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 addresses how to identify and define problems and challenges in the organization and in the market, and how to work systematically and scientifically to provide information that can be used for the decision making. The course is based on theories within marketing, consumer behavior, statistics, business management and strategy.

Business research knowledge will provide guidance for the students when interpreting information regarding scientific standards. The course will develop the students’ abilities to make such critical reviews. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques will be addressed in the course.

Learning outcome
Acquired Knowledge
After finishing the course the students will be able to organize, summarize, and discuss results from research according to the scientific principles for research.

Acquired Skills
After finishing the course the students will be able to independently develop, adapt, correct, and communicate their own research, in addition to understanding, evaluating and utilizing the research of others.

The course shall raise student’s awareness, and develop students’ attitudes 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

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 submissions. The portfolio is based on
I. planning the design and problem definition of a research project
II. conducting a qualitative study with analysis and discussion
III. conducting a quantitative survey with analysis and discussion.

The portfolio can be completed individually or in groups of up to 3 students. Students will receive feedback on each of the submissions in the form of written feedback or plenary feedback. Students will have an opportunity to correct their portfolio before the final submission. Students in the course must participate in research experiments at BI. The experiments will be organized within specific deadlines during the semester. The experiment can be done either electronically or at the experiment lab at BI Nydalen. An evaluation of experiments as method to understand consumer behavior shall be included in the portfolio. The completed portfolio assignment accounts for 60% of the final grade in the course. In addition, the students will be individually tested using a written exam which accounts for 40% 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 examinations, both of which must be completed and passed before a grade for the course is awarded. The portfolio will be published by the start of the semester.

    Part 1 – The portfolio can be completed individually or in groups of up to 3 students. The portfolio will be between 4500 and 5000 words, exclusive of the front page, table of contents and reference list. Only the study guide and survey questionnaire are accepted as attachmeht. There will be plagiarism control of the portfolios.
    (4000 - 4500 words is sufficient in the portfolio for students taking re-sit examiniation in EXC 21231 where the portfolio accounts for 40% of the final grade).

    Part 2 – A three-hour written exam.

    Examination code(s)
    EXC 21233 Portfolio assessment accounts for 60% of the grade in EXC 2123 Method and Data Analysis, 7.5 ECTS.
    EXC 21234 Written exam - accounts for 40% of the grade in EXC 2123 Method and Data Analysis, 7,5 ECTS.

    Examination support materials
    Portfolio - All support materials are allowed: with respect to the portfolio.
    Written examination - The BI defined calculator is allowed on the control exam. TEXAS INSTRUMENTS BA II Plus™
    One bilingual dictionary may also be used at the control examiniations. Support materials permitted at written examiniations are explained under exam information on @BI.no. Please note use of calculator and dictionary. https://at.bi.no/EN/Pages/Exa_Hjelpemidler-til-eksamen.aspx

    Re-sit examination
    A re-sit for the EXC 21233 portfolio 60 % is held in connection with the next regular course.
    A re-sit for the EXC 21234 written exam 40 % is held in connection with the next regular course.

    A re-sit for the EXC 21231 portfolio 40 % is held autumn 2013 and last time autumn 2014.
    A re-sit for the EXC 21232 written exam 60 % is held autumn 2013 and last time autumn 2014.

    Re-sit examinations can be taken separately.

    Additional information