• Class Number 2464
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Sarbari Bordia
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
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 is an Honours course that 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. All learning material used in this course will be sourced from reputable journals and other published sources. The lecturer and other guest researchers will discuss their experiences in conducting qualitative research. Students will be given the opportunity to discuss their research journey.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

There is no examination in this course

Required Resources


There is no textbook for the course but a reading list is presented below.

Please familiarize yourselves with these resources prior to the face to face classes. Additional readings may be uploaded on wattle. The lecturer will alert you to these resources ahead of class.

Journal papers:

Baskerville, R. L., & Wood-Harper, A. T. 1996. A critical perspective on action research as a method of information systems research. Journal of Information Technology, vol.11, 235-246.

Modell, S. 2009. In defence of triangulation: A critical reflective approach to mixed methods in management accounting. Management Accounting, vol. 20, 208-221.

O’Reilly, K., Paper, D., & Marx, S. 2012. Demystifying Grounded Theory for Business Research. Organizational Research Methods, vol. 15 no. 2, 247-262.

Piekkari, R., Welch, C., & Paavilainen, E. 2009. The Case Study as Disciplinary Convention: Evidence from International Business Journals. Organizational Research Methods, vol. 12 no. 3, 567-589.

Pratt, M. G. 2008. Fitting Oval Pegs into Round Holes: Tensions in Evaluating and Publishing Qualitative Research in Top-Tier North American Journals. Organizational Research Methods, vol. 11 no. 3, 481-509.

Zickar, M. J. & Carter, N. T. 2010. Reconnecting With the Spirit of Workplace Ethnography: A Historical Review. Organizational Research Methods, vol. 13 no. 2, 304-319.

Book chapters:

Creswell, J. W. 2006. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Chapters: 1, 2, 6, 7, & 8.

Silverman. D. 2011. Qualitative Research. Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Chapters: 1, 5, 8, 10, 15, & 21. 

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to qualitative research It is expected that all students will attend face to face and participate in class.
2 Theory building from qualitative research
3 Grounded theory
4 Ethnography Literature review 20%
5 Qualitative action research
6 Qualitative case studies
7 Mixed methodology
8 Textual and pictorial analyses Proposal presentation 1: 5 minute presentation of theoretical perspective, research questions and methodology of choice in class. 10%
9 Skills required in qualitative research
10 Theory to practice 1: Pilot data collection, no class
11 Theory to practice 2: Experiences of qualitative researchers
12 Proposal presentation, summary of course Proposal presentation 2: 10 minute presentation of pilot data methodology, preliminary analysis and any changes to research methodology in class. 20%

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Literature review 20% 20 % 15/03/2024 29/03/2024 1, 4<br>
Proposal presentation 1, 10% 10 % 26/04/2024 10/05/2024 2, 3, 7<br>
Proposal presentation 2, 20% 20 % 24/05/2024 07/06/2024 4, 5. 6, 7<br>
Research report, 50% 50 % 31/05/2024 27/06/2024 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Attendance at seminars, while not compulsory, is expected in line with "Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning," Clause 2 paragraph (b). Where students will not be able to attend a seminar they should advise the Convenor and discuss how to address the learning materials instead.


No examinations.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 15/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 29/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4<br>

Literature review 20%

Word Count: 1500

Turnitin submission.

Assignment due by Friday 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.

Please note that content above the word limit (i.e., at the end of the assignment) will not be assessed.

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.

Literature review Scale:

• 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: 10 %
Due Date: 26/04/2024
Return of Assessment: 10/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 7<br>

Proposal presentation 1, 10%

You will be required to present in class week 8. Please submit a soft copy of your slides by 11 pm on Friday week 8 via Turnitin. Please note that this presentation will be recorded.

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)

Present for 5 mins. in class with the aid of power point presentation (5 slides maximum).

Slides and associate notes in slides should be submitted via wattle. Notes should not exceed 200 words.

Oral Presentation Scale:

• Excellent

• Good

• Satisfactory

• Poor

• Very Poor


Content (6):

• Rationale and literature review including research questions (1)

• Understanding of and rationale for methodological choice (2)

• Research on methodology (1)

• Detail of methodology (2)

Presentation (2)

• Clear voice

• Eye contact

• Audience engagement

• Timely presentation

Slide format (2)

• Easy to read

• Logical sequencing of information

• Editing

• Number of slides

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 24/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 07/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 4, 5. 6, 7<br>

Proposal presentation 2, 20%

This is a continuation of proposal presentation 1. Hence, you literature review and research questions should remain the same as in proposal presentation 1.

You will be expected to present in class in week 12 and submit the slides by 11 pm on Friday of week 12 via turnitin. Please note that the presentations will be recorded.

The oral presentation should include the following:

A quick recap of the research question and methodological choice.

Pilot data description and analysis.

Pilot findings, discussion and implications for theory and practice.

Any challenges encountered in pilot data collection.

Any changes needed for full data collection.

Present for 15 mins. in class with the aid of power point presentation (15 slides maximum).

Slides and associate notes in slides should be submitted via wattle. Notes should not exceed 300 words.

Oral Presentation Scale:

• Excellent

• Good

• Satisfactory

• Poor

• Very Poor


Content (10)

• Recap of research questions and literature review (2)

• Pilot data and analysis (4)

• Implications of pilot findings (4)

Presentation (2)

• Clear voice

• Eye contact

• Audience engagement

• Timely presentation

Slide content (6)

• Quality of recap of research questions and literature review

• Evidence of findings (e.g., quotes)

• Quality of discussion of findings and implications

Slide format (2)

• Easy to read

• Logical sequencing of information

• Editing

• Number of slides

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 31/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 27/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Research report, 50%

Due: Friday 31st May, 2024.

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 and 3 (i.e., your presentations). It is too late to change topics of research or methodology. However, if you have faced significant challenges in collecting data, please consult with me and we can resolve this consensually.

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 findings

• Contributions of the research

• Limitations and future research directions.

Please note that content over the word limit (i.e., at the end of the assignment) will not be assessed.


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 findings

• Contributions, limitations and future research directions

Format (20):

• 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 the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. 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 through the CBE extension request portal: CBE Assessment Extension Request Form. Further information on this process can be found at https://rsm.anu.edu.au/study/students/extension-application-procedure

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Soft copy of rubric including marks allocated against rubric as well as comments will be emailed to students.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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

This course does not allow resubmission of assignments.

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).

Prof 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.

Prof Sarbari Bordia

Tuesday 12:00 13:00
Sunday 12:00 13:00

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