Qualitative Research Methods

Time and place: February 19-22, 2024, University of Turku

Instructors: Professor Juha Laurila, University of Turku; Professor Kalle Pajunen, Tampere University

Learning goals and objectives:

The course has two main objectives. First, it gives the participating doctoral students a multifaceted understanding of qualitative research methods and how they are applied in contemporary management and business studies. This way the course both extends and refines the participants’ previous understanding on these methods. Second, the course also intends to increase the students’ abilities to critically assess different qualitative research methods and methodological approaches and their applicability to different types of research problems and designs both in their ongoing research and also more generally. As a result, the course also supports the participating students in the preparation of academic empirical papers based on qualitative data that they have collected during their doctoral research.

Course content:

In general, the course covers the most elementary parts of qualitative methodologies starting from the adopted research design, collection of data and its analysis. What is more, the course also explicates how these general issues are addressed when using different types of qualitative methods. In particular, the main qualitative research methods addressed at the course include single and multiple case studies, longitudinal qualitative analysis, historical methods, grounded theorizing in its different forms, use of interviews in the collection of qualitative data, ethnographic research, and qualitative comparative analysis (QCA).

Accomplishment of the course: 

The course comprises altogether eight three-hour workshops during which the course contents are systematically discussed. To enable active participation in these discussions, the students will prepare lecture notes based on pre-defined readingsprior to each workshop. After the course, the students also prepare a separate course assignment report (twenty pages/ 5.000 words).

Credits: 6 (ECTS)

Grading: 30 % lecture notes, 20% class participation and 50% course assignment report. The course is graded on the scale from 1 to 5.

Admittance: The course is targeted towards (but not limited to) doctoral students in the different fields of Management and Business Studies. The maximum number of students admitted to the course is 25.

To apply to the course, provide the information defined below send it to the course coordinator ( juha.s.laurila@utu.fi) by 8 January 2024. Detailed course instructions and material will be sent to the selected participants soon thereafter.





University, faculty and department:


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

Completed methodology studies:

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?):

Your own objectives for participating in the course:


Juha Laurila is a full professor of Management and Organization at Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland. His research interests relate to innovation and change in organizations and strategic management from organization-theoretical perspectives. In addition to books and book chapters, his work has appeared as articles in journals such as Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Management Inquiry, Journal of Management Studies, Organization and Organization Studies. One of his four co-authored papers in Organization Studies won the Roland Calori Prize for the best paper published in the journal between 2011 and 2012. See more from Google Scholar andhttps://www.utu.fi/en/people/juha-laurila.

Kalle Pajunen is a full professor of management and organizations. His research interests relate to strategic management, organization theory, and international business. He also works on questions related to configurational theory and set-theoretic methods. He has published his research e.g. in Business & Society, Innovation, International Business Review, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of World Business, Organization Studies, Human Relations, Socio-Economic Review, and other journals. See more from Google Scholar.

Course coordinator and contact information: Juha Laurila, Turku School of Economics; FI-20014 TURUN YLIOPISTO, Turku, Finland