Skip to Main Content

BUS 1400 Organizational Behavior

A course guide for real-world consulting projects on organizational behavior topics.

Walker Management Library

Profile Photo
Walker Management *Library
Walker Management Library
Owen Graduate School of Management
401 21st. Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203

Research Strategies Overview

A research based consulting project involves different types of research strategies depending the phase of the project.

  • Phase 0: Where is the conversation today?  Search the research literature, business thought leadership and trade publications to learn about current issues that managers care about, researchers are interested in, priorities facing organizations today.
  • Phase 1: Preparing for initial consultation with client. Learn about your client’s organization, their key people, their industry.
  • Phase 2: Exploring a hunch, building a hypothesis. You should leave the initial consultation with your client with a set of questions to guide your research. They will generally involve exploring what best practices in a certain area and/or industry (proven practices with lots of research evidence) or innovative ideas (not yet proven but signal potential).
  • Phase 3: Following up specific leads and loose threads. As you meet with your client to discuss your research findings and recommendations, there will be more targeted facts and figures you might need check into, research additional sub-topics in more depth, or follow up on specific sources.
  • Phase 4: Bibliography. List the sources of information used to support your insights and recommendations.
Where to look? Start with some of the professional business literature databases below. 

Vetting Your Sources

Searching the internet is quick and easy, and can be a great source for relevant, quality information. But remember, it’s not only about ‘what’ you find, but ‘how’ you use it.

Here are some guiding questions when researching a topic and putting your findings to good use:

  • Currency - How current is the information? Is the currency relevant for supporting my argument?
  • Reliability - In what ways is the source reputable? Are there factual errors?
  • Authority - Who created the information? Why? What is the scope of their expertise and experience that their authority is based on?
  • Purpose/Point of View - Are multiple perspectives considered? What are the author’s biases?

Please see this additional information about the CRAP test as well as the Vanderbilt University presentation What The Crap?