EXC 2123 Business Research Methods


EXC 2123 Business Research Methods

Responsible for the course
Ragnhild Silkoset

Department of Marketing

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

This course provides a basic introduction to the use of research methods related to strategic choices and decisions in companies. The course is based on theories within statistics, business management, strategy and marketing.

Learning outcome
Acquired Knowledge
Both qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques will be addressed in the course and will develop the students’ ability to make critical reviews. Business research knowledge provides guidance for students when interpreting information related to scientific standards. Students will learn to organize, summarize, and discuss results from research according to the scientific principles for research.

Acquired Skills
Students shall be able to:
  • Independently develop, adapt, correct, and communicate their own research and be able to understand, evaluate and utilize the research of others.
  • Identify and define problems and challenges in the organization and in the market.
  • Work systematically and scientifically to provide information that can be used for the decision making.

The course will raise student’s awareness, and develop their attitude in accordance with values related to scientific thinking within research methodology.

Introduction to statistics for economy and administration

Compulsory reading
Cooper, Donald R., Pamela S. Schindler. 2011. Business research methods. 11th ed. McGraw-Hill
Easterby-Smith, Mark, Richard Thorpe and Paul R. Jackson. 2012. Management research. 4th ed. Sage. Factor analysis is not part of the course

Literature by the lecturer

Recommended reading

Course outline
  • Develop and manage projects, specify the problem definitions
  • Research model and hypotheses
  • Information sources within secondary data sources and primary data
  • Qualitative techniques and analysis
  • Quantitative techniques and analysis
  • Reporting and implementation

Computer-based tools
A recommended computer tool is JMP

Learning process and workload
The course has 40 contact hours. Of these, 28 hours of lectures will focus on the syllabus. 6 hours consist of training in JMP and 6 hours are spent on a portfolio. Exercises in the use of JMP will take place in the auditorium using laptops or in the computer lab.

The course includes a portfolio with a total of three hand-in assignments. The portfolio is based on:
    1. planning the design and problem definition of a research project,
    2. conducting a qualitative study with analysis and discussion
    3. conducting a quantitative survey with analysis and discussion.

    Each submission should be between 4 and 8 pages of text in accordance with BI's template. The portfolio can be completed individually or in groups of up to 3 students. Students will receive feedback on each of the hand-ins in the form of written feedback or plenary feedback. Students will have an opportunity to correct their portfolio before the final submission. The completed portfolio assignment accounts for 100% of the final grade in the course.

    Recommended time spent in the course: 
    Participation in the teaching
    Participation in the portfolio review and computer tool supervision
    Working on the portfolio
    Preparation for the lectures/ reading literature
    Exercises and examination
    Recommended total use of time

      The students will be tested in two exams, both of which must be completed and passed before a grade for the course is awarded. The assessment will be published by the end of the semester.

      Part 1 – The portfolio is completed individually or in groups of up to 3 students. The portfolio must be submitted before the written exam, and the document will be between 4000-4500 words, exclusive of front page, table of contents and reference list, using BI’s template. Attachments are not accepted. There will be plagiarism control of the portfolios.
      Part 2 – A three-hour individual written exam.

      Examination code(s)
      EXC 21231 Portfolio, accounts for 40% towards the grade in EXC 2123 Business Research Methods, 7.5 ECTS.
      EXC 21232 written examination, accounts for 60% of the grade in EXC 2123 Business Research Methods, 7.5 ECTS.

      Examination support materials
      All support materials are allowed with respect to the portfolio.
      The BI defined calculator is allowed on the written exam. TEXAS INSTRUMENTS BA II Plus™
      One bilingual dictionary may also be used at written examiniations. Support materials permitted at written examiniations are explained under exam information in our web-based Student handbook. Please note use of calculator and dictionary. http://www.bi.edu/studenthandbook/examaids

      Re-sit examination
      A re-sit examination for the portfolio is held in connection with the next regular course.
      A re-sit for the written exam is held in connection with the next regular course.
      Re-sit exams can be taken separately.

      Additional information