RSCH5500: Research and Analysis
Instructor: Dr. Paul J. Colbert
Office Location: Feinstein Graduate School
Friedman Center, 2 floor
Office Telephone: (401) 598-1886
Office Hours: Mondays 3:30-5:30 PM or by appointment
Text (required): Sekaran, U. (2003). Research Methods for Business:
A Skill Building Approach (4 ed.)
New York: Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Readings: Selected materials are posted in the public folder:
Public Folders/All Public Folders/Providence Campus/The Graduate
School/Colbert, Paul/RSCH5500: (Day of Class)
Credit Hours: 4.5 Quarter Credit Hours
Prerequisites: Math5000. Students should also demonstrate basic skills in writing a formal
paper using the APA format style.*
This syllabus is a plan for conducting this course. It is also a contract between the student and professor.
Based on the needs of students and the professor’s perceptions, this syllabus is subject to change.
Students will be notified of such changes as deemed appropriate.
This course enables graduate students to design and implement research in business and related disciplines.
Students develop techniques in the selection and design of appropriate research methodologies in the
identification of a research problem in a business environment. The course examines the research process
from problem identification and setting through a review of pertinent literature as secondary sources and an
examination of the descriptive survey research design. Particular attention is given to the student’s
perspective of the research process and its applicability to his/her career endeavors. It provides a forum for
the student to improve research and presentation skills through discussion and practical applications.
Persons other than registered students are not allowed to attend academic classes, laboratory classes, or to
use computer labs, and other University academically-supported areas.
RSCH5500 Dr. Colbert 1
Upon satisfactory completion of this course, a student should have the ability to:
1. Define the research process and describe its components: problem selection, hypothesis formulation,
design, sampling, measurement, data collection and analysis, and conclusions
2. Identify and access appropriate secondary research sources (including literature reviews)
3. Accurately interpret and evaluate published empirical research articles
4. Design and assess research in a situated business setting
5. Construct testable hypotheses for business situations
6. Develop the appropriate research methodology for a specific business situation
7. Discuss critically the basic methods for testing hypotheses, and
8. Evaluate empirical research in business decision context(s)
Graduate School Outcomes Addressed in This Course:
Research & Analysis
2.1 Formulating relevant research questions to clarify a problem, topic, or issue
2.2 Accessing and discriminately selecting empirical research appropriate to a problem or need, from a
variety of sources, including information technologies
2.3 Evaluating information against appropriate standards for its reliability, validity, accuracy, limitations,
timeliness, point of view, and bias.
Problem Solving & Analysis
4.2 Collecting, organizing, interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating information
related to the problem solving process
4.3 Designing or selecting ethically feasible solutions to situated business and/or community problems
that effectively overcome the obstacles or constraints of the problems, and then clearly explaining the
rationale for the solutions.
Students will be assessed through completion of the following assignments. These assignments will provide
the opportunity for students to demonstrate competency in the following Course Outcomes and Graduate
School Outcomes and Indicators.
Course Graduate School Outcomes % of
Objectives & Indicators Grade
Class Contribution 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 2.1, 4.2, 4.3 10%
Article Critique # 1 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.2, 4.3 10%
Article Critique # 2 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.2, 4.3 10%
Midterm Examination 1, 3, 4 2.1, 4.2 20%
Research Questions/Problem ID 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.2, 4.3 10%
Annotated Reference List 2,3,8 2.1, 2.2.,4.2 10%
Research Proposal: Written & Oral 1, 4, 6, 7, 8 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.2., 4.3 30%
RSCH5500 Dr. Colbert 2
Students are required to obtain and use a Johnson & Wales University’s e-mail account for University
communication. We will use e-mail as a communication tool throughout the course. Please check your
e-mail accounts on a regular basis for updates and/or changes to the syllabus, assignments and class
Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss concepts and
procedures learned through the text and reading materials provided.
Your contribution to class discussions is an integral part of your course grade.
Please note that attendance and class participation are not one and the same.
These assignments and the anticipated format will be discussed in class.
A review of a given empirical article (participation grade) will be discussed in class Week # 2.
Written article critiques will be due Week # 3 (Article # 1) and Week # 4 (Article 2), respectively.
Each student/team will design a final project in the form of a research proposal. The proposal will be:
(1) the problem and its setting that will address a typical business issue and/or question beginning
with preliminary data gathering techniques to problem identification, literature review, theoretical
framework, and operational definition to hypothesis formulation, and the justification and significance
of the study; and (2) development of a descriptive survey research questionnaire based on the
The relevant research questions and problem statement will be due Week # 5; and the ARL
(Annotated Reference List) will be due Week # 7. The draft of Part 1 will be due Week # 9.
The final written proposal and oral presentation are scheduled for Week # 11.
The proposal will include:
1) Preliminary data-gathering and assessment of relevant information
2) A description of the problem and/or question being addressed
3) Theoretical framework
4) Hypothesis (es)
5) Operational Definition(s)
6) Significance and justification of the study
7) Descriptive survey questionnaire
*APA Style and Documentation:
Follow the rules for APA style and documentation as described in APA Basics: A Style Manual for Students
of the Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School, and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association (5th ed.). The manual is posted in the Public Folder: Public Folders/All Public
Folders/Providence Campus/The Graduate School/Colbert,Paul/RSCH5500:(Day of Class)
RSCH5500 Dr. Colbert 3
ALL WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS :
ARIAL FONT # 12, DOUBLE-SPACED, LEFT-ALIGNED
Article Critique # 1 (10%) 3
Article Critique # 2 (10%)
Midterm Examination (20%)(Individual) 5
Research Questions and Problem 6
Statement (10%) (Team) Team
Annotated Reference List (10%) 7
Proposal Draft 9
The Problem and Its Setting (NG)
Survey Questionnaire (Team) (NG) 10
Written (20%) (Team) 11
Oral (10%) (Individual)
RSCH5500 Dr. Colbert 4
Students are expected to attend every class but are required to attend the first Research class. There is a
pre-class graded assignment that will be discussed at the first class.
Please inform the professor of any requirements for special needs accommodations. These shall be
accommodated once proper documentation is received from the Special Needs Office. Students must
Johnson & Wales University is committed to outcomes assessment. Faculty and students are, therefore, part
of an ongoing effort to determine and refine the effectiveness of instruction and learning. Names of individual
students will not be used when reporting results.
Please see the document “Classroom Expectations 09-10” posted in the Public Folder
(Providence Campus/The Graduate School/Colbert, Paul/RSCH5500:(Day)
This document contains information that will be valuable to you over the course of this term and should
provide answers to many questions. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.
Academic integrity is an essential part of our institutional mission. Any student found responsible for
cheating, plagiarizing or in any other way compromising academic integrity may be subject to both academic
disciplinary action (including dismissal from class) and student conduct review action (up to and including
dismissal from the University). For further details of University policies on academic conduct, see Academic
Policies in the Student Handbook. This is a “no-exception” policy in place.
RSCH5500 Dr. Colbert 5
RSCH5500: Weekly Schedule
Week 1: Introduction to Research
Research: Review Ch.1 & 2 Sekaran: Pre-class Participation Assign # 1
What is Research?
Tools of Research
Assignment Week 2: Sekaran: Ch. 4: Steps 1-3 Preliminary Data-Gathering
Participation Assign # 2: Submit written answers to # 1, 3-5
Submit Article Review Template of questions on article provided
Week 2: Defining the Research Problem
The Scientific Method
Review of Article Critique # 1 requirements
Assignment Week 3: Article Critique # 1 due Week 3
Week 3: Literature Review
Research: Internet Research
Article Search and Selection of (6) empirical articles
Assignment Week 4: Sekaran: Chapter 5: Steps 4 and 5: Theoretical Framework
Article Critique # 2 due Week 4
Participation Assign # 3: Written responses to # 2, 3 and 4.
Discuss Question # 5.
Week 4: Variables and the Problem Statement
Research: Developing Research Questions
The Research Problem
In-class work on research questions (individual and teams)
Assignment Week 5: Midterm Examination Week # 5
Six (6) empirical articles for approval
RSCH5500 Dr. Colbert 6
Week 5: Theoretical Framework/Hypothesis Development I
Midterm Examination 1.5 hrs
Assignment Week 6: Problem Statement and Research Questions
due at 6 PM Week # 6
Week 6: ARL: Team Meetings: Graduate Conference Room
Discussion Annotated Reference List (ARL)
Assignment Week 7: Chapter 6: Step 6: Elements of Research Design
pp. 116-138 and discuss questions # 1, 2, 4-7.
ARL due at 6 PM Week # 7
Week 7: Theoretical Framework
Theoretical Framework and Hypothesis Development
Elements of Design
Discussion of Part I: Problem and Its Setting Example
Assignment for Week 8: Sekaran: Chapter 8: Measurement of Variables (pp.174-194)
Participation Assign # 4: Written responses to Questions # 1, 3, 4.
Week 8: Measurement of Variables: Operational Definition
Elements of Design (4 components)
Assignment for Week 9: Sekaran: Chapter 9: Rating Scales (pp.196-202)
(Discuss questions # 1 and
Exercises a-f in class, p.209)
Draft of Problem and Its Setting due Week 9
RSCH5500 Dr. Colbert 7
Week 9: Measurement of Variables: Scaling
Measurement of Variables (cont.)
Operational definition: review
Assignment Week 10: Complete Operational Definition and begin rewrite of Part I
Begin survey questionnaire development
Week 10: Questionnaire Development
Final proposal and APA review
Survey sample: Development: Lab Work
Assignment for Week 11: Rewrite Part II for final proposal
Written Proposals due Week 11
Week 11: Written Presentations of Research Proposals
Submit Written Proposals
RSCH5500 Dr. Colbert 8