MET9009 Qualitative Research Methods

May 4-7, 2021

​​​​ECTS credits: 7.5
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.
Level of course: PhD
Course type: Elective course for business and management.
Study location: Bodø
Course coordinator: Raj Krishnan Shankar, Einar Rasmussen, Helle Neergaard (External Faculty)
Teaching language: English
Teaching semester: Spring 2021 – May 4-7, 2021
Costs: 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, and learn specific methodologies and techniques for collecting and analyzing qualitative data. The participants will engage in hands-on sessions to learn techniques and to put them into practice. This will enable the participants to develop confidence in their chosen approach and eventually apply it in their independent studies. Being offered 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 using 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 a PhD thesis

  • Ability to choose among various research designs

  • Ability to design and implement specific qualitative methodologies that are widely used in business and management journals

  • Design interview guides and protocols for qualitative studies

  • Be equipped with various analytical techniques that can be directly used to enhance the standard of the qualitative papers in a PhD thesis

General Competence

  • Understand and appreciate situations and phenomena which are suitable for being 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 scientific journals



Must fulfil the requirements for admission to the 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).

Pre-course assignment deadline: one week before course start
Post-course assignment deadline: about a month after​​

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.


Course Reading Materials


  1. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design (International Student Edition): Choosing Among Five Approaches Fourth Edition by John W. Creswell and Cheryl N. Poth  – Link:

Blueprint articles:

  1. Multiple Case studies:

    1. Denis, J.-L., Lamothe, L. and Langley, A. (2007) 'The dynamics of collective leadership and strategic change in pluralistic organizations', Academy of Management Journal, 44(4), pp. 809–837.

    2. Neergaard, H and Ulhoi, J (2006) 'Government agency and trust in the formation and transformation of interorganizational entrepreneurial networks' Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. 510-539

c.        Steinmo, M., & Rasmussen, E. (2018). The interplay of cognitive and relational social capital dimensions in university-industry collaboration: Overcoming the experience barrier. Research Policy, 47(10), 1964-1974.

d.       Shankar and Shepherd (2018). Accelerating strategic fit or venture emergence: Different paths adopted by corporate accelerators. Journal of Business Venturing,

e.       Rasmussen, E., Mosey, S., & Wright, M. (2011). The evolution of entrepreneurial competencies: A longitudinal study of university spin‐off venture emergence. Journal of Management Studies, 48(6), 1314-1345.

  1. Single case studies:

a.       Patzelt, H., Williams, T. A., & Shepherd, D. A. (2014). Overcoming the walls that constrain us: The role of entrepreneurship education programs in prison. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 13(4), 587-620

    1. Shepherd, D. A., & Williams, T. A. (2014). Local venturing as compassion organizing in the aftermath of a natural disaster: The role of localness and community in reducing suffering. Journal of Management Studies, 51(6), 952-994.

    2. Vuori, T. O., & Huy, Q. N. (2016). Distributed attention and shared emotions in the innovation process: How Nokia lost the smartphone battle. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(1), 9-51.


Background articles:

  1. Eisenhardt, K. M. (2007) 'Theory Building from Cases: Opportunities and Challenges', Academy of Management Journal, 50(1), pp. 25–32.

  2. Langley, A. (1999) 'Strategies for Theorizing from Process Data', The Academy of Management Review, 24(4), pp. 691–710. doi: 10.2307/259349.

  3. Gioia, D. A., Corley, K. G., & Hamilton, A. L. (2013). Seeking qualitative rigor in inductive research: Notes on the Gioia methodology. Organizational research methods, 16(1), 15-31.

  1. Gehman, J., Glaser, V. L., Eisenhardt, K. M., Gioia, D., Langley, A., & Corley, K. G. (2017). Finding theory–method fit: A comparison of three qualitative approaches to theory building. Journal of Management Inquiry, 1056492617706029.

  2. Bansal, P., Smith, W. K., & Vaara, E. (2018). New ways of seeing through qualitative research. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 61, No. 4, 1189–1195.


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



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