zero for each group member or
6. The student is responsible for all technological problems (computer, diskette, etc.). These problems accrue
late penalties, etc.
7. Plagiarism results in a grade of zero for the assignment and a potential failing grade for the course.
8. No two students can select the same topic for an assignment.
9. All assignments must follow course guidelines.
10. No collaboration, sharing of information, or file sharing will be permitted on assignments. If two papers
contain similar names, sentences, paragraphs, etc., this will constitute evidence and will result in a grade of zero for
both individuals. Please do your own work!
11. No additional work/activities will be assigned for any purpose including grade improvement, etc.
1. Group and/or individual responsibilities must be discharged on the day designated to receive full credit.
2. Responsibilities include all chapters and other material assigned.
1. Quizzes may NOT be announced in advance.
2. No make-ups will be permitted.
1. For any request to leave early for ANY reason during a test, quiz, or other graded assignment, that test, quiz, or
graded assignment will be considered completed at that time and graded using the same standards as other tests, etc.
regardless of the degree of incompletion.
2. Make-up exams will be given only for documented (on letterhead), approved absences. See ATTENDANCE
POLICY. The make-up exam (with documented, approved excuse) must be taken within one week of the student's
return to any class enrolled in that semester, term, etc. If the student returns to (any) class and does not immediately
see the instructor to set a date for the make-up, the test will be lowered one letter grade per day even if the student
presents an excuse for the original absence.
3. A grade of zero will be assigned for an exam missed due to an unexcused absence.
4. Students are responsible for all course content (all text content, etc.) regardless of whether it is specifically
mentioned in class. Talking during an exam, for any reason, results in a grade of “zero.”
5. Students must bring plain, unlined, notebook paper to the exams and keep the exam covered until completion—
failure to keep your exam covered results in a grade of zero.
6. If you are more than 10 minutes late for a test, a make-up exam will be administered and the test score will
be dropped one letter grade.
7. When different test forms are administered, the submission of answers to questions coordinated with the alternate
test form instead of answers to questions on the student’s own test form shall constitute evidence of cheating on the
test and will result in a grade of “zero” for that test and an “F’ in the course.
8. Questions about test items (or interpretation of test items) are to be addressed directly to the instructor. During
tests, no electronic devices are permitted—no translators, computers, etc.
Class Procedure and Requirements: The student is expected to punctually attend all class meetings, read
course material prior to class, complete assignments by the due date, and take exams on the scheduled date.
W, 1/9 Introduction; Assignment
W, 1/16 Research in Business (1)
Thinking Like a Researcher (3)
Basic Statistics Review (Please review text chapters & CD on your own) (15, 15a, 16-18, & 19: 544-549)
W, 1/23 The Research Process: An Overview (4)
W, 1/30 Clarifying Research Questions (5)
Database Searches (5a)
Advanced Searches (5b)
Business Research Requests & Proposals (Appendix A)
W, 2/6 Measurement (11)
Measurement Scales (12)
W, 2/13 Surveys (9)
W, 2/20 Questionnaires & Instruments (13, 13a, 13b)
Test 1 (1, 3-4, 5, 5a, 5b, 9, 11, 12, 15, 15a, 16-19, Appendix A)
W, 2/27 Observation Studies (8)
Qualitative Research (7)
W, 3/5 Sampling (14 & 14a)
W, 3/19 Research Design (6)
W, 3/26 Experiments & Test Markets (10, 10a, & 10b)
W, 4/2 Ethics in Business Research (2)
W, 4/9 Presenting Insights & Findings: Written & Oral Reports (20)
W, 4/16 Multivariate Analysis: An Overview (19: Pages 550-572)
W, 4/23 Test 2 (2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 10a, 10b, 13, 13a, 13b, 14, 14a, & 20)
Students are expected to:
1. Read the textbook material BEFORE the class covering that material. This leads to a better understanding of the
lecture as well as the opportunity to ask questions about material(s) in the text that were unclear.
2. Fulfill group and/or individual leadership responsibilities as elected/requested on the day assigned.
3. Prepare cases carefully prior to class discussion—class discussion quality depends on quality of preparation and
4. Punctually attend all scheduled classes. Students who arrive to class after attendance is taken will be counted
absent. See attendance policy...
5. Be on time for class. If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late, please do not disrupt the class by coming
in that late. See me after class if you need to know what was discussed
6. Stay in class. Please do not leave class early for any reason unless prior permission has been granted. If you
cannot stay for the entire class, do not come that day. If you think you cannot stay on a regular basis, then drop the
7. Do not talk while other students or the professor is talking. If you talk during this time, I will ask you to stop.
After that, you will be asked to drop the course.
8. Be responsible for all instruction and assignments given in class as well as for the supporting textbook content.
9. Hand in assignments on the assigned due date and return them after review. See assignment policy.
10. Take exams on the scheduled date. Exams, except the final, will be temporarily returned and reviewed (must be
returned to instructor).
11. Turn off all wireless phones, pagers, or any other devices that generate sound. All devices must be TURNED
OFF when you enter the classroom; these and other disruptive behaviors (talking while others are presenting, etc.)
may result in students being asked to leave class with a zero averaged in their assignment grades.
12. Do not use portable recording devices during class; e.g., microcassette recorders, etc. Students recording
the class will be asked to leave class.
13. Do not bring food or drink to class.
General Support: The computer labs in 215 Bibb Graves and 249 Bibb Graves are available for student use. The
Writing Center in 133 Wright Hall may also provide assistance.
First day of class 1/9
Deadline for adding course 1/11
Deadline to process Administrative drops 1/11
Holiday—Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 1/21
Spring Break 3/10-16
Last day to drop a course without academic penalty 3/21
Last day to withdraw without academic penalty 3/21
Classes end 4/29
Dead day 4/30
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT (ADA):
Troy University supports Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With
Disabilities Act of 1990, which insure that postsecondary students with disabilities have equal
access to all academic programs, physical access to all buildings, facilities and events, and are
not discriminated against on the basis of disability. Eligible students, with appropriate
documentation, will be provided equal opportunity to demonstrate their academic skills and
potential through the provision of academic adaptations and reasonable accommodations. Further
information, including appropriate contact information, can be found at the following link:
1. Class Attendance. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of the class session. Students who arrive after
their name is recorded will be marked absent. Students must see the instructor immediately after class that day or
the unexcused tardy becomes an unexcused absence.
2. Attendance is mandatory. If a class is missed it is the student's responsibility to obtain all information and
materials presented (including materials covered, handouts, skills learned, and assignments) during that absence.
Exams will include not only the material from the assigned chapters in the text, but also from any other materials
covered in class lectures. Unexcused absenteeism or tardiness results in a grade of zero for each test or assignment.
The course grade will be reduced one letter grade for each two unexcused absences.
If a student is late to class two times, each block of two tardies will equal one unexcused absence.
3. Excused absences. Excused absences have the following characteristics:
a. Professor was informed prior to the absence—One Time ONLY for relief on assignments, etc.; This does NOT
apply to tests, exams, major assignments, etc.
b. Absence is of the following type:
(1) Participation in a documented official university function that does not permit the student’s class attendance
(e.g., participation in athletic events, field trips, etc.).
(2) Severe illness: a hospital stay, or a doctor's excuse saying that it is impossible for the student to attend.
(3) Death of immediate family member (grandparent, parent, sibling, or child).
(4) Appearance in court.
c. Written documentation (on letterhead) must be provided.
d. An official written excuse must be presented immediately upon return before a missed test can be taken.
e. The student is responsible for all arrangements.
f. No excuse will be accepted after the student has returned to class for one week
Incomplete Work Policy: Incomplete work at the end of the term will not be accepted. All work eligible to be made
up will be made up within one week of the student’s return to class.
Cheating Policy: If you are caught cheating, you will get a course grade of "F". See THE ORACLE: Student
Handbook, 1998-1999" pp. 56-57. Plagiarism is the act of stealing and passing off (the ideas or words of another) as
one’s own or to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
(Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary). Plagiarism will cause a student to get a course grade of “F”. According to
the TSU ORACLE: Student Handbook, 1998-99, pp. 52, one definition of misconduct is: “Dishonesty, such as
cheating, plagiarism...”. The ORACLE states on pp. 56 under the Academic Code sub-heading that: “A student is
subject to disciplinary action:
#3. Where the work affects or might affect a student’s grade, credit, or status in the university, a student represents
to be his or her own any work which is not the product of his or her own study and efforts”. The penalty for such
misconduct may be (pp. 56) “A student’s grade in the course or on the examination affected by the misconduct may
be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure.” A student may be suspended from the university for a
1. Additional information on assignments will be provided.
2. The scheduling (dates) of the "Course Content" may vary depending on depth of topic coverage.
3. Other changes, as necessary, may be made by the instructor.
4. Due Dates for Proposal Components (Milestones):
a. W, 1/23: Topic/Issue/Problem with 20 References
b. W, 2/13: Literature Review, Hypotheses, & Refs.
c. W, 3/5: Instrumentation
d. W, 3/19: Design
e. W, 3/26: Data Analysis, Budget, & Schedule
5. Proposal Evaluation (Content, Writing, & Format)
6. Proposal (final version) Due: W, 4/9
Each student will complete a research proposal on a business research topic. Topics for
proposals are to be contemporary problems/issues relevant to business today (with a theoretical
base, or an applied organizational issue with a theoretical background), and are selected by each
student (priority by time and date submitted). The topics involve either original work making a
scholarly contribution (adding to what is already known about a topic--not merely reproducing a
study that has already been done) or evaluating/testing in an applied organizational setting
(supported by a theoretical or research base). No two individuals may select the same proposal
topic. At least twelve sources are required; with at least nine of those sources from current
(2004-2008), reputable, peer-reviewed journals. Use American Psychological Association
(APA) format, 12-point font, double-spacing (LS = 2), paragraph indention, section headings,
and submit in MS-Word format. This is expected to be a scholarly project. It will include a
title page, introduction section (with background of the topic/problem/issue, the
topic/problem/issue in problem statement format, one hypothesis, topic/problem/issue
importance), a literature review leading to that hypothesis/research question, research design,
sampling design, data analysis, nature and form of results, budget, schedule, survey/interview
schedule/questionnaire in an appendix, and references section (in APA format). See Appendix A
of your text (Exhibit A-5 for the proposal parts in table form) or see me for guidance. Grades
will be based on scholarship, application of course material, coherence, reference quality, format,
and grammatical correctness. Your work should look business-like and professional. Written
assignments displaying disproportionately poor grammar or a poor quality of written
communication skills will be assigned a grade that is one letter grade lower than might otherwise
have been assigned. The research proposal should use Turnitin.com to establish the originality
of all work BEFORE it is submitted for grading, if directed by the instructor. The paper will
be due on Wednesday, April 9.