GRA 6721 Research Methodology for Logistics, Operations, and Supply Chain Management


GRA 6721 Research Methodology for Logistics, Operations, and Supply Chain Management

Responsible for the course
Marianne Jahre

Department of Accounting - Auditing and Business Analytics

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Students participating in this course will be guided towards the completion of a research proposal. The main aim of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills in order to successfully complete a master’s thesis.
The course covers the philosophical underpinnings of research in business with focus on logistics, operations and SCM. This includes the fundamentals of research design. The main section of the course covers both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge
(i) To understand how to write a research proposal.
(ii) To gain knowledge of concepts and tools to collect and analyse data for research in logistics, operations and SCM.
(iii) To understand and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies and data sources.
(iv) To gain a broader understanding of advanced information search strategies.

Acquired skills
(i) To be able to compare and contrast different research designs.
(ii) To be able to compare and critique different research designs, methodologies and data collection methods.
(iii) To be able to design samples, research questions and research proposals appropriately.
(iv) To be able to use and evaluate advanced methods for information ‘harvesting’ and search techniques, and critically evaluate information sources.
(v) To understand what a critical literature review is and how it can be designed and executed.

(i) To understand how research design influences and is influenced by the theme of interest.
(ii) To appreciate how to conduct original research at the MSc level and evaluate the research process.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading
Bryman, Alan, Emma Bell. 2015. Business research methods. 4th ed. Oxford University Press

During the course there may be hand-outs, articles and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

Recommended reading

Course outline
Introduction to the Research Process - philosphy of science, research proposals, research process, research ethics
Research Design - problems, questions, collection and design
Secondary Research and Analysis - literature searching, literature reviews, review articles, database management
Qualitative Research - assumptions, ideas, methodologies and methods
Quantitative Methods: surveys and modelling - assumptions, ideas, methodologies and methods
Database Development, Management and Use

The course provides guidance on writing the thesis registration form and start of developing a thesis proposal.

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.
Students are expected to participate actively and to be well prepared before attending class.

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.

Term paper (55%)
Class participation (35%)
A work assignment given by the library (10 %)

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Term paper 55%
Class participation 35%
Work assignment by the library 10%

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Examination code(s)
GRA 67213 (continuous assessment) for the final letter grade in the course counting 100%

Examination support materials

Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

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. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Honour code. Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and are values that are integral to BI's honour code system. Students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the honour code system, to which the faculty is deeply committed. Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for academic misconduct. Issues of academic integrity are taken seriously by everyone associated with the programmes at BI and are at the heart of the honour code. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask. The learning platform itslearning is used in the teaching of all courses at BI. All students are expected to make use of itslearning.