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2017/2018  BA-BHAAV2032U  Consumer Behavior and Qualitative Methods

English Title
Consumer Behavior and Qualitative Methods

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 100
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Thyra Uth Thomsen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
Last updated on 28-06-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors. At the end of the course, the excellent student should be able to
  • Demonstrate the ability to select and apply basic qualitative methods to collect information on and analyze consumer behavior in a specific case setting.
  • Select, explain and apply key terms, definitions, concepts, theories and models covered in the course that are relevant to analyze consumer behavior in a specific case setting.
  • Demonstrate applied skills with qualitative data collection, theoretically based analysis, and reporting of findings
  • Identify and discuss practical implications and limitations of applying specific methods, theories, models, and concepts from the course.
  • Present a clear and coherent argument for your choice of relevant methods, theories, and models and follow academic conventions in your written presentation
  • Based on a portfolio of own online contributions, demonstrate the ability to reflect on own activities, interactions and related learnings throughout the course and argue for their substantiveness and relevance for solving the exam case.
Consumer Behavior and Qualitative Methods:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
A new case based assignment will be elaborated.

A new case and/or a new series of essay questions will form the basis of the re-exam. Please note that the assessment will partly be made based on the student’s online activities/interactions made throughout the teaching period of the course. It will not be possible to make new online contributions. However, if the student – in accordance with the CBS rules on make-up exams – has documented that illness during the teaching period has resulted in his/her not making any online contributions during the teaching period, the student will be given the opportunity to make online contributions prior to the re-exam.
Description of the exam procedure

Note that online activities and interactions posted on Learn throughout the course form part of the basis for the assessment, as stated in the learning objectives. 

Course content and structure

Understanding consumers is the key to market success. This course introduces students to current qualitative research methods (e.g. (n)etnographic methods) and basic consumer behaviour theories and models that can be applied to make sense of the data. In the final report students will have the opportunity to collect small scale qualitative data sets, which they are supposed to analyze and discuss by means of consumer behaviour theories covered in the course. The course will focus on interpretive consumer research and cover consumer behavior theory from multiple theoretical perspectives such as psychology and sociology.

Teaching methods
This course is taught entirely online. The course will run over 8 weeks (= 8 sessions). Each session consists of online lectures and activities which students are expected to work through within the week. The learning content consists of asynchronous online lectures, discussions, quizzes, and individual and/or group assignments. In order to achieve the full outcome of the course, it is important that students are willing to participate in online activities throughout the course. Student participation will be targeted at producing insights that are meant to be covered in the final exam project. Note that online activities and interactions posted on Learn throughout the course form part of the basis for the assessment, as stated in the learning objectives. No contributions will be accepted after the 8th week of the course.
The lecturers will be available for asynchronous and/or synchronous online discussions throughout the 8 weeks in which the course runs. The course readings primarily consist of a textbook, which will be supplemented with selected research papers.
Feedback during the teaching period
A computer facilitated peer review process will be applied in one of the sessions. Also the lecturer will summarize and/or respond to illustrative students' responses to learning tasks throughout the course to enhance collaborative learning.
Student workload
Course activities (including online lectures) 170 hours
Exam (including preparation) 36 hours
Further Information

Online Course

Expected literature
  • Kozinets, R.V. (2002) The Field Behind the Screen: Using Netnography for Marketing Research in Online Communities. Journal of Marketing Research: February 2002, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 61-72.

  • McCracken, G. (1988). The long interview.Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

  • McCracken, Grant (1986). Culture and consumption: A Theoretical Account of the Structure and Movement of the Cultural Meaning of Consumer Goods. Journal of Consumer Research, 13 (June), pp. 71-84. 
  • Schouten, John W.  (1991) Selves in transition: Symbolic Consumption in Personal Rites of Passage and Identity Reconstruction. Journal of Consumer Research 17 (4): 412-425.
  • Thomsen, Thyra Uth, and Elin Brandi Sørensen (2006). The First Four-wheeled Status Symbol: Pram Consumption as a Vehicle for the Construction of Motherhood Identity. Journal of Marketing Management, 22 (9-10), 907-927.
Last updated on 28-06-2017