Research methods

Basic research methods 


Students who complete this module will be able to apply 

  1. the scientific principles underlying business and management research,
  2. provide an introduction to the methods available to carry out business research,
  3. obtain knowledge about the various sources of information available and explore them,
  4. Collect and analyze primary and secondary sources of data and develop the ability to write professional reports.

These principles must be applied in developing a research approach and in choosing a research strategy within the context of a specific research question. The required steps in the research process should be implemented in order to reach scientific conclusions. The information should be documented in the form of a research proposal. It implies the logic of the research process and  different forms of reasoning, stages in the research process, formulating research question, research design; conceptualisation, sampling and data collection. This module provides fundamental data gathering competencies which will support further studies 

The module will follow the research process steps: 

  1. starting from identifying a research question,
  2. defining the problem statement,
  3. preliminary literature review
  4. writing a research proposal
  5. ethical clearance
  6. doing an in depth focused literature review
  7. writing methodology chapter
  8. collecting and analyzing data
  9. findings and conclusions

On successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical awareness and understanding of Research methods at the master's level that provides a basis for developing and/or applying new ideas, often within a research context.
  • apply knowledge, critical understanding, and problem-solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study (Research methods)
  • assimilate knowledge and formulate opinions with incomplete or limited information, but that include a reflection on social and ethical responsibilities.
  • communicate their assumptions, and knowledge regarding Research methods and the rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously.
  • use the acquired skills to allow them to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed and autonomous.
  • integrate knowledge from other courses of the master program and practical business and formulate critical judgments with incomplete data.

The course is offered as self-study in e-learning. The learning material is provided in the form of lectures, literature, and lecture notes. Independent learning is required. In the case of paper submissions, further research is expected in compliance with the given scientific standard. LIVE course sessions are offered to support the students with questions regarding the content. Students are supported in their scientific work by corresponding online seminars.

All lectures and learning materials are made available in the online campus GHU Campus. Students can participate in LIVE course sessions and get in direct contact with the lecturers. All lectures are recorded and are available for download 24/7. The lecture notes, as well as additional material provided by the lecturer, can also be accessed in the GHU Campus.

Documents for exam preparation consisting of lectures and lecture notes. Additional material provided by the lecturer serves as independent files and can be used to work on the exams. The examination comprises theory questions, reflection, and case study and is intended to confirm all learning objectives.

The assessment consists of a 5000-word Research methods homework and assesses all learning outcomes. As a master-level assignment, the homework requires a command of a complex and specialized area of knowledge and skills. This implies that, in addition to demonstrating a sound grasp of the ideas and concepts relevant to the topic of thehomework, students will show that they can evaluate aspects such as conventions of approaches, their internal consistency, relevance, and applicability, as well as strengths and weaknesses.

To reach an assessment, students will consider competing approaches and draw on critiques put forward in scholarly literature. The position adopted in the assignment and any claims made must be based on a careful, coherent, and logical arguments, need to be appropriately supported with evidence from relevant scholarly sources, and should be presented in a coherent piece of writing. Sources must be referenced appropriately in-text and in a quote/reference list as set out in the GHU Referencing Guidelines.

Jan Walters Kruger

- Univ.-Prof. -