Excerpt from course description

Qualitative Methods: Data and Analysis


Qualitative studies usually focus on phenomena and processes that are subjected to intense, in-depth studies and analysis. Examples are organizations (or parts of them), decision processes, negotiations, a discourse, an event, an action, a procedure, a statement etc. Qualitative data and qualitative analysis usually play a major role in such studies.

The course provides an overview over types of qualitative approaches and techniques, including the art and craft of doing observations, interviews and document analysis. Data gathering can be viewed as implementation of research strategy, where case selection, categories for description and analysis are closely connected. Various approaches and techniques must be linked to an overall understanding of the research process as an iterative process of moving between the empirical field and the world of theory.

The course emphasizes the relationship between formulation of research problem, design, data gathering, analysis, reporting and publishing. This is particularly important for successful application or development of theory. During the course, the participants will get practical training in developing tools for data gathering, practice both interviewing and observations, and get experience with analyzing qualitative empirics. They will also learn more about the publishing process and about what responding to demanding reviews may entail. In addition to lectures and discussion, the participants will present and receive feedback on how to apply qualitative methods in their own projects – related to planned or ongoing data gathering and/or analysis.

Course content

Session 1 –Introduction, overview

  • Day 1 Qualitative studies – what is it about?
  • Qualitative versus quantitative studies
  • Different types of studies, designs, identifying important challenges in the research process
  • Practical exercises
  • Guest – doing qualitative research
  • Planning for exercises and presentations during the course


Session 2 – Major perspectives and types of data collection

Day 2 Major approaches

  • Inductive, deductive and abductive studies
  • Grounded theory
  • Process studies
  • Theoretically informed studies
  • Student group  discussion -strengths and limitations


  • Day 3 – Types of data collection
  • Doing qualitative interviews
  • Organizational ethnographies
  • document analysis
  • Student presentations pilot exercises
  • Group discussion
  • For each technique consider  choice of site, choice of informants, access, roles played, documentation, ethics and so forth


Session 3 – Analysis, generalizations and publication strategies

  • Day 4 - Qualitative analysis - assumptions, strategies and tools
  • Coding
  • Data matrixes
  • Interpretation
  • Analysis
  • Presentations student exercises
  • Exemplary articles


  • Day 5 Theorizing, explanations and publishing
  • Theorizing contribution from qualitative research
  • Explanations
  • Positioning and generalization
  • Publishing qualitative research
  • Student presentations exemplary articles
  • Guest: Publishing - against the grain?
  • Summing up - Paper format and requirements



This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.