• Class Number 3010
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Sarbari Bordia
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

How do we research and how can we tell the difference between good and bad research? This is not an abstract question for those who intend to do postgraduate research. This course covers how to develop a good research topic, how to design successful projects and the practical skills to conduct qualitative field work. Issues of design and discovery are relevant to many students, but practical focus relates to the qualitative research tradition. This course is focused on the needs of business students but is also relevant to other areas of social science. The central activity to all of this is to develop a reflective understanding of the rules and expectation for good research in each disciplinary area. Therefore the reflective process is the core element of this course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Identify the need for a qualitative study through theoretical and empirical critical analysis of the literature
  2. Translate the problem into a set of clearly defined research questions for a full qualitative study
  3. Determine the appropriate qualitative or mixed methodology to acquire evidence relevant to the research questions
  4. Acquire a body of evidence using appropriate research methods
  5. Critically analyse the gathered evidence using appropriate method of analysis
  6. Synthesise findings from the pilot study to inform relevant academic literature and professional practice
  7. Produce structured written and oral proposals of the proposed full study including the findings from the pilot study

Research-Led Teaching

This course exposes students to a variety of qualitative research methodologies and methods commonly used in a variety of business and management research contexts. Students will develop skills in evaluating how methodological issues are addressed in published research and how to prepare research projects of their own. 

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

There is no examination for this course

Required Resources

No required resources

There is no textbook for the course but a reading list is presented towards the end of this Outline. Please familiarize yourselves with these resources prior to the face to face workshop. Additional readings may be uploaded on wattle.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to qualitative research and theory building from qualitative research Please note that all classes are on Saturdays from 10am-5pm with a lunch break from 1-2pm. It is expected that all students will attend and participate in class discussions.
2 Grounded theory and ethnography
3 Qualitative action, research qualitative case study and mix methodology
4 Skills required in qualitative research: Interviewing, observations, document and textual analysis,analyzing and interpreting data, analytical software and writing up qualitative research Analysis of qualitative research, 20%
5 Theory to practice: Pilot data collection, no class
6 Proposal presentation and summary of course In-class presentation 10%, submission of presentation slides and notes 20%

Tutorial Registration

Not relevant

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Literature review 20% 20 % 21/03/2020 28/03/2020 1,4
Presentation of proposal 30%. 30 % 04/04/2020 18/04/2020 3,4,5,6,7
Research report 50% 50 % 01/05/2020 02/07/2020 2,3,4,5,6,7

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation is expected in all classes and assessment


There are no examinations for this course

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 21/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 28/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,4

Literature review 20%

Word Count: 1500

Turnitin submission.

Assignment due by Saturday week 4, 11pm

Select at least three interesting, recent articles in a research area of interest to you that utilises qualitative methodology. Your assignment involves providing a summary and critical analysis of how each of your chosen papers addresses the line of enquiry on which you are focusing. Identify a gap or problem which would provide a motivation for a new research project.

Write a 1,500 word review (excluding references). Identify the following for each article:

(1) Research problem or issue under investigation

(2) Description and review of methodology

(3) Data gathering and methods of analysis and

(4) How the given article advanced knowledge of the field either by creating a new theory or extending an existing one

(5) Highlight a research gap or issue in this work which could be the basis of a qualitative study.

1. Literature review


  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Poor
  • Very Poor


Content (3 marks each) /15

  •  Appropriate selection of papers
  •  Identification of a research gap or problem
  •  Description and review of methodology and analysis
  •  Description of theory creation/extension
  •  Identification of potential future research directions for qualitative research

Format /5

  •  How well your assignment was edited (1.5 marks)
  • To what extent you brought a critical perspective to your arguments and evidence to support them (2 marks)
  • Your ability to reference appropriately (1.5 marks)

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 04/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 18/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5,6,7

Presentation of proposal 30%.

Due: Saturday Week 6

You will be required to present in class on Saturday week 6. Please provide the assessor with a hard copy of your presentation slides on the day. Also, submit a soft copy of your slides by 11 pm on Saturday week 6 via Turnitin.

Choose a qualitative research methodology (e.g., ethnography, grounded theory, case study, etc.) and develop a research project in your area of research.

The oral presentation of the proposal should include the following sections:

  • Rationale for research on the topic and research questions.
  • Rationale for methodology.
  • Details of methodology (e.g., organizational context, cultural/national context, participants, data collection, data storage/transcription, time frame related to data collection).
  • Pilot data description and analysis.
  • Pilot findings, discussion and implications for theory and practice.


Present a 20 min presentation in class aided with power point presentations (20-25 slides) followed by 5-10 min of Q & A.

Slides and associate notes in slides should be submitted via wattle. Notes should not exceed 500 words.

Oral Presentation 10% for presentation and 20% for slides


  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Poor
  • Very Poor


Content (8)

  • Understanding of and rationale for methodological choice (2)
  • Research on methodology (1)
  • Rationale and literature review on research topic (1)
  • Detail of methodology (2)
  • Pilot data and analysis (1)
  • Implications of pilot findings (1)

Presentation (2)

  • Clear voice
  • Eye contact
  • Audience engagement
  • Timely presentation

Slide content (14)

  • Clearly defined literature review (2)
  • Clearly stated study aims (2)
  • Rationale for methodological choice (3)
  • Details of methodology (3)
  • Evidence of findings (e.g., quotes) (2)
  • Quality of discussion of findings and implications (2)

Slide format (6)

  • Easy to read (2)
  • Logical sequencing of information (2)
  • Editing (1)
  • Number of slides (1)

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 01/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5,6,7

Research report 50%

Due: Friday Week 8 COB

Word count: 2000-3000

Form of submission: via Turnitin

The research questions and methodology in this assignment should be similar to that in Assignment 2. In this assignment write a 2000-3000 word report on your research. The report should include the following:

  • A literature review
  • Research questions
  • Pilot study methodology
  • Pilot study analysis of data
  • Pilot study results
  • Contributions of the research
  • Limitations and future research directions.


Content (5 marks each) total: 30 marks

  • Rationale for research on the topic and research questions
  • Rational for methodology
  • Details of methodology(including appendices for research tools)
  • Details of data analysis techniques
  • Details of results
  • Contributions, limitations and future research directions


  • Report has all the sections suggested and each section consists of information relevant to that section (10 marks)
  • Critical writing skills in literature review and rationales (5 marks)
  • Use of relevant literature for content and methodology (5 marks)

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

All requests for extensions to assessment in RSM courses must be submitted to the RSM School Office with a completed application form and supporting documentation. The RSM Extension Application Form and further information on this process can be found at https://www.rsm.anu.edu.au/education/education-programs/notices-for-students/extension-application-procedure/

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Please refer to assessment task details

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

You are allowed to resubmit your assignments before the specific deadlines. Any submission done after the deadline will be considered as a late submission and the above listed penalty conditions will apply

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
AsPr Sarbari Bordia

Research Interests

My research interest is at the intersection of linguistics and corporate communication. I study the role of linguistic identity in international business and migrant workplace contexts. I also conduct research on the internationalization of management education. My research has been published in journals such as Journal of International Business Studies, Human Relations, Journal of Management, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Business and Psychology, and Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. I am the co-editor of the Journal of International Education in Business (JIEB).

AsPr Sarbari Bordia

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions