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2010/2011  BA-BRM  Business Research Methodology

English Title
Business Research Methodology

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Course Period Autumn . First Quarter
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for BSc in International Business
Course Coordinator
  • Per Henrik Hansen - Department of Economics
Main Category of the Course
  • International Politics
  • Management
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
The first aim of the course is to provide the students with a good understanding of what constitutes International Business as a science and a discipline, and, more specifically, what constitutes knowledge in International Business. This includes discussions of how relevant theories can be used for analyses of problems in International Business research. Secondly, the students will obtain an ability to critically discuss and evaluate various approaches used in research, and they will be trained in evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of using quantitative and qualitative methods in International Business research. The ontological and epistemological questions are being related to different empirical research and discussions within International Business both at the company level, the macro and the institutional level. In relation to this second aim, the course’s final aim is to introduce the students to how to design and carry out limited, independent research projects and assignments such as the BA project and smaller assignments.

The exam form is a 24 hour home assignment with a maximum of 10 normal pages, 21,000 characters including space, notes, literature etc. No supplements

During the exam, in order to obtain a 12, the student must demonstrate

a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of, as well as an ability to explain and discuss critically, the content and main theses of the course literature with respect to the three parts that constitute the course.

an ability to use the theories and approaches discussed in the course literature to analyse problems related to the institutional and theoretical foundations of International Business and related disciplines

an ability to answer and discuss in a consistent, coherent and focused way relevant research questions in the field of International Business
Business Research Methodology
Assessment Home Assignment
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship External examiners
Exam Period October
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration 24 Hours

Course Content

Despite its title, this course is not so much a methodology course as a course in the theory of science in International Business and related disciplines. The overall question that we deal with could perhaps be put as “What is International Business Studies?” Accordingly, the course introduces the students to theories of science and relates these to the theoretical foundations of International Business and related disciplines. Building on this appreciation of what constitutes science and International Business as a social science field, the course introduces a number of approaches in economics and business & management research. In combination with this introduction the course also provides a more specific discussion of analytical strategies and methods in the field. More generally the course also aims at preparing the students for writing their BA thesis later in the programme

The course consists of three parts with a total of fourteen sessions, three hours each. Part one, focuses on the ontological and epistemological questions related to International Business and social science in general. Part two, builds on part one and discusses in more detail the historical and methodological development as well as different approaches in economics and the IB discipline. Finally, and building on parts one and two, the smaller part three introduces the problem of how to design research questions and how to write scientifically in International Business.

Teaching Methods
Most classes will consist of part lecture and part discussion. The students are expected to have read the required readings before each session, and to take active part in class discussions. The subject of this course is quite different from the other courses in the B.Sc. in IB programme, and the course pedagogy is based on the assumption that class discussion and assignments promotes understanding and accumulation of knowledge better than lectures and power point presentations. It is your responsibility as a student to contribute to this learning process by being well prepared for each class and by taking active part in the discussions.

Amdam, Rolv Petter et.al. (eds.), Inside the Business Schools. The Content of European Business Education, CBS Press 2004., Chapter 1, “The Pover of Content Revisited”, pp. 11-26

Andersen, Niels Åkerstrøm, Discursive Analytical Strategies. Understanding, Foucault, Koselleck, Laclau, Luhmann, London: Policy Press 2003. Chapter 1, “Introduction”, pp. IX-XXII

Bennis, Warren G. & James O’Toole, “How Business Schools Lost Their Way”, Harvard Business Review, May 1, 2005, pp. 1-9

Bryman, A., Bell, E., Business Research Methods, Oxford University Press, 2003, chapters 1, 3 and 4.

Buckley, Peter J., “Is the International Business Research Agenda Running Out of Steam?” Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 33, no. 2, 2002, pp. 365-73

Chalmers, What is this thing Called Science, 3rd edition, 1999, Chapters 1-8

Cheng, Joseph et al, “From the Editors: Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in the Field of International Business: Prospects, Issues and Challenges”, Journal of International Business Studies, 2009, 40, pp. 1070-74

Galbraith, John Kenneth, Economics in Perspective. A Critical History, 1987. Chapters 1 (pp. 1-8) and 16-22 (pp. 210-300).

Geertz, Clifford, “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture” in Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, Bacis Books: New York 1973, pp. 3-30.

Granovetter, Mark, “Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness”, The American Journal of Sociology, vol. 91, no.3, 1985, pp. 481-510. This text can be downloaded via Sitescape or J-Stor via CBS Library E-resources.

Hansen, Per H., “Organizational Culture and Organizational Change: The Transformation of Savings Banks in Denmark, 1965-1990”, Enterprise & Society, 2007, vol 8, no. 4, pp. 920-53

Jones, Geoffrey & Tarun Khanna, “Bringing history (back) into international business”, Journal of International Business Studies, (2006) 37, pp. 453-68. This text can be downloaded from Sitescape or J-Stor via CBS Library E-Journals Service.

Jordanova, Ludmilla, History in Practice, London: Arnold 2000, chapter 1

Kogut, Bruce, Methodological Contributions in International Business and the Direction of Academic Research Activity, in Rugman & Brewer, Oxford Handbook of International Business, Oxford University Press 2001, pp. 785-817

McCloskey, Deirdre, “The Rhetoric of Economics”, Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 21, no. 2, 1983, pp. 481-517. This text can be downloaded from Sitescape or J-Stor via CBS Library E-resources.

Grant McCracken, “Culture and Consumption: A Theoretical Account of the Structure and Movement of the Cultural Meaning of Consumer Goods”, The Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 13, no. 1, 1986, pp. 71-84

North, Douglas C., “Institutions and the Performance of Economies Over Time” in Claude Menard & Mary M. Shirley, Handbook of New Institutional Economics, Dordrecht 21-30

Pedersen, Torben & Steen Thomsen, “European Patterns of Corporate Ownership: A Twelve-Country Study”, Journal of International Business Studies, Fourth Quarter 1997, pp. 759-78. This text can be downloaded from Sitescape or J-Stor via CBS Library E-Journals Service.

Peng, Mike W., “Identifying the big question in international business research.” Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 35, 2004, pp. 99-108.

Redding, Gordon, “The Thick Description and Comparison of the Societal Systems of Capitalism”, Journal of International Business Studies, 2005 no. 36, pp. 123-55. This text can be downloaded from Sitescape or J-Stor via CBS Library E-Journals Service.

Sullivan, Daniel & John Daniels, “Innovation in International Business Research: A Call for Multiple Paradigms”, Journal of International Business Studies, 2008, 39, pp. 1081-90. This text can be downloaded from Sitescape or J-Stor via CBS Library E-Journals Service.