Course description

1 GRA 31xx Research Methodology for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Introduction

This course is designed to help students design and conduct good, theoretically informed, empirical research in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation. It addresses issues relevant to both qualitative and quantitative research.

The purpose of empirical research in the social sciences in general is to build theories that help us to understand the world. For strategic management in particular, the purpose of empirical research is to understand the myriad issues that pertain to the survival and success of organizations. Good research is both theoretically interesting and persuasive. Persuasiveness depends on whether the empirical evidence presented in the research convinces readers that the author’s arguments and interpretations are likely to be valid. This course aims to help students identify theoretically interesting and researchable topics within the field of strategic management, as well as to increase the students’ ability to design and conduct empirical research that will make their findings persuasive. The knowledge and skills the students are expected to acquire in this course are highly relevant for the task of successfully completing a MSc thesis for the strategic management major.

Course content

The course content includes:

  1. Introduction to research methods and design
  2. Research questions, what makes for good research questions?
  3. Literature review, how to conduct a critical literature review, what to focus on when reviewing the literature you have identified in your literature search, as well as how to report the reviewed literature
  4. Information search, understanding of information search strategies, and develop your ability to critically evaluate information sources
  5. Research designs, common research designs, logic of quasi-experimental research designs, rival hypotheses and crucial tests
  6. Sampling, selection, concept operationalization and measurement, quantitative data sources, selection bias and case selection, operationalization and measurement, validity, reliability and generalizability issues, common method bias
  7. Qualitative research and interviewing, what is qualitative research, interviews
  8. Survey methods and analysis, survey data, sampling and response rates (self- selection, generalizability issues), measurement scales, survey items (validity and reliability issues)
  9. Qualitative data analysis Developing propositions, developing a process model, coding and inductive analysis of texts
  10. Focus groups, observation, document analysis and case studies
  11. Database/archival methods and analysis, Sampling, Creating your own database, variable construction, model building, statistical analysis
  12.  Approaching the empirical setting, getting and working with the data, approaching the empirical setting, ethical guidelines for research, consent forms, non-disclosure agreements

Learning outcome knowledge

  • To gain knowledge of how to write a research proposal.
  • To gain knowledge of concepts and tools to collect and analyze data for innovation and entrepreneurship research.
  • To understand and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of different research designs, methodologies and data sources.
  • To gain an understanding of information search strategies.

Exam organisation

  • Class participation: 35%
  • Written assignment: 10%
  • Written assignment: 55%