Olet täällä

Research and Development Methods

Research and Development Methods
  • Code: ISM2TX100
  • Extent: 5 ECTS credits (135h)
  • Timing: 1st semester
  • Language: English
  • Level: Advanced professional studies
  • Type: Compulsory

Starting level and linkage with other courses

This course is one of the compulsory advanced professional studies that master students take during their first year. The course has direct links to the master’s thesis work. There are no prerequisites for the course.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student

  • understands the methodology and process of systematic development work
  • has insight on different research, development and innovation methods and knows their applicability
  • is capable of applying qualitative methods in practical development work
  • understands how the methodology and process affect the structure and work breakdown of the master’s thesis

Course contents

Contact lessions concentrate on the following topics

  • research and development methodology
  • applied research vs. scientific research
  • research and development process
  • setting the objectives for the development and the research
  • research and development design
  • literature review and analysis
  • qualitative research strategies (action research, case study, constructive research, etc.)
  • data collection methods (questionnaires, interviews, observations, etc.)
  • quantitative analysis methods
  • analysing data and reporting findings
  • validity and reliability of the results
  • other methods (innovation methods, foresight methods, etc.)

The course is practically oriented including many team and individual assignments where the students immediately practice the theory. They may also apply the learnings to their master’s thesis during the course. The course emphasizes qualitative research strategies and especially action research and case study research which are the most common strategies of masters’ thesis in the field of applied sciences.

Cooperation with the business community

Guests speakers give lectures in related and varying topics of research and development work in practice.

International dimension

Cases and readings are from international business contexts. Students work in multicultural teams.

Teaching and learning methods

  • Contact hours
  • Working on group assignments
  • Group assignment presentations
  • Independent studies and working on individual assignments
  • Examination
  • The assessment of one’s own learning 1 h

Accreditation of prior learning (APL)

“Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the generic term used for the award of credits on the basis of demonstrated learning which has taken place in the past”. APL gives a student an opportunity to demonstrate his/her knowledge and skills. Prior learning can be accepter fully or partly. A student demonstrates with certificates and/or competence demonstration that s/he manages the course objectives and the contents. It is possible to participate in the competence demonstration only once before taking the course. Accepted prior learning is assessed on the scale of 1-5.

Teacher(s) responsible

To be announced

Course materials

Recommended readings

  • Marschan-Piekkari, R. & Welch, C. 2004. Handbook of qualitative research methods for international business. Edward Elgar. Cheltenham. (Selected chapters).
  • Miles, M. B. & Huberman, A. M. 1994. Qualitative data analyses: an expanded sourcebook. Sage. Thousands Oaks.
  • Reason, P. & Bradbury, H. (eds) 2006. Handbook of Action Research. The Concise Paperback Edition. First published 2001. Sage Publications Ltd. London. (Selected chapters).
  • Rubin, H. J. & Rubin, I. S. 2005. Qualitative interviewing: the art of hearing data. Sage. Thousands Oaks.
  • Saldana, J. 2009. The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Sage Publications Ltd. London.
  • Saunders, M. & Lewis, M. & Thornhill, A. 2009. Research Methods for Business Studies. 5th edition. First published 1997. FT Prentice Hall.
  • Yin, R. 2002. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Newbury Park, CA. Sage. Chapters 1-5.

Other selected articles and readings provided by the teachers.

Assessment criteria

The course is evaluated on the scale of 1 to 5 (where 5 is the best). Assessment components are listed below. Their respective weights are provided by the teachers. All components need to be passed.

  • Article summaries and their discussions
  • Research and development report
  • Presentation
  • Self-reflective paper

The assessment of one’s own learning does not influence the grade. The assignment is the same for all courses/modules and the answers will also be used for course/module development. The assignment is completed online in WinhaOpaali.