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Research Methods

Course 2016-2017

Admission requirements

There are no admission requirements for this course.


The course will introduce you to conducting research and how to present it. To this end it will
consist of several sections:

• General introduction to conducting research: What is “research”? How can “research” in
general be divided into different fields (e.g. qualitative/quantitative,
positivism/interpretivism)? What is “research ethics”? What is plagiarism?

• Analysis of scientific texts: What are the components/sections of a scientific paper? How
can the quality of a scientific text be assessed? What are the assessment criteria?

• Finding and formulating a research question: How can an interesting research question be
identified? What are the criteria for a suitable research question?

• Conducting the research: What is “literature research”? What kind of research
methodologies exist? Which one is suitable to answer my research question? How do I
collect data? How do I analyse them? How do I interpret my results?

• Writing up the research: How do I properly document my research? How do I build up my
report and which research information should be in each segment of my academic text?

Course objectives

After successful participation in this course you should be able to:

• Distinguish different concepts of scientific research
• Understand and know the basic structure of an academic text and use that structure to
support your efficient reading of such texts
• Write a basic research proposal
◦ Introduce the societal, applied, and/ or academic relevance of a certain research field
based on a literature review
◦ Formulate/ craft a research question and/ or hypotheses that are suited to be subjected to
empirical research
◦ Establish the most suited technique (method) to generate the needed empirical data to
answer the research question and/ or test the hypotheses
◦ Indicate realistic time lines for the different activities in the research project
• Conduct a research project more or less independently
◦ Expand the literature review (from the proposal) to a level that it (a) shows sufficient
mastery of the research subject at hand and (b) is a full argumentation of the relevance of
the study’s research question/ hypotheses
◦ Apply the suited research techniques (methods) in a proper way in order to generate the
data needed to further the research questions/ hypotheses
◦ Analyse and interpret the research findings, presenting results
◦ Write a text, paper, or thesis (either academic or business-oriented) about your research,
the results, and their interpretation


The schedule can be found on the LIACS website

Detailed table of contents can be found in blackboard.

Mode of instruction

The mode of instruction will be a mixture of lectures, exercises to apply elements of the course
contents and student presentations. Active participation in the class discussion is required to attain
the learning goals and will be taken into account for the final grade.

Assessment method

The final grade will be a combination of:
1. Class participation, including presentation – 20%
2. Written exam – 30%
3. Paper (research proposal) – 50%


Research Methods

Reading list

• Saunders, M. N., Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2013). Research methods for
business students, Pearson Education UK, ISBN: 978-0-273-71686-0
• Andrew H. Van de Ven (2007): Engaged Scholarship: A Guide for Organizational and Social
Research, Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780199226306
• Selected articles and chapters (blackboard)

Signing up for classes and exams

You have to sign up for classes and examinations (including resits) in uSis. Check this link for more information and activity codes.

There is a limited capacity for students from outside the master ICT in Business. Please contact the Programme Co-ordinator

Contact information

Programme Co-ordinator ms. Judith Havelaar LL.M