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Main Campus · Richards College of Business · Marketing/Real Estate

Business Research

  • Fall 2020
  • Section 02
  • 3 Credits
  • 08/12/2020 to 12/05/2020
  • Modified 10/03/2020


This course is designed to meet the rapidly growing need for a systematic approach to the business research process, and its implementation in terms of strategic decision making. Both primary and secondary sources of information are considered along with research design, measurement, sampling, data collection, processing, analyses, and interpretation.


CISM 2201 and (ECON 3402 or MATH 2063 ) and Richards Col Upper Division RCUD

Contact Information

Phone: 678-839-5078

Email: [email protected]  <==  All assignments are to be submitted to this address.

Communication Preference: Please contact me using your UWG email address.

All my communications from me will be sent to your UWG email.

Please check your UWG email early and often.

Professor: Beheruz N. Sethna

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Office: 2310 Miller Hall
  • Phone: 678-839-5078
  • Website:

Office Hours

  • Miller Hall 2310

Mondays and Wednesdays 1:15 - 5:15 p.m.*

Tuesdays: 1 - 2:15 p.m.

Additionally, upon request, I will try to meet at a mutually convenient time if warranted.


* Abbreviated hours on August 12, September 9, and October 19, 2020 (since I will be in class from 2 to 3:15 pm for Section 01D sessions)

Office hours will be virtual this semester, unless a student specifically asks in advance to meet in person. If we do meet in person, masks will be required.

Meeting Times

Class Sessions

  • Room 2328, Miller Hall

MKTG 3808-01 (Business Research): Monday and Wednesday, 9:30-10:50 a.m., Room 2328, Miller Hall

MKTG 3808-02 (Business Research): Monday and Wednesday, 11:00-12:20 p.m., Room 2328, Miller Hall

MKTG 3808-01D (Business Research): Monday and Wednesday, 2:00-3:15 p.m., Room 2328, Miller Hall (three class sessions marked in blue) and Online for the remaining sessions (~90%).


Basic Marketing Research

  • Author: Tom J. Brown, Tracy A. Suter, Gilbert Churchill
  • Publisher: Cengage
  • Edition: 9th
  • ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-337-10029-8
  • Optional
  • Availability: UWG Bookstore

The use of the text book and the need to purchase it will be up to each student. I am not requiring the purchase of a book if the student is prepared to locate and read available material on the Internet to supplement my PowerPoint presentations. In order to save on students’ costs, I have created my own PowerPoint presentations, which while they are very detailed, cannot possibly completely substitute all the material in a 200-300 page text book. If you do decide to buy the above recommended text, I am very sensitive to the costs of text books, so you can have considerable flexibility (within reason) with regard to which edition you buy so as to save money.

Other readings, help aids, and help videos are posted on CourseDen

These are accessible at no cost to the student.

Important Note:

Videos have been posted on CourseDen to convey class material in Modules 1-4 (the icon looks like a little globe). These videos may be played simply by clicking on them. In addition to each video, there is a non-video version -- a PowerPoint file (Without Narration), which has been included if you simply wish to view, download, or print the file (this icon looks like a screen). So, please make sure that you are accessing the correct file.

Additionally, there are several Teaching Note Videos in Module 5 that cover statistical material such as Hypothesis Tests and Confidence Intervals. These are PowerPoint files which need to be downloaded first before you play them.  There is also an entire major tab on SPSS HELP VIDEOS -- these videos also need to be downloaded before you play them.

In all of these videos, you can play them, pause them to take a break or to take notes, rewind them, etc.

If you have any difficulty, please contact me via email ([email protected]) or in person during office hours. I am ready, willing, able, and eager to help you!


Learning Goals

We will build on the following learning goals throughout the semester.  By the end of the course, the student will:

Upon successfully completing the course, the student should:

  1. Have knowledge of the key terms and concepts in the business research (LG 2)
  2. Be able to analyze business situations, and apply basic quantitative skills to solving business problems and developing effective (LG 2)
  3. Recognize how diversity, ethical, global, and multicultural considerations affect the business research process and decision-making. (LG 5)
  4. Have knowledge about a variety of secondary sources of information including online data banks, the Internet and the Web, and be able to collect and analyze relevant information from these sources (LG 3).
  5. Have knowledge about primary research, including research design, sampling procedures, measurement issues, development of a data collection instrument, and data collection, processing, analyses and (LG 2)
  6. Be able to use statistical tools to analyze and interpret the results (LG 3)
  7. Be able to effectively communicate the results of a research project. (LG 1)





Test 1 15%
Test 2 15%
Class Engagement and Participation 10% (to 50%*)
Interim Project Reports 10%
Group Project 40%
Project Contributions – Peer / Instructor Evaluations 10%

Grades will be assigned as follows (the instructor reserves the right to adjust the cutoff lines):

A:             90-100%

B:             80-89%

C:             70-79%

D:             60-69%

F:              59% or below



Important Notes:

Project Assignments

Research Project:  Each project team will have a research project that you will work on throughout the semester.  This applied research project, arguably, is the most important part of the course (see the Grading Plan later in this document).  It is designed to give you invaluable experience for your future careers and potentially provide an excellent demonstration of your capabilities for future job and/or graduate school interviews.  A very detailed handout is provided on CourseDen (under the Research Projects Handouts tab) entitled “Format for Final Research Project Report With Explanations of the Analysis Section.”  I don’t believe in surprises or “gotchas” so I have taken the time to tell you exactly what I expect.  Seriously, would it be wise to ignore such a document?  It might be a good idea for you to read this very thoroughly multiple times, and when we start on the Analysis, to make multiple copies to paste all over your computer, your refrigerator, your apartment walls, etc.  Use it early and often!

Important: It is my hope that you do a very good research project; one which can be used to show off your prowess at an interview for a job or for admission to graduate school, or which potentially may be used to apply to present at a national conference.  All of this would be outside the realm of the course, and would have no grade associated with it, but I will help you through it even after the course has ended.  The data collected may potentially be used to write research papers as well.  You are at liberty to do so, and I will help you if you ask.  If I believe that it has merit in the same vein, I will contact you – please leave me your permanent e-mail address – and ask if you are willing to work on such a joint paper.  If you decline to do joint work or cannot be contacted, and if I am able use the data for further work, I will proceed and credit this group with the data collection.  I also reserve the right to use the data collected during the course as examples, illustrations, or databases for other classes, courses, seminars, or programs that I teach.  Please let me know in writing by the last class of this course if you disagree with my doing so.

Contributions to the Project as assessed Peer / Instructor Evaluations are something that I take very seriously. The ability to contribute to, and interact with, your project team is a skill that is essential in corporate America.

Each person within the team will evaluate themselves and the other team members on contribution to the class project team assignments. The evaluation form is already on CourseDen.

The grade on this dimension will start from a base whose percentage is equal to that of your overall project grade and then be adjusted to reflect your individual contribution to the project.

This means that the average grade for a group on Contributions to the Project grade (expressed as a percentage) will be = the average grade on the Project (expressed as a percentage).

The Contributions to the Project grade is not a freebie for a group to artificially increase a grade.  In other words, if a group (hypothetical, of course) did a very poor job on their Project (which, along with the assignments is worth 50 points), then they cannot give themselves 10s and expect that the Contributions to the Project grade will be 10 for all members.

Rather, the following two examples may help clarify the methodology used:

Example 1: If a group of three members earned an 80% grade on the Project (which, along with the assignments is worth 50 points), and all of them did equal work, then they would each get 8 points on Contributions to the Project grade which is worth 10 points (i.e. 8/10 = 80%).

Example 2: If a group of three members earned an 80% grade on the Project (50 points), and one of them did far more work than the other two, then that first person might get 10 out of 10 for the Contributions to the Project grade and the other two would each get 7 points on Contributions to the Project (the average of those grades, 10, 7, and 7 is = 8 / 10 or 80%).

Note: The instructor reserves the right to modify the above computations based on his personal assessment of contributions to the project over the course of the semester.

Assignments Due: All assignments are due on the date listed in the Course Schedule, unless otherwise stated by the instructor. All assignments are to be submitted as attachments to my UWG e-mail address: [email protected]. The entire group should be copied on the e-mail, and the name of your project and assignment should be in the Subject field and the file name.

* Your Class Participation grade consists of:

  • Class Participation (actively engaged in discussions)
  • Professionalism (being attentive to all communications, prepared, respectful of others’ needs and health, and not being disruptive)
    • Note the following item on the wearing of masks. Refusal to wear a mask in class will be considered as being disruptive behavior and hazardous to the health of others, and will result in an automatic zero on each 10% class participation grade -- which means a loss of one letter grade. However, if this disruptive behavior continues, each subsequent refusal will result in additional losses of 10 percent from the total.
Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area. Refusal to comply with the requirement may result in discipline through the applicable conduct code for faculty, staff, or students. According to the Student Code of Conduct (4.04), Disorderly Conduct includes, “Failure to comply with the request of a University officer acting within the scope of his or her responsibility.”
See Sections 3.0 - disruptive behavior and 4.0 - disorderly conduct. Section 3.02 includes the phrase, "instructors may also include in their syllabus specific behaviors they consider to be inappropriate for a particular course."


Please see the Course Schedule below for the Assignments and the Due Dates.

All assignments are due at 1 p.m. on the Due Date.




August 12, 2020

Introduction to Course and Module 1: Introduction to Business / Marketing Research & Ethics

August 17, 2020

Ethics Case (Washing Dirty Laundry)

August 19, 2020

Module 2: Three Types of Research Designs

August 24, 2020

Module 3: Scales and Questionnaire Design (Project Description Due)

August 26, 2020

Module 4: Sources and Types of Data  

August 31, 2020

Module 4: Sources and Types of Data (Continued) (Draft Questionnaire Due)

September 2, 2020

Prep for Exam #1 (Final Questionnaire / Instrument Due; Start Collecting Data

September 7,2020

Labor Day- No Classes

September 9, 2020


September 14, 2020

Module 5:  Statistics (Review)

September 16, 2020

Hypothesis Testing

September 21, 2020

Hypothesis Testing

September 23, 2020

Hypothesis Testing

September 28, 2020

Hypothesis Testing

September 30, 2020

Confidence Intervals

October 5, 2020

Bivariate Statistical Analysis / Measures of Association (Confirm that Data Collection is complete, and start coding data)

October 7, 2020

Multivariate Statistical Analysis

October 12, 2020

Complete Coding of Data

October 14, 2020

Prep for Exam #2

October 19, 2020


October 21, 2020

Create SPSS Data File. View the first three SPSS Help Videos and Create Data File – Submit .sav file to Dr. Sethna via e-mail       

October 26, 2020

SPSS & Data Analysis

October 28, 2020

SPSS & Data Analysis & Draft Reports (Draft of Descriptive Statistics should be complete)

November 2, 2020

SPSS & Data Analysis & Draft Reports (Draft of Univariate Statistical Analysis complete)

November 4, 2020

SPSS & Data Analysis & Draft Reports (Draft of Bivariate Statistical Analysis complete)

November 9, 2020

SPSS & Data Analysis & Draft Reports (Draft of Bivariate Statistical Analysis complete)

November 11, 2020

SPSS & Data Analysis & Draft Reports (Draft of Multivariate Statistical Analysis complete)

November 16, 2020

Draft of Overall Report Due (Graded)

November 18, 2020

Final Presentation

November 23, 2020

Revise Draft based on Feedback (Note that this is Thanksgiving Week, but November 23 & 25 are considered to be remote instruction days)

November 25, 2020

Revise Draft based on Feedback (Note that this is Thanksgiving Week, but November 23 & 25 are considered to be remote instruction days)

December 2, 2020 (per Scoop): 11 a.m.

Final Report Due

* Note: This semester, due to the uncertainty we all face due to the pandemic, this schedule must be regarded as being tentative. We must remain flexible should circumstances warrant a change.


Course Policies and Resources

Course Policies

Engagement Policy: You are expected to be totally engaged with this course – including class work and team work. It is a very rigorous course. Check your e-mail multiple times a day.

The online test on Statistics requires you to take it on line at a specific date and time. Please mark that on your calendar now, and avoid all conflicts with that time.


The official University communication method is through campus e-mail (MyUWG) – this is particularly important at times of emergencies, and at other times as well.  Class communications (including the submission of assignments) will be over e-mail. Please check e-mail very frequently each day, and use my University of West Georgia address to reach me: [email protected].


My Teaching Philosophy:

This section is a very important one. Please read it carefully and ask me questions if you are confused.

The bottom line (here it is, perhaps paradoxically, at the very top!) is: How can I be of maximal service to you in helping you succeed in this course and beyond?

Please refer to the course objectives listed on the previous page. This course, as is true for many university courses at this level, has multiple objectives. In 1956, a committee of educators chaired by Benjamin Bloom, developed a classification system of learning objectives, which later became known as Bloom’s Taxonomy. That system was later modified by Lorin Anderson. Presented below is the sense of that taxonomy, arranged in increasing order of complexity.

“Knowledge (Remembering): Recalling data, information, terms, terminology.

Comprehension (Understanding): Understanding the meaning of the above, and stating a problem in your own words.

Application (Applying): Using what was learned above in new and different situations.

Analysis (Analyzing): Analyzing material or data to determine relationships or lack thereof.

Evaluation (Evaluating): Making judgments about what the analysis reveals.

Synthesis (Creating): Putting the components parts together to create a new understanding of a situation.”

The first component and, to a large extent, the second one, can and will be learned from the text book. These are not unimportant. When you write a letter applying for a job, or go for a job interview, or write your first report for your boss, you must know the terminology appropriate to the field. You cannot, for example, hope to get anywhere if you don’t know the difference between a population and a sample, or if you use one term when you should have used another.

So, tests will cover such material. However, the instructor can be of little help here. It will not be the best use of your time or mine for me to use a class session to read from PowerPoint slides describing these terms, when you know how to read the text book or slides yourself. So, I will expect you to read the material on your own (you will be tested on it). If you have questions or cannot understand something, I am at your service to help you understand it; however, having got an F in mind-reading when I was in graduate school, these conversations will, of necessity, be at your initiative.

So, I can be of most service to you in helping you with the next four stages of the modified Bloom’s Taxonomy shown above. Thus, I will spend class time (and private time, if you request it) largely on helping you with the Analysis and the Evaluation part of the objectives shown above. These two will help you succeed in this course and after the course, even after you graduate.

What can you expect from me?

Engagement and Commitment of time and effort: I have high standards, but want to help you reach those standards. There is a high bar you have to reach, but my shoulders are available for you to stand on to reach that bar. If I need to get down on my hands and knees to help you reach a bar, I shall do so.

Hard work: I will work very hard to help you succeed.

Help, if you need it and ask for it: In this course, there is no such thing as a dumb question. Ask; please ask. Ask me in class, ask me over e-mail, and ask me in person.

Correspondingly, what do I expect from you?

Engagement and Commitment of time and effort: None of the above will work if you are not totally engaged and committed to your own success. Period. You have to want to climb and work to climb to reach the high bar. When I visited Yellowstone National Park more than 40 years ago, there was a sign at the entrance that said (words to this effect – not an exact quote): “It takes time to enjoy this park. If you don’t have the time, we suggest you return when you do.” I ask you to follow the same approach. This course takes a lot of time. If you don’t have the time and the commitment, come back when you do.

Hard work: Expect to work really hard in this course. If I (past my 72nd birthday) can work really, really hard for your success, I will certainly expect that you, who are somewhat younger, will work really, really hard for your own success. Expect to put in several hours of work each week outside of class time.  This course will include much work in statistics. I will work hard to help you with that. But, you must resolve to do the same. If you have had the prerequisites but are less comfortable with statistics, that means that you will need to work even harder (with my assistance) to overcome that limitation.

Ask questions, and ask for help: Ask for help during class, during office hours, and over e-mail. Although I am in my 45th year of teaching at the university level, I must have missed the class session where they taught us how to read minds, so I still don’t know how to read your mind and know that you don’t understand the third paragraph on Page 203 of the text book. I really want to help you but cannot do so if you don’t help yourself and you don’t ask for help.


What not to do in this course:

If you need help, I am there for you. If you don’t understand something, please ask. I do expect that you will make a sincere effort, but once you have done so, I will bend over backwards to help you understand material relevant to the course. However, the following actions will lead to serious grade penalties:

  1. Action: Cheating on tests or fabricating data. Penalty: Automatic F for the entire course. Rationale: If you cheat, you simply cannot be trusted, which is a terrible reputation to have in the corporate world. Also, you are hurting other, honest, students.
  2. Action: Not pulling your weight on the group project, which is worth about 50% of the grade. Penalty: I will significantly reduce your points and give them to the people who work hard on the project. This often results in the loss of a letter grade for the slacker. Rationale: When you get into the world of work, you do not want to get a reputation of being a slacker in a group. No one will want to work with you.
  3. Action: Unprofessional behavior Penalty: Loss of Class Participation credit. Rationale: These actions are disrespectful and distracting to the other students and to the professor.

College/School Policies

Wolf Pact

Having read the Honor Code for the University of West Georgia, I understand and accept my responsibility to uphold the values described therein and to conduct myself in a manner that will reflect the values of UWG and the Richards College of Business so as to respect the rights of all UWG community members. As a UWG student, I will represent myself truthfully and complete all academic assignments honestly and within the parameters set by my instructor.

I understand and accept that if I am found guilty of violations (through processes due me as a UWG student and outlined in the UWG Student Handbook), penalties will be imposed.

I also recognize that my responsibility includes a willingness to confront members of the UWG community if I feel there has been a violation of the Honor Code.  

Ultimately, I will conduct myself in a manner that promotes UWG as the best place to work, learn, and succeed for my generation, and those to come!

About the Richards College of Business

To become a globally recognized college of business preparing forward-thinking, responsible leaders.

We are in the business of transforming lives through education, engagement, and experiences.

Strategic Goals and Values

Student Success
Admit quality students and provide them with an education that is rich in experiences and engagement opportunities to prepare them to be effective and ethical professionals.

Academic Success
Recruit, retain and develop faculty and staff by providing sufficient resources to support dynamic and up-to-date bachelor and master-level curricula, to conduct research and other professional activities, and to support engagement with all stakeholders.

Operational Success
Recruit, retain and develop administrative management and staff personnel to manage, develop and support infrastructure and those activities that build internal and external partnerships while working in an ever-changing environment.

Ethical Values
The Richards College of Business community (administrators, faculty, staff, students, and business partners) share a commitment to the principles of honesty and integrity in interactions and undertakings, accountability for personal behavior, and respect for the rights, differences, and dignity of others. In addition, we strive to continuously improve our abilities to recognize unethical behavior and to make ethical and moral decisions.

Institutional Policies

Academic Support

Accessibility Services: Students with a documented disability may work with UWG Accessibility Services to receive essential services specific to their disability. All entitlements to accommodations are based on documentation and USG Board of Regents standards. If a student needs course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if he/she needs to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, the student should notify his/her instructor in writing and provide a copy of his/her Student Accommodations Report (SAR), which is available only from Accessibility Services. Faculty cannot offer accommodations without timely receipt of the SAR; further, no retroactive accommodations will be given. For more information, please contact Accessibility Services.

Center for Academic Success: The Center for Academic Success provides services, programs, and opportunities to help all undergraduate students succeed academically. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6280 or [email protected]

University Writing Center: The University Writing Center assists students with all areas of the writing process. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6513 or [email protected]

Online Courses

UWG takes students’ privacy concerns seriously: technology-enhanced and partially and fully online courses use sites and entities beyond UWG and students have the right to know the privacy policies of these entities. For more information on privacy and accessibility for the most commonly used sites, as well as technology requirements visit the UWG Online site.

Students enrolled in online courses can find answers to many of their questions in the Online/Off-Campus Student Guide.

If a student is experiencing distress and needs help, please see the resources available at the UWG Cares site. Online counseling is also available for online students.

Honor Code

At the University of West Georgia, we believe that academic and personal integrity are based upon honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Students at West Georgia assume responsibility for upholding the honor code. West Georgia students pledge to refrain from engaging in acts that do not maintain academic and personal integrity. These include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, aid of academic dishonesty, lying, bribery or threats, and stealing. 

The University of West Georgia maintains and monitors a confidential Academic Dishonesty Tracking System. This database collects and reports patterns of repeated student violations across all the Colleges, the Ingram Library, and the School of Nursing. Each incidence of academic dishonesty is subject to review and consideration by the instructor, and is subject to a range of academic penalties including, but not limited to, failing the assignment and/or failing the course. Student conduct sanctions range from verbal warning to suspension or expulsion depending on the magnitude of the offense and/or number of offenses. The incident becomes part of the student’s conduct record at UWG.

Additionally, the student is responsible for safeguarding his/her computer account. The student’s account and network connection are for his/her individual use. A computer account is to be used only by the person to whom it has been issued. The student is responsible for all actions originating through his/her account or network connection. Students must not impersonate others or misrepresent or conceal their identities in electronic messages and actions. For more information on the University of West Georgia Honor Code, please see the Student Handbook.

UWG Email Policy

University of West Georgia students are provided a MyUWG e-mail account. The University considers this account to be an official means of communication between the University and the student. The purpose of the official use of the student e-mail account is to provide an effective means of communicating important university related information to UWG students in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her email.

Credit Hour Policy

The University of West Georgia grants one semester hour of credit for work equivalent to a minimum of one hour (50 minutes) of in-class or other direct faculty instruction AND two hours of student work outside of class per week for approximately fifteen weeks. For each course, the course syllabus will document the amount of in-class (or other direct faculty instruction) and out-of-class work required to earn the credit hour(s) assigned to the course. Out-of-class work will include all forms of credit-bearing activity, including but not limited to assignments, readings, observations, and musical practice. Where available, the university grants academic credit for students who verify via competency-based testing, that they have accomplished the learning outcomes associated with a course that would normally meet the requirements outlined above (e.g. AP credit, CLEP, and departmental exams).

HB 280 (Campus Carry)

UWG follows University System of Georgia (USG) guidance:

You may also visit our website for help with USG Guidance:

Mental Health Support

If you or another student find that you are experiencing a mental health issue, free confidential services are available on campus in the Counseling Center. Students who have experienced sexual or domestic violence may receive confidential medical and advocacy services with the Patient Advocates in Health Services. To report a concern anonymously, please go to UWGcares.

ELL Resources

If you are a student having difficulty with English language skills, and / or U.S. culture is not your home culture, specialized resources are available to help you succeed. Please visit the E.L.L. resource page for more information.


Proctored Exams/Online Instruction: Students should be aware and plan ahead for the possibility of having to complete all courses and/or exams online or in a proctored environment. This means talking with your instructors about what minimum technical requirements (software and hardware) will be required should your class move online or a student's personal needs dictate. This also includes making plans for internet access at whatever location participation may occur.

Virtual or in-person proctored exams, if your instructor should require them, may result in an additional cost to the student. Please discuss these details with your instructor or see the information provided here.

Face Coverings: Effective July 15, 2020, University System of Georgia institutions, including the University of West Georgia, will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met. Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

Student FAQs: For more information about UWG COVID-19 guidance for students visit the Student FAQ webpage


Additional Items