GRA 6438 Research Methodology - Marketing


GRA 6438 Research Methodology - Marketing

Responsible for the course
Even Johan Lanseng, Rutger Daniel van Oest

Department of Marketing

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

The Research Methodology – marketing course is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of important topics in research in marketing (academic research) and marketing research (business-oriented research). The course addresses theoretical and philosophical foundations of research conducted by marketing academics and practitioners including perspectives on theory, causality, validity, measurement, and ethics. It also covers the marketing research process including formulating the research problem and hypotheses, sampling, measurement, research design, data analysis, and writing a paper/thesis or research report.

As part of the course students are required to take part in a 3-hour library session and pass the assignment.

Learning outcome
Knowledge goals
Upon successful completion of this course, the students will be able to

Understand key methodological issues in research in marketing and marketing research.
Elaborate on these issues.
See the interrelationships between the elements of the research process, not only the bits and pieces.

Skill outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the students will be able to

Plan and conduct research according to the outlined research process taking into account and deal with the various unavoidable tradeoffs occurring in this process.
Analyze data obtained form the research process, understand results, interpret results, and communicate results.

Attitude outcome
Upon successful completion of this course, the students will

Be excited about research in marketing and marketing research.
Appreciate alternative approaches to a problem.
Be able to see ethical issues in the research process.

Learning outcome for the library session:
Broader understanding of advanced information search strategies:

  • acquaintance with advanced methods for information ”harvesting”, search technique, evaluation of sources
  • understand what a cited reference search is, know how to do it and be acquainted with how one can make use of it
  • know what a critical literature review is and how this type of articles may be searched for and used

A Bachelor's degree qualifying for admission to the MSc programme. Students are expected to have a basic knowledge in statistics and in the use of library sources and search techniques.

Compulsory reading
Easterby-Smith, Mark, Richard Thorpe, Paul R. Jackson. 2012. Management research. 4th ed. Sage
Saunders, Mark, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill. 2012. Research methods for business students. 6th ed. Financial Times Prentice Hall. Chapter 3: Critically reviewing the literature, pp.70-124. Will be available electronically

Various stand alone articles that students are required to download from available database resources at BI.

Collection of articles:
Article collection consisting of articles and book chapters that cannot be accessed by database resources available to students.

During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.
The national committees for research ethics. 2006. Guidelines for research ethics in the social sciences, law and the humanities

Recommended reading
Dillman, Don A., Jolene D. Smyth and Leah Melani Christian. 2009. Internet, mail, and mixed-mode surveys : the tailored design method. 3rd ed. John Wiley
Iacobucci, Dawn, Gilbert A. Churchill. 2010. Marketing research : methodological foundations. 10th ed. South-Western/Cengage Learning
Shadish, William R., Thomas D. Cook, Donald T. Campbell. 2002. Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Houghton Mifflin

Course outline
Philosophical issues
Validity issues
Ethical issues
Data collection
Survey research
Experimental research
Longitudinal research
Qualitative approaches
Meta analysis
Advanced information and citation search strategies (library session). Content:
1. Introduction to advanced search strategies, including source quality assessment.
2. Introduction to citation search.
3. Reviewing articles.

During the semester there will be thesis seminars to guide the students towards writing a thesis registration form. This is conducted outside the course.

Computer-based tools
PASW/SPSS, LISREL, and online library resources: ISI web of science and Business Source Complete, and Google Scholar.

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.

The course is a combination of class room lectures, exercises in groups, and pc-lab sessions. Assignments will be given during the course.

Part of the course is a library session. This session takes place as a combination of lectures and practical exercises using computers. Sessions will be run in groups of maximum 50 students.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

Thesis registration form pass/fail.
One term paper (50%) and one 3 hour written examination (40%). The termpaper can be written individually or in groups of max. three students. Completed and approved work assignment given by the library (10%)

Specific information regarding student evaluation beyond the information given in the course description will be provided in class. This information may be relevant for requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several elements of the overall evaluation.

This is a course with continuous assessmen, applies for the part counting 40% (several exam elements) . Each exam element will be graded using points on a scale (e.g. 0-100). The elements will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades on the course site in It’s learning.

Examination code(s)
GRA 64384 for the thesis registration form
GRA 64385 (continuous assessment) for the final letter grade in the course (100%)

Examination support materials
A bilingual dictionary.
Exam aids at written examinations are explained under exam information in our web-based Student handbook. Please note use of calculator and dictionary.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught.
The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code.
Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes.
Where this is not the case, all of the assessed components of the course must be retaken.
All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee.

Additional information
Honor Code
Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honor code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honor code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

Any violation of the honor code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academy integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honor code, please ask.