ECO9002 Theoretical Foundations and Current Topics in Business Research

May 19-21, 2021

​​​​​​ECTS credits: 2,5
Student workload: 70 hours (lectures, preparation).
Level of course: PhD
Course type: Mandatory
Study location: Bodø campus
Course coordinator: Professor Tommy Høyvarde Clausen
Teaching language: English
Teaching semester: Spring. 
Costs: No tuition fees.
Course evaluation: Evaluation (survey) will be sent to PhD students after the seminar

​Course description

The purpose of the course is to introduce PhD students in business to (i) theoretical foundations in the field of business research and (ii) current topics/phenomena within the field of business research which may challenge extant theory and/or identify opportunities for new theory development within the field. Examples of theories that will be discussed are behavioural theory of the firm, transaction cost economics, resource-based theory, and institutional theory. Examples of current topics/phenomena are ecological economics, financial crisis, and sustainability. Students need to write up a reflection note (about 2 pages) within two weeks after the seminar. The reflection note will be read and approved. Information about approval will be notified to PhD students on e-mail with a copy to the administrative officer of the PhD program (Grete Knudsen) who will register successful attendance.   

Learning outcomes:


The candidate ...

​Will obtain advanced knowledge about major theories in the field of business research

Will acquire an in-depth understanding of the research frontier within business research, particularly theoretical developments within the major theories in the field

Will be on the forefront of knowledge on chosen theories, their development over time, and interesting theoretical gaps that remain to be filled.

Will be able to critically assess major theoretical approaches in the field of business research, including their assumptions, factors, and boundary conditions


The candidate ...

Will be able to interpret seminal theoretical work within business studies  and use this insight when carrying out practical research

Will be able to understand how they can build on and contribute to major theories in the field of business studies through their own research

Will be able to apply prominent theories in business studies to research projects

General competence

The candidate ...

Will be able to discuss new relevant business topics using major theories in business research

Will be able to participate on theoretical issues in academic debates

Will be able to critically challenge established theoretical knowledge in the field of business research


Must fulfil the requirements for admission to the PhD program.​

Recommended previous knowledge:

Knowledge of writing essays. It is expected that students read assignments before each presentation.

Mode of delivery:

Face-to-face.  ​

Learning activities and teaching methods:

Lectures and discussions.  ​


Mandatory lectures. Students need to attend a seminar, participate in discussions during the seminar, and submit a reflection note. The reflection note will be assessed (pass/no pass).


Course literature and recommended reading

Tentative reading list, subject to revision.

Barney, Jay (March 1991). "Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage". Journal of Management. 17 (1): 99–120.

DiMaggio, P.J. , & Powell, W.W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48, 147-160.

Kotlar, J., De Massis, A., Wright, M. and Frattini, F. (2018), Organizational Goals: Antecedents, Formation Processes and Implications for Firm Behavior and Performance. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20: S3-S18. doi:10.1111/ijmr.12170

Mahoney, J. T. (2005). Economic Foundations of Strategy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Micelotta, E., Lounsbury, M., & Greenwood, R. (2017). Pathways of Institutional Change: An Integrative Review and Research Agenda. Journal of Management, 43(6), 1885–1910.

​Menard, C. and M. Shirley (2014), 'The Future of New Institutional Economics: From ´Early Intuitions to a New Paradigm?', Journal of Institutional Economics, doi:10.1017/S174413741400006X

 Schilke, O., Hu, S., Helfat, C.E., 2018. Quo vadis, dynamic capabilities? A content-analytic review of the current state of knowledge and recommendations for future research.

Acad. Manage. Ann. 12, 390–439.

Thornton, P. H., & Ocasio, W. (2008). Institutional logics. In R. Greenwood, C. Oliver, K. Sahlin-Andersson, & R. Suddaby (Eds.) Handbook of organizational institutionalism (pp. 99–129). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.​

Williamson, O. E. 2005. Transaction cost economics. In C. Menard & M. M. Shirley (Eds.), Handbook of the new institutional economics: 41-65. Berlin: Springer


Overlapping courses:


Application deadline: March 22, 2021

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