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2016/2017  KAN-CCMVV2061U  Research Methods in Operations Management

English Title
Research Methods in Operations Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 100
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Christer Karlsson - Department of Operations Management (OM)
  • Irene Christensen - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
Last updated on 07-04-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Gain knowledge and skills to prepare and design MSc projects
  • Locate topics within the operations management field
  • Develop research designs, including an empirical study, which forms the basis for the master's thesis
  • Be able to combine and discuss theories
  • Be able to apply the theories in the analysis of theoretical and practical research issues
  • Be able to reflect on the methodological and epistemiological differences
  • Be able to critically reflect on own and others' analyses within the subject
  • Plan research by surveys, longitudinal field studies, case studies, and clinical research
  • Design data gathering instruments such as questionnaires and interview guides
  • Chose different methods for assessing validity of results
Research Methods in Operations Management:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Definition of number of pages:
Groups of
2 students 5 pages max.
2-3 students 10 pages max

Students who wish to have an individual exam might be able to write a term paper in the course. Please see the cand.merc. rules for term papers for more information.
Assignment type Synopsis
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Winter
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Limited aids, see the list below:
Book, articles and synopsis
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take exam is to be based on the same report as the ordinary exam:

* if a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.

* if a whole group fails the oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take.

* if one student in the group fails the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if he/she has to hand in a revised product for the re- take.
Course content and structure

This preparatory course aim at motivating a first reflection; it will prepare MSc students for the design and execution of a master's thesis project within the various areas of Operations Management disciplines, where the objectives are close connection to practice and contribution to knowledge.

Specifically, several stages of the research process will be discussed, such as defining research questions, how to make use of acquired knowledge from theory and methodology, analysis and synthesis.The main purpose of this course is to create awareness for MSc students of when to use different methodologies and identify and discuss different strengths and weaknesses of each methodology. The course will enhance and provide students with insights into the characteristics of different research methodologies such as case studies, surveys, longitudinal, clinical studies and action research.

By the end of the course, a final MSc project description must be submitted as a synopsis.

Teaching methods
Teaching varies between lecturing/guest lecturing, individual and group exercise and student presentations. Students should expect a high degree of participation.
Student workload
Course participation 36 hours
Course preparation 130 hours
Exam preperation 40 hours
Expected literature

Karlsson, C. (2016). Research methods for Operations Management,Routledge. 

Second edition.


Bart L. MacCarthy Michael Lewis Chris Voss Ram Narasimhan, (2013),"The same old methodologies? Perspectives on OM research in the post-lean age", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 33 Iss 7 pp. 934 - 956 


Barbara B. Flynn, Sadao Sakakibara, Roger G. Schroeder, Kimberly A. Bates, E.James Flynn, (1990) "Empirical research methods in operations management", Journal of Operations Management, Vol 9, Iss 2, pp. 250-284


Last updated on 07-04-2016