Qualitative Methods in Business Research

Time: 18.05. – 21.05.2015

Place: Brussels, Belgium

Learning goal and objectives: 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.

Target group: 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. The participants will be selected partly based on their university’s EIASM affiliation.

Instruction and examination: The course is built on prior reading, on-site action learning, short introductory lectures, consultative discussions and hands-on-exercises on how to do qualitative research. The course consists of intensive small group work sessions and discussions, individual consultations, some lectures and also of presentations made by the students. The course will be helpful for doctoral students by assisting in decision making, and selection concerning methods and methodologies, data gathering and analyzing.

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


1. Individually performed analysis and a written report of max 10 pages. The report is based on analysis of a pre-assigned doctoral dissertation;

Reports are due prior to course and all participants need to read all reports.

2. An exam based on pre-reading material.
3. Dissertation analysis and evaluation as a group work. Small 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. Individual consulting is based on a short presentation by the student.
6. Active participation in small group sessions and general discussions during course.
7. Writing a field diary during the course.
8. A learning diary (max. 10 pages), submitted after the course (based on the field diary notes).

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)

Course Language: English

Number of students: 25

ECTS: 6 Credits


Prof. Anne Kovalainen, University of Turku

Prof. David Silverman, University of London

Adjunct prof. Seppo Poutanen, University of Turku

Course coordinator and contact person: Elisa Akola, elisa.akola@utu.fi

Application period: 1.1.–28.2.2015

Interested doctoral students should register online at EIASM website http://www.eiasm.org/frontoffice/eden_announcement.asp?event_id=1118 and add the required documents:

• the applicant’s curriculum vitae demonstrating his/her capabilities of doing research;

• a letter of recommendation of his/her local faculty supporting the application;

• a two-page description of his/her doctoral research, indicating the general objectives.

The number of participants will be limited to create a stimulating environment. The selection among the applicants will be conducted by the Institute’s Faculty. They will review the required documents which should necessarily complement each application form.

There is a participation fee of 1100 € for the course. This fee includes participation to the seminar, the documents, Lunches, and 2 group dinners. However, as part of the collaboration between KATAJA and EIASM, the participation fee is waived from a maximum of 10 students from the KATAJA Finnish member universities (Obs! All accepted students from a KATAJA member university gets to take the course for free). KATAJA supports these students by paying the fee with the help of a Finnish trust fund. The fee is paid by KATAJA directly to EIASM without the student having to apply for funding. Students need, however, to cover accommodation and travel costs. No additional student funding, on top of the fee, is covered by KATAJA. The students are requested to make their own hotel arrangement.
EAISM offers a limited number of scholarships of 600 € each. Scholarships are strictly limited to students coming from an EIASM Institutional Member (the Academic Council). Allocation of the scholarships is entirely at the discretion of the European Institute.