MET9009 Qualitative Research Methods

Bodø, 9 - 12 April 2019

​ECTS credits: 7.5
Level of course: PhD
Course type: Elective course for business and management.
Study location: Bodø
Course coordinators:
Raj K Shankar
Einar Rasmussen
Helle Neergaard (External Faculty)
Teaching language: English
Teaching semester: Spring 2019: 09 – 12 April 2019
No tuition fees. Costs for semester registration and course literature apply 

Course evaluation: 
Evaluation using final survey.

Course description:
This course is aimed at PhD candidates in business and management. The course will help participants appreciate the benefits and challenges associated with qualitative research designs, learn specific methodologies and techniques for collecting and analyzing qualitative data. The participants will engage in hands-on sessions to not only learn techniques but also put them into practice. This will enable participants develop confidence in their chosen approach and eventually apply it in their independent studies. Being visualized as an advanced course we will provide an overview of qualitative research designs and delve deeper into specific approaches such as case studies and grounded theory.

This course is designed utilizing an activity-based learning approach and will involve active participant involvement. The course will include readings (from business and management journals) that have applied the above approaches. The participants will also learn the nuances connected with carrying out the various steps involved in these methodologies. Individual feedback sessions will provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback from both peers and faculty.

The course will also have plenary sessions with researchers who practice qualitative approaches in their own research. These will be in the form of short lectures and interactive Q&A sessions. Participants will also have numerous opportunities to have informal interactions with the faculty.

Learning outcomes: 
Upon successful completion of the course, participants will possess the following:

An advanced understanding of the qualitative research tradition and the underlying philosophical debates
An overview of popular approaches (case study, grounded theory, narrative, phenomenology, ethnography) to conducting qualitative inquiries
Deeply understand a few specific methodologies used to conduct qualitative research and the specific steps and techniques needed to apply them

Ability to identify research gaps and relevant research designs in the qualitative tradition which can be used in the PhD thesis
Ability to choose among various research designs
Ability to apply specific qualitative methodologies to designing and implementing qualitative studies widely used in business and management journals
Design interview guides / protocols for qualitative studies
Be equipped with various analytical techniques which can be directly used to enhance the standard of the qualitative papers in the PhD thesis

General Competence
Understand and appreciate situations which can advantageously be investigated using qualitative inquiry
Ability to critically read, review, present and discuss top quality qualitative research papers and enhance the ability to participate in high quality academic dialogue at both conferences and journals

In order to take this course, the student must be either admitted to a PhD program or have the qualifications to be admitted to a PhD program.

Recommended previous knowledge: 
Necessary: A basic overview of research methods.
Optional: A brief overview of business and management research literature in general.

Mode of delivery: 
Face-to-face lectures, plenary talks, hands-on exercises, group discussions and student presentations.

Learning activities and teaching methods:
Lectures, practice sessions, seminars, tutored assignment work.  

An extended abstract (900 words) submitted prior to the course and a paper (15 double spaced pages) will be evaluated for the grade (pass/not pass). 

Course literature and recommended reading:
The course literature is divided into mandatory and recommended readings. Apart from this we indicate session-wise readings which will be used during the sessions for discussions. It is important that students read both the mandatory readings and the session-wise readings prior to the course week.

A list of the literature will be provided to all registered participants about 45 days prior to the course week.

Note: The reading list is subject to amendment at semester start.  

Student workload:
During the course week students will be in sessions most of the day and will have after session course work. There is considerable reading to do in the weeks leading up to the course. There will be a fair amount of time to be spent before and after the course in writing up the paper for course evaluation. Overall, we expect the time spent to be no less than 200 hours.

Deadline 1 March 2019

Practical information

The city of Bodø

Bodø is home to around 50,000 people and is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, with a lively urban scene.


Photo: David Grandorge

Getting to Bodø

  • Bodø is the hub of Nordland and can be reached by plane, train and boat. 
  • Bodø's airport is located in the city itself, making it quick and easy to fly in and out. Oslo Gardemoen is a 90 minute flight away.

Photo: Ernst Furuhatt /

Transport in Bodø

  • The main campus is located at Mørkved, about 9 kilometers from the centre of Bodø.
  • It is easy to take the bus from the airport or city center to campus.

Accomodation in Bodø

  • At campus there is a student hotel “Nordavind” which offers short-time rent. For more information. 
  • You may also stay at a hotel in the centre of Bodø.
  • We advise you to book accommodation as early as possible as hotels in Bodø at times are fully booked