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BUS-360-20, Business Research (SP13)

INSTRUCTOR: Charles Yoe

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: Special/Monday/6:00 – 10:00 p.m., 01/28/2013-03/18/2013

CONTENT:

This course considers options for researching decisions in business.  Students will learn to define the research problem, develop the research plan, evaluate and organize relevant information, develop findings and conclusions, and recommend a preferred course of action supported by analysis.  Students will learn core primary research concepts such as how to design and implement mail, telephone, and electronic surveys, and how to run a focus group. 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

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

  • Discuss the basic principles of business research and how organizations successfully use primary and secondary research in making business decisions.
  • Apply business research methods by completing a research project for a “live” client. 
  • Prepare a research proposal. 
  • Design, implement, analyze, and present research findings.
  • Improve and refine analysis, planning, time management, and critical thinking skills.

METHODS:

  • Assigned text and other readings
  • Small-group discussions in class
  • Interactive lecture
  • In-class oral presentations (group facilitation)
  • Written assignments
  • Data collection
  • Peer collaboration on a research assignment
  • Students should have access to the Internet and to Joule and basic competency with Microsoft Excel.

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS:

Chapter Quizzes - 40%

Each learner is expected to read the material and complete the assigned chapter quizzes.  Learners will have a quiz each week starting with Week Two and ending with Week Six. The quiz will be taken individually and then with a group using the Readiness Assurance Process (http://www.teambasedlearning.org/).  The instructor can determine what percentage of the test score will be based on individual performance and what percentage will be based on the team performance.

Group Peer Evaluation - 10%

Learners will be divided into groups of approximately four learners to work on the research project.  Each member is expected to contribute equally to the work of the group.  Group members will submit a confidential evaluation of each member’s contribution to the work of the group at the end of the course.

Research Project - 50%

-The research project requires learners to identify the decision context for an assigned problem and begin to design a research proposal to gather the information needed to make a decision.  The project centers around the issue of increasing obesity in America with a focus on childhood obesity.  We will be addressing the problem of obesity in America from the perspective of a stakeholder group with a focus on children.  Take the perspective of a consumer group concerned about the health of the Nation’s children that is interested in working with local food stores to address the issues related to children’s consumption of sugary cereals.  Identify a problem and/or an opportunity. Then proceed through the research proposal process to the point of identifying a research or investigative question.

-One part of the project will include an observational study in which learners will go out into local grocery stores and record data for uncooked breakfast cereals and their vertical location on store shelves.  The underlying hypothesis is laid out in Week One’s description. All groups will make this observational study part of their research design; it is the only element all will have in common.  The output of this study will be an Excel database the class will be able to use in BUS-225.  Each group will survey at least two stores.  Make sure the stores are unique; we do not want duplicate data.

REQUIRED TEXT(S) OR MATERIALS: 

Cooper, Donald, and Schindler, Pamela, Business Research Methods, Eleventh Edition.  McGraw-Hill, 2011.  ISBN-13: 9781121413139

Syllabus and course material found on the Joule course site.

RECOMMENDED READINGS OR MATERIALS: 

To be assigned in class.

READINGS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE FIRST CLASS:

Read Chapters 1-3.