Qualitative Methodology for Dissertation in Business Studies

Course Description:The objectives are three-fold: to broaden the participants’ basic knowledge and skills within the qualitative research, to show the variety within the existing qualitative approaches and to identify methods and methodologies suitable for doctoral research projects.

Learning outcomes: The course has two educational objectives. The first objective is to broaden the participants’ knowledge and skills concerning the multitude of various qualitative approaches and their requirements, as well as to outline their potential for doctoral dissertations in the area of business research. The second objective is to help doctoral students to identify appropriate qualitative methodologies and methods for their own doctoral research projects and with that enhance publications process based on doctoral thesis

Course requirements:See below.

Target group:Doctoral students in the field of business research and disciplines close to this. The course is designed particularly for doctoral students who use qualitative approaches in their own doctoral dissertation. The course is suitable for students at the early stages of their doctoral studies although basic knowledge of qualitative research is required in order to be able to follow the course.

Time: 05.03.2014 – 06.03.2014

Place: Turku

Course Language: English

ECTS: 6 Credits

Number of students: 25

Course work and evaluation:The course is built on prior reading and pre-assignments, action small exercises, lectures, consultative discussions and hands-on-experience on how to do qualitative research. The course consists of intensive small group work sessions and discussions, individual consultations, and presentations made by the students. The course will be supervised by two teachers (Päivi Eriksson and Anne Kovalainen). The course will be helpful for doctoral students in the early stage of their thesis work by assisting in decision making concerning methods and methodologies, data gathering and analyzing.

1. Individually performed analysis and written report (two pre-assignments)
2. An exam in the beginning of the course, based on the course book Eriksson and Kovalainen (2008)
3. Dissertation analysis and evaluation as group work, exercises on data collection and analysis based on the materials provided during the course.

4. Presentations prepared by the students on various qualitative approaches
5. Active participation in small group sessions and general discussions during course.
6. Writing a field diary during the course.
7. A learning diary (max. 10 pages), submitted after the course (based on the field diary notes).

*The course will be graded on a scale from 1 to 5 (low–high). Evaluation is based on individual assignments.

Required readings:

1. Eriksson & Kovalainen (2008) Qualitative Methods in Business Research. Sage.
2. Doctoral dissertations specified by the teachers.
3. Other materials specified by the teachers (articles and texts related to the exercises)


Akatemiaprof. Anne Kovalainen, University of Turku

Prof. Päivi Eriksson, University of Eastern Finland

Course coordinator and contact person: Hanna Laalo,   hanna.laalo@utu.fi

Application deadline: 06.01.2014

Fill in the form below and send it to the course coordinator ( hanna.laalo@utu.fi).






University, faculty and department :


Officially accepted as Ph.D. student (when and where?):

Are you a member of a graduate school, where?:

Complited methodology studies:

Research field:

Subject or title of dissertation:

Methodological approach of the study:

Phase of the dissertation (do you have own empirical data, have you analyzed it and if yes, how?):

Summary of the objectives, research questions and methodologies (approx. 500 words):

Your own objectives for participating the course: