At the end of the course, you will be able to explain the historical development of the main social science paradigms and the content of the basic concepts in methodology. You will be able to explain the function of scientific research in the management sciences and describe the distinction between research and intervention methodology.
Skill or application competencies
At the end of the course, you will be able to design an empirical research project. Examples of the skills and competencies are problem structuring, formulating a problem definition, developing a conceptual model, operationalising concepts, substantiating the choices or research strategy and analysis methods, and developing a basic questionnaire.
At the end of the course, you will be able to reflect critically on the methodological choices of yourself and others. You will also be able to formulate a complete line of reasoning that is methodologically sound.
Research methodology is the foundation for designing and performing scientific research in management. This course is a first introduction to the research methodology of the social and management sciences. During the course, you will learn about various social science paradigms and schools within research methodology and you will learn many basic concepts, such as validity and reliability. The course is organised around the elements of the empirical cycle, such as problem definition, the process of conceptualisation and operationalisation, research strategies and methods of observation, data collection and data analysis.
Besides acquiring basic knowledge about methodology, you will also develop concrete skills that are needed when designing and doing research. You will improve these skills through various types of exercises and case materials from business and management. You will learn to formulate a proper research goal and proper research questions, develop a conceptual model, design a questionnaire, choose a method of observation and carry out basic qualitative and quantitative analysis. An overall skill that is needed for each of these activities is the capacity to substantiate your choices with a sound and complete line of reasoning: all choices you make within a research design should be consistent with each other.
With the acquired knowledge and skills, you will also be able to reflect critically both on your own choices and those of others regarding research design. This will enable you to evaluate the quality of research.