Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module BUSI42K15: Methods of Organisational Inquiry (15 credits)

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI42K15: Methods of Organisational Inquiry (15 credits)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1KB07
Tied to N1KC07
Tied to N1KG07
Tied to N2K107
Tied to N1DL07
Tied to N1DE07
Tied to N1DB07
Tied to N1KN07
Tied to N1KR07
Tied to N1KS07


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Give students an in-depth understanding of key principles of research design and strategy in leadership and management, including the process of formulating researchable problems.
  • Enable students to understand the significance of alternative epistemological positions that provide the context for theory construction, research design, and the selection of appropriate analytical techniques in leadership and management research.
  • Develop students' competency in understanding and applying a range of research methods, and their transferable skills and capabilities for managing research, handling data, conducting and disseminating research through professional and ethical practice.


  • The content of this module is set within a specialist organisational environment perspective and includes the following areas:
  • Undertaking research in leadership and/or management;
  • Making use of library facilities, databases and other learning resources;
  • Planning a research project;
  • The major project research process;
  • Application of advanced principles, concepts and methods to select a topic;
  • An awareness of alternative research approaches: Inductive or Deductive; Qualititative and Quantitative; Using tools for quantitative analysis; Case studies and text analysis;
  • Selection of the appropriate research approach to match the chosen topic;
  • Managing and researching knowledge inside organisations;
  • The impact of public sector policy.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Have an advanced understanding and awareness of the nature and scope of research in a specialised organisational environment;
  • Have a critical appreciation of the organisation, structure and management of a complex research project;
  • Have advanced familiarity with the specialist facilities available for conducting literature searches and obtaining relevant data to facilitate empirical investigation;
  • Have an advanced knowledge and critical appreciation of traditional and emergent organisational issues in relation to the nature of the specialist route of their qualification.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Have further developed advanced skills of inquiry, research design, data collection and information retrieval, measurement and analysis, interpretation and presentation;
  • Be able to produce a literature review in the area of a specialised organisational environment appropriate to a masters level programme.
Key Skills:
  • Written communication; self-discipline and time management; problem solving and analysis.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures and guided reading addressing key topics in research.
  • The assessment of the module, by written assignment, is designed to:
  • Test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge relating to research methodologies, and the development and articulation of research design;
  • Test conceptual understanding and skills of application and interpretation on research methodologies within a specialised organisational environment.
  • The group work carried out within the lectures and in the group tutorials is designed to enhance the capacity to be effective within a team environment and to value individuals' contributions in group processes.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 2 days Part Residential 16 hours 16
Group Tutorials 2 days (8 hours) 1 per month 16 hours 16
Individual Tutorials 1 1 per month 6 hours 6
Preparation and Reading 112
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment on Research Methods 3,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Feedback will be given on the method for developing an area for detailed investigation.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University