Qualitative Methods for Management Research 1

Semester Autumn
Level 11
Credit Value 20
Module Co-ordinator Dr Mike Walsh
Contact Hours Lectures (approx. 18 hours), seminars and workshops (approx. 10 hours), practical labs/workshops (8 hours) and an end of course colloquium (approx. 4 hours).  The lecture sessions will include and be supported by specialist seminar sessions where appropriate.
Assessment 100% coursework (made up of a 5,000 word report (80%) and participation in an end of course colloquium presentation (20%)


 This module aims to:

  • Introduce students to qualitative methods framed within the context of research in management and related areas.
  • Provide students with basic practical skills needed to conduct qualitative research in management and related areas.
  • Introduce students to the basic concepts and skills associated with collecting and analysing qualitative data. The module introduces students to the basic qualitative data collection methods used within management and related research, and the principles behind these methods.
  •  The module also provides students with the practical skills to conduct qualitative management research and analyse qualitative data.  
  • On completing the module, as well as the above objectives, successful students will be able to undertake qualitative research and utilise such research as part of a PhD.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to understand and evaluate:

  • The strengths and weaknesses of qualitative methods.
  • The use of interviews as a data collection tool, the strengths and weaknesses of interviews, various kinds of interviews, the skills required of interviewers and the pitfalls of conducting interviews poorly. Different ways in which interview schedules/protocols may be designed.
  • The use of focus groups as a data collection tool, the strengths and weaknesses of focus groups, comparison of focus groups with interviews, the skills required to conduct and facilitate focus groups.
  • The use of observation and ethnography as data collection methods different forms of observational data, the strengths and weaknesses of ethnography, how observational and ethnographic data may be collected and recorded.
  • Case study research: The applications, strengths and weaknesses of case study research. Methods that may be used within case study research. Making claims and generalisations from case study research.
  • How to code and analyse qualitative data, ways in which qualitative data may be coded and analysed. The use of NVivo (or a similar software package) to analyse qualitative data.
  • Ethics in qualitative research, Particular ethical issues associated with qualitative methods, bias in qualitative methods and how these may be overcome.

This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.


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