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2011/2012  BA-HASOC1YP11  First year project on organisational sociology and research design

English Title
First year project on organisational sociology and research design

Course Information

Language English
Point 30 ECTS (900 SAT)
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course Period Spring
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for BSc in Business Administration and Sociology
Course Coordinator
    Antje Vetterlein - Department for Business and Politics
    Liv Egholm Feldt - Department for Business and Politics
    Liv Egholm Feldt - Department for Business and Politics
    Liv Egholm Feldt - Department for Business and Politics
Liv Egholm Feldt is 1st year project coordinator.
Main Category of the Course
  • Philosophy and philosophy of science
  • Organization
  • Statistics and mathematics
  • Economic and organizational sociology
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
The student should demonstrate ability to:
  • formulate, delimit and analyse an academic problem,
  • apply and discuss the theories and methods relevant to the project, in particular the concepts and theories relevant to organisational sociology,
  • select and apply fundamental quantitative methods, and relate these to theoretical positions presented in the syllabi of the courses ’Philosophy of Science’ and ’Introduction to Organisational Sociology’,
  • structure the layout and present the material in a clearly formulated and accessible way in terms of both language and content,
  • discuss how the knowledge acquired in the second semester courses ‘Philosophy of Science’, ‘Introduction to Research Methods’, and ‘Quantitative Methods I’ is reflected throughout the project, and
  • reflect upon his/her own ways of applying data.
First year project on organisational sociology and research design:
Assessment Oral with Written Assignment
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship External examiners
Exam Period May/June
Aids Without preparation
Duration 30 Minutes
All four second semester courses are assessed at this first year project examination.
  • The examination is an individual oral examination of 30 minutes, including the examiners’ discussion and awarding of the grade. It is based on the first year project report.
  • The project is to be written in groups of four, cf., however, section 6(7). Maximum size: 15 standard pages + additional 3 standard pages per student. It must include an abstract. For more details, see the separate project guidelines.
  • The student will be awarded one grade according to the 7-point grading scale, reflecting an overall assessment of the project, the oral presentation and the defence. The student’s proficiency in spelling and fluency in writing will also be taken into account in the assessment; however, most emphasis will be put on academic content.
  • The examination is external, and assessment is carried out by an internal examiner and an external examiner appointed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Make-up examination and re-examination
The re-take takes place according to the same rules as the regular examination. However, the following supplementary rules apply:

  • For projects where some of the group members are awarded the grade 00 or below at the oral examination, the failed students must submit individually, before the re-take, 2-3 pages on aspects of the project, as specified by the internal examiner.
  • For projects where all members are awarded the grade 00 or below at the oral examination, the overall project is deemed unacceptable. Before the re-take, the project must be revised and improved. For supervision in this respect, the internal examiner will give a brief written critique of the project within eight working days after the regular oral examination.
Course Content

Aim: To provide the student with (1) a general insight into the different conceptions of science which have informed social sciences to this day; (2) knowledge about different perceptions of society and the individual, rooted in the ontological and epistemological assumptions of different philosophy of science traditions.

On completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  • give an account of the basic ontological and epistemological assumptions within the different philosophy of science traditions presented in the syllabus,
  • locate the theoretical positions and key concepts in a broader science-philosophical context,
  • identify central similarities and differences between the main ideas within the different philosophy of science traditions presented in the syllabus, and
  • integrate an understanding of the different philosophy of science traditions with the methodological considerations in the first year project.

Aim: To introduce students to academic research methods in general and survey research specifically. In the course, the students will be required to a) design and carry out a small survey of their own, and b) to work upon research questions for their semester project. The focus in the course is on the beginning and end of the research process – the production of data and the reporting of results.

On completion of the course, the student should be confident with basic academic working methods for identifying research problems and selecting theory, methods and data for analysis. More specifically, the student should be able to:

  • formulate a limited and precise quantitative research problem,
  • operationalise a research problem, including developing models and hypotheses,
  • develop a simple questionnaire and demonstrate knowledge of random sample design and sample size,
  • account for the effect of the sampling methods on the research design, at a basic level,
  • discuss strengths and weaknesses of the applied empirical methods, drawing on relevant methods resources, and
  • be able to report results according to academic standards.

Aim: to give the student (1) a theoretical and practical introduction to quantitative methods in the social sciences, and (2) an understanding of the relevance of these methods in relation to the other second semester courses. The course focuses on the implications of different research designs, possibilities and limitations of quantitative methods as well as assessments of their validity.
On completion of the course, the student should be able to use different quantitative methods and analytical strategies within organisational sociology and business administration. Specifically, the student should be able to:

  • plan a basic statistic analysis,
  • analyse data and present the relevant findings in tables and figures,
  • account for and demonstrate knowledge about which impact the level of measurement has on the analyses,
  • discuss strengths and weaknesses in the data set in relation to a given problem, and
  • use the computer assisted tools such as e.g. the software programs SPSS and Microsoft Excel.

Aim: To provide the student with (1) a basic sociological knowledge about different aspects of organisational life such as power, conflict or organisational change, as well as different approaches to the daily handling of organisational operations through management, decision-making and leadership; (2) fundamental skills to identify and analyse how various types of activities are organised in different sectors (3) an understanding of the potential interactions between organisational analysis and organisational reality.
On successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • account for, at a basic level, how organisations are viewed and analysed from a sociological perspective based on relevant theories of organisational sociology,
  • account for the organisational structure, purpose and functions of organisations when analysed through different perspectives in organisational sociology,
  • describe, explain, compare and assess organisational circumstances and identify models for how organisations handle their everyday operations,
  • account for and discuss the implications of different models of organisation for actual organisational practices, and
  • apply the theories covered in the curriculum to empirical cases and use them to formulate and justify relevant research questions.
Teaching Methods
Lectures, case-based teaching, workshops and exercise classes.
Student Workload
Classes 116 hours
Preparation for class 464 hours
Project 310 hours
Examination 10 hours
Further Information

The aims of the 1st year project are: 

  • To facilitate and reinforce the learning of the subjects taught during the second semester by encouraging students to work independently and in a focused way with selected theories.
  • To develop analytical skills needed to undertake problem-oriented project work. The problem-solving process during project work is shaped by the systematic, professional and scientific demands of academic knowledge production.

Indicative course literature

2IOS Introduction to Organisational Sociology

A compendium for the course will be available in the CBS bookstore.The readings for each session are mostly structured as follows: one compulsory reading per session, a case study of a specific organization that illustrates the respective topic of the session and relevant chapter(s) for each session in a textbook.

2PS Philosophy of Science
Gerard Delanty (2005): Social Science: Philosophical and Methodological Foundations, 2nd ed, Maidenhead: Open University Press.

The other prescribed reading is available in a compendium which will be available in CBS bookstore.

2IRM Introduction to Research Methods
Alan Bryman and Emma Bell: Business Research Methods. Oxford University Press 2007.

The other prescribed readings are collected in a compendium which will be available in the CBS bookstore.

2QNM Quantitative Methods I
R. Mark Sirkin: Statistics for the Social Sciences. SAGE 2009.

Carol S. Aneshensel: Theory-Based Data Analysis for the Social Sciences. Pine Forge Press 2002.