GRA 6721 Research Methodology for Supply Chain and Operations Management

GRA 6721 Research Methodology for Supply Chain and Operations Management

Course code: 
GRA 6721
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Bente Merete Flygansvær
Course name in Norwegian: 
Research Methodology for Supply Chain and Operations Management
Product category: 
MSc - Core course
2025 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

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 about research designs and methodology to successfully complete a master thesis. Doing research is about making choices, and in this course, students learn how to choose between research designs and methods, when different research designs apply and the consequences of choices. The course stimulates each participant to make, and take responsibility for, individual choices. The focus also includes what it means to be a researcher and the opportunities that come with good research.

The course covers the philosophical underpinnings of research and the fundamentals of research design in business with focus on supply chain and operations management and covers both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • To understand how to write a research proposal, including choice of research strategy and design.
  • To gain knowledge of concepts and tools to collect and analyze data for research in supply chain and operations management. 
  • To understand and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies and data sources.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • To be able to compare, contrast and critique different research designs, methodologies, and data collection methods.
  • To be able to formulate research questions and research proposals appropriately
  • The students will obtain an understanding of information harvesting strategies, including search techniques and critical evaluation of sources.”
General Competence
  • To understand how choice of research design influences and is influenced by the theme of interest.
  • To appreciate how to conduct original research with high quality at the MSc level, evaluate the research process and know when research can be called scientific.
  • The course should enable students to differentiate quality in research, be able to continue to learn from reading scientific literature and be equipped to continue to learn after studies in line with the quality in education as expressed in the SDG #4. Compliance with GDPR regulations apply.
Course content
  • Introduction to the Research Process - philosophy of science, research proposals, research process, research ethics, doing and valuing peer reviews
  • How to formulate research questions with good quality, how to use literature to develop the research question and frameworks.
  • Types of Research Design - surveys and experimental designs, case designs, cross sectional, and comparative designs  
  • Secondary Research and Analysis - literature searching, literature reviews, review articles, database management
  • Qualitative & Quantitative Research - assumptions, ideas, methodologies, and methods
  • Modelling designs - database development, management, and use
Teaching and learning activities

Students are expected to participate actively and to be well prepared before attending class. 

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

The exam for this course has been changed starting academic year 2023/2024. The course now has two exam codes instead of one. It is not possible to retake the old version of the exam. For questions regarding previous results, please contact InfoHub.

It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


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 specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
1 Week(s)
Library assignment
Exam code: 
GRA 67214
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Portfolio Assessment PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
2 Month(s)
This exam is organized as a portfolio assessment where students are given case assignments during the course. The students receive feedback along the way. In total, there will be 3 submissions to be submitted. The last delivery will be the final answer that will be censored. And which is delivered after the last collection. The students will either work in the same group or work alone throughout the semester.
Exam code: 
GRA 67215
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
12 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
36 Hour(s)
Seminar groups
10 Hour(s)
26 Hour(s)
40 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.