• Class Number 2463
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Patrick L'Espoir Decosta
    • Dr Patrick L'Espoir Decosta
  • 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

This course aims to introduce research students to a scientific approach to the study of management, marketing and international business issues. The focus is on equipping students with the fundamental knowledge and skills for undertaking both quantitative and qualitative research and to critically evaluate research conducted by others. The course is divided into four interrelated segments: problem formulation/conceptualisation, implementation, analysis, and publication and communication of research findings. Due emphasis will be given to the use of computers in data analysis. At the end of the course, students can expect to have acquired an appreciation of the research process both as a craft and as methodology.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the philosophical origins of the different methodological approaches used in management and organization.
  2. Identify management and organization problems and ensuing research needs through the critical analysis of extant knowledge.
  3. Recognize the role of scientific theory in relating and representing the management and organization world.
  4. Implement the scientific method when translating management and organization research needs into formal research questions and goals.
  5. Apply inquiry to investigate management and organization issues with the goal to expand theoretical knowledge in the field by using the scientific method.
  6. Differentiate between the various scientific explanations of management and organization phenomena.
  7. Critically evaluate the different research approaches and designs used in management and organization research.
  8. Develop a proposal that acknowledges the role of values and ethics in the unique kinds of theorizing in the areas of management and organization.

Research-Led Teaching

This first course in the MPhil/PhD/Honours program aims at training RSM HDR students in research knowledge and skills. It is a high intensity foundational course, which will accompany our HDRs throughout their respective research programs towards the completion of their thesis. The course seminar is reading-heavy and heavily discussion-oriented. In addition, we will include some guest lectures. This is because we strive to take an inclusive approach that introduces a variety of philosophical and methodological perspectives and research methods relevant to management students. Thus, where necessary, we invite guest lecturers with relevant subject expertise who will share with us their research approach. These guest lecturers consist primarily of a group of experienced scholars across campus but primarily from RSM. Lectures are based on the lecturers' research experiences abiding by the research-led teaching approach of the ANU. For this seminar to work (and for you to get the most out of it), it is imperative that you DO THE READINGS before class and are ready to participate FULLY in class discussions. We will be strict with readings as this course is primarily led by students.

Please note that the andragogy underpinning the teaching and learning in this PhD course is Socratic with questions and answers weaved with discussions made of arguments, counterarguments, critical analyses, syntheses and intellectual positions.

Field Trips

Not applicable

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional course costs for this course. 

Examination Material or equipment

Not applicable

Required Resources


There can be up to 6 assigned readings (journal articles or book chapters) per week. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with these readings before class and are ready to discuss them during class. All classes will begin with questions to one student with discussion and learning spinning from the initial answer. This is an important aspect of the Socratic approach to teaching.

Prescribed book: Principles and Methods of Social Research 4th edition) by William Crano, Marilynn Brewer, and Andrew Lac.

This is an authoritative and clearly written classic which provides comprehensive and in-depth background knowledge for many of the topics we will discuss in this class. While we do not cover every chapter in the book, you are expected to read the entire book on your own for your own research and thesis writing benefits. This text is an invaluable companion book that will help you think through many thorny and contemporary research design issues, challenges, and debates. We highly recommend that you get your own copy of the book

(ebook available in ANU Library).

While this book is written largely from a "quantitative" and positivist framework, additional resources on interpretive research can be found in the recommended resources section (see below). Additional resources covering various aspects of research will be provided throughout the semester.

Other readings will be announced throughout the course and made available on Wattle.

  1. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2018) 5th or 6th Ed Creswell and Creswell (available online)
  2. Social Research methods: Qualitative and Quantitative approaches by W. Lawrence Neuman (e-book available at ANU library)
  3. The philosophy of management research by Eric W.K. Tsang (extracts of book will be made available in class)
  4. Philsophy of social science - a contemporary introduction by Mark Risjord (extracts of book will be made available in class)
  5. Philosophy and management studies - a research overview by Mir, Raza; Greenwood, Michelle (available online at ANU library)

We may have other recommended readings that come from guest lecturers who have expertise on a specific topic. The readings will be announced and made available on Wattle.

Staff Feedback

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

  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments

Students are also encouraged to email the lecturer with their specific questions about the courses and assignments and/or make appointment during consultation time.

Students can expect response to their email within a reasonable time frame, i.e. within 24 hours.

This is an Honours AQF level 8 that requires students to "apply a body of knowledge in a specific context to undertake professional work and as a pathway for research and further learning" (https://www.aqf.edu.au/framework ). Students have been offered a seat in the program because they have shown capabilities for high performance, enthusiasm, and passion for research.

We expect students to be inquisitive, ethical, conscientious, intrinsically motivated, self-discipline, persistent and resilient, and to have excellent organisational and time-management skills.

No Draft assignments will be accepted.

Written comments will be provided on the assignments.

Important: Most updates and announcements for this course will be circulated via emails and through Wattle. Please ensure that your official ANU email address is checked regularly.

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.

Other Information

The course will be taught in Face-to-Face (F2F) seminar mode. All seminars will be recorded and recordings made available on ECHO360.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Why do we do research? A philosophical undertaking or banal endeavour? Readings on Wattle - Our assumptions of the world
2 Introduction to Philosophical Issues in Management Research: from ontology to methodology; and what about axiology? Readings on Wattle - Our explanation of the world
3 The "isms" legacy of philosophy and their application in management research Readings on Wattle - perspectives on the world
4 Theories, concepts and Frameworks Readings on Wattle - Reasoning; generalisations, testing and Theories in management
5 Research rationale: from the problems we want to solve to the questions we want to address Wattle readings - problems in our respective fields - Tasks 1 and 2 Due
6 Literature Review (Different Types and How to Do Them) Discussion in class on recorded videos on task 2 - problem and research questionWattle readings
7 Research Design (Choices, Alignments, and Consequences) Wattle readings
8 Contributions of Research (Why is My Research Question Important) Wattle readings
9 Survey Research - Quantitative methodology and methods & Experimental research Other readings to be announced by the guest lecturer (s)
10 Interpretative Research - Qualitative methodology and methods Wattle readings and readings announced by the guest lecturer(s)Task 3 - mini lit Review due
11 Referencing; The proposal, The thesis, The abstract, The executive summary, translating the research for the layman Other readings to be announced by the guest lecturer 
12 Student Presentation and Discussion 20 minutes presentation by each student followed by (5 mins) Q&A from lecturer
14 Individual Research Proposal (in exams period) Task 5 due Week 14

Tutorial Registration

Not applicable

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
A question of philosophy: a critical essay (20%) 20 % 21/03/2024 29/03/2024 1,2,4,5,6,7
From Problematisation to Research Question - Presentation (Video recording) (15%) 15 % 23/03/2024 31/03/2024 1,3,7
Mini lit review (40%) 30 % 10/05/2024 24/05/2024 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Oral Presentation of Research Proposal (10%) 10 % 22/05/2024 27/06/2024 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Research Proposal 25 % 03/06/2024 27/06/2024 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

* 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 in the form of discussions, debates, and written submissions is expected in all classes and assessments. Some guest lecturers may provide readings and tasks before their lectures. All candidates are expected to abide by the requirements. Writing part of assessments in class may occur as part of writing exercises time permitting.

Attendance at seminars, lectures, and tutorials, 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, lecture and tutorial, they should advise the Convenor and discuss how to otherwise address the learning materials.


There is no formal examination for this course

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 21/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 29/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5,6,7

A question of philosophy: a critical essay (20%)

Type of task: Individual

Short description: A critical reflection on the philosophical approach of the student to their research journey based on the knowledge provided from Week 1 to Week 5

Due date: 21.03.2024 (On Wattle through Turnitin)

Word limit: 1500 words (excluding list of references)

Content in excess of the word limit will neither be read nor marked

Referencing style: APA 7

Marking criteria: Rubrics for this task will be made available on Wattle before the due date

Return date with feedback: 30.04.2024

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 23/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 31/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,7

From Problematisation to Research Question - Presentation (Video recording) (15%)

Which problem are we interested in researching? How to problematise to ensure we ultimately have a Research Question? How to justify the need to research problem (problem rationalisation)? Identifying and rationalising a problem of interest and its related research question within the management and business domain is not only the first step in the research process but often the most important and consequential. The aim of the assignment is for students to demonstrate through a video recording competence in identifying a problem, theoretically and empirically support the need to research the problem, and defend the related research questions. 

The recording will be supported by a stack of PPT slides (not more than 12 slides).

The video recordings will be made available to the whole class on Wattle on 24.03.2024 to be discussed in the following seminar on 27.03.2024. In class, all students will be expected to comment and discuss the problems presented by their peers.

Each student will be asked to explain to others in the class their interest in, and choice of the problem, rationalise/justify its significance to management field and society, how they develop the research question to address the problem, and how respond to others' questions and challenges. The structure of the presentation should come out naturally to the students after the first five weeks of class. The lecturer will provide a sketch of the structure but students are encouraged to be creative in their presentations in as far as there is flow to the story of the problem they will tell the class.

Type: Individual (video recording)

Presentation length: 12 minutes (maximum) 

Mode of presentation: to be recorded through ZOOM or TEAMS preferably

Due date for submission: 23.03.2024

Submission: Through Wattle; to include the PPT slides (12 slides maximum)

Video recordings made available to class: 24.03.2024

Feedback: written and oral in class, before census date of 31.03.2024

The presentations will be assessed on clarity, persuasiveness, quality of arguments, flow and structure of the story of the probem being told.

In addition, students will also be assessed on their ability to understand and respond to peers' questions when discussing their problem.

Marking rubrics will be available on wattle.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 10/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 24/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Mini lit review (40%)

Due date: 10.05.2024 (Week 10)

Word count: Between 1500 and 2000 words. Material exceeding word limit will neither be read nor marked.

Referencing style: APA 7 ( Students will be expected to be totally conversant with this referencing style)

Form of submission: turnitin (wattle)

Feedback with marks: Two weeks after submission

The mini lit review task provides the student with the opportunity to demonstrate their their critical appraisal, analysis, synthesis and application of existing literature in their fields of interest. Each student will pick a topic (with consultation from the seminar coordinator) within the literature and conduct a mini lit review. Additional details will be provided during class. Marking rubric will be available on Wattle.There is no maximum number of articles for this assessment task. We will expect the student to be fully aware of, and research existing literature in their field of research.

AI USE: the use of AI such as ChatGPT to generate an essay or report is not allowed as it is akin to plagiarism. Students are required to demonstrate achievement of critical, analytical and synthesis skills in high quality works. This is particularly true in this task.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 22/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 27/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Oral Presentation of Research Proposal (10%)

Due time: Week 12 - schedule will be organised in class at least two weeks prior, with more assessment details distributed in the first class.

Return of feedback with marks: on release of final grades: 27.06.2024

Presentation length: 20 minutes including 5 minutes Q&A (maximum of 12 slides)

Mode of presentation: Face to face; in class

The presentations will be assessed on clarity, persuasiveness and quality of arguments. The presentation should broadly have the same structure as the proposal: background/introduction, theoretical framework and hypotheses and design/methodology. Marking rubric will be available on Wattle.

Please note that for quality assurance purpose this presentation will be recorded.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 03/06/2024
Return of Assessment: 27/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Research Proposal

Individual Assessment

Due Date: 03.06.2024

Form of submission: Turnitin

Return of feedback with marks: After release of final grades

Word count: Between 1500 and 2000 words. Material exceeding word limit will neither be read nor marked.

List of references and appendix should not be included in the word count.

Research Proposal

The aim of the research proposal is for the student to demonstrate the application of their learning by proposing to research a problem of significance in their domain and to society at large by following the scientific approach to research. The proposal should include a framework or model that the student proposes to use and/ test in their research thesis. The topic of the proposal is to be discussed by the student with the course coordinator and their Honours research thesis supervisor.

The research proposal should include the following components:

  1. Title page
  2. Introduction- background and rationale to the research, research question
  3. Literature review and theoretical framework (hypotheses for quantitative approach)
  4. Research Design & Methodology (including methods of data collection and methods of analysis if known)
  5. Time line for research (assuming 18 months from data collection to finalisation of results)
  6. Reference list

Criteria for assessing the Introduction     

-          Clear statement of the research problem and research questions

-          Justification of the research (rationale) and its significance

Criteria for assessing the theoretical framework and hypotheses (Quantitative)

-        Clear statement of theoretical framework and hypotheses

-        Use of appropriate theories or make logical arguments in formulating hypotheses

Criteria for assessing the Research Problem and Research Question (Qualitative)

  • Clear rationale to the problem (theoretical and empirical)
  • Clear theoretical underpinning
  • Clearly articulated research question(s)

Criteria for assessing research design & methodology

-          Suitability: Is the research design appropriate to get the answers to the research questions and/or test the hypotheses? Appropriate variance control?

-          Validity: Internal validity, construct validity, and external validity? (Quantitative)

- Trustworthiness of qualitative research

Criteria for assessing the Structure

-         Professional formatting (including reference list - APA style or AMJ style), flow and layout

-         Appropriate structure, in-text citations, grammar and word limit

Marking rubric will be available on Wattle at least two weeks before report due date.

Requirements for Written Assignments

1.    APA style (7th edition, 2019) should be followed in using references. More information is available at:


2.    Formatting requirements:

·       You must correctly reference all information that you have used in preparing your submission.

·       Presentation: use font size 12 (Times New Roman), 2 line spacing, and number the pages

AI USE: the use of AI such as ChatGPT to generate an essay or report is not allowed as it is akin to plagiarism. Students are required to demonstrate achievement of critical, analytical and synthesis skills in high quality works.

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

Work should be submitted in WORD file (no PDFs). They should be submitted through turnitin on the Course Wattle site AND SHOULD NOT BE SENT TO THE LECTURER'S EMAIL.

All students are required to keep a copy of their own assignments.

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 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

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

All assignments will be marked and where appropriate feedback will be provided either:

·       in class, or

·       in person by appointment with the course lecturer, or

·       via the course Wattle site.

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

Unless specified otherwise in the assignment requirements, resubmissions are permitted up until the due date and time, but not allowed afterwards

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).
Dr Patrick L'Espoir Decosta
02 6125 3030

Research Interests

Tourism, Indigenous Tourism, Tourism and Destination marketing, Country of Origin, Evidence-based education, Grounded Theory

Dr Patrick L'Espoir Decosta

Thursday 10:00 11:00
Thursday 10:00 11:00
By Appointment
Dr Patrick L'Espoir Decosta

Research Interests

Dr Patrick L'Espoir Decosta

Thursday 10:00 11:00
Thursday 10:00 11:00
By Appointment

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