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2019/2020  BA-BDMAO3021U  Research Methods

English Title
Research Methods

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
BSc in Digital Management
Course coordinator
  • Nanna Bonde Thylstrup - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
  • Sociology
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 12-12-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  • Understand a general definition of research design
  • Recognize the ethical issues involved in research, and practice ethical research standards
  • Know the primary characteristics of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods.
  • Design an appropriate method research study to answer a digitally-related research question.
  • Choose appropriate quantitative, qualitative or mixed-method to collect data.
  • Construct a coherent exam paper that includes an abstract, introduction, literature review, research questions, ethical considerations, and methodology.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved: 3
Compulsory home assignments
Workshop II, III and IV
Research Methods:
Exam ECTS 15
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Make-up exam/re-exam: Same examination form as the ordinary exam. If a student falls ill during the writing process and is unable to participate in the group exam, the individual student will be tasked with handing in a 10 page written exam assignment in response to a predefined research question. The paper will receive a grade based on the submitted material.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Course description

The aims of this course are to provide students with a general training in research methods and techniques, including research design, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and to enable students to evaluate critically their own research and that of professional researchers. 


Methodological challenges in the field of social digital transformations typically relate to algorithmic processes, data analysis, and social analysis and interpretation. It is therefore relevant to critically discuss and evaluate common approaches and methodologies in the programme's three main areas of study: 1) business administration, 2) digital technologies and data, and 3) sociological and organisational perspectives.


Emerging digital research methods both give rise to and help us explore new digital objects such as networks, databases, platforms, data visualizations, maps and many other social, cultural and political phenomena. This module offers insights into these new and emerging methodologies, what phenomena they can address as well as helps frame these methods as co-constitutive of said phenomena. The course thus provides an introduction to basic questions of methodology in digital human and social science research and how they are related to epistemological and ontological issues in the history and philosophy of science. 


The course has two components:

i. Principles of Research in organization and communication: a series of lectures offered by course coordinator and invited guest lecturers. The lectures will normally cover the following topics central to research design across the social sciences, with a specific emphasis on their application to business administration, digital technologies and organizational contexts: the general nature of research as social inquiry, interviewing, critical discourse analysis, social network analysis, content analysis, visual analysis, survey design/questionnaires, case studies, ethnography and participant observation and research ethics.

ii. Principles of Social Research : a series of four workshops offered by course coordinator with invited guest lecturers. Students are required to participate in three of the workshops.


Themes of the course include: 

  • Digital methods, big data analysis and embedded assumptions; how tools and devices participate in shaping the world with us as we use them.
  • Basic positions in the philosophy of social science, science and technology studies and philosophy of technology; awareness of methodological problems and considerations, validity, epistemologies, and interdisciplinarity.
  • Introduction to research design and the rhetoric of a project paper, formulation of research questions, interplays between research questions, methods, theories, empirical data and analysis.


Description of the teaching methods
The research course uses the lecture format to build the intellectual scaffolding of the course. Each lecture is devoted to a central theme in methodology and will connect historical foundations of relevant methods, outline their present state-of-the-art deployment and anticipate their future challenges.

This research course is expansive and will demand a lot of the student, both intellectually and socially. We will deploy the tools and techniques you read about in action, on real research projects to make the literature “stick”.
Feedback during the teaching period
In the workshop session student groups will prepare feedback to each other's (mandatory) assignments (Peer feedback with Peergrade).

Student workload
Lectures 48 hours
Exercise 40 hours
Expected literature

Indicative course readings

  • Marres, Noortje. 2018. Digital sociology the reinvention of social research. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Khan, Shamus, and Dana R. Fisher. 2014. The Practice of Research: How Social Scientists Answer Their Questions. New York: Oxford University 
  • Silverman, David. 2013. Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook. London; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Creswell, John W., and J. David Creswell. 2019. Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches.London; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  • Steinmetz, George. 2009. The politics of method in the human sciences: positivism and its epistemological others. Durham: Duke University Press.



Last updated on 12-12-2019