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Research Methods


Bettinazzi E.

Course director


Objectives and contents

In this course, we will learn how to conduct a research project. In doing so, we will work together to address the following questions

  • What is business research about?
  • What are the epistemological roots of research?
  • What are the differences between a deductive and an inductive study?
  • How can we identify a good research question?
  • How can we conduct a literature review?
  • What do we mean by qualitative and quantitative research? How can we identify what is more suitable for our RQ?
  • What are the basics of data collection (secondary or primary data)?
  • How can we design an experiment?
  • How can we conduct a qualitative study?
  • How can we accurately formalize research?

Developing research capabilities will be of use not only in your academic career (e.g. your final thesis) but will prove extremely beneficial in your practitioner activity. More and more firms are, in fact, looking for people that are able to:

  • collect data and information from the field (for instance, the capability to gather data from customers);
  • analyze data with state of the art tools and rigorous methodologies (for instance, big data analytics)
  • generate insights from the results (for instance, formulate strategies from business intelligence activities)
  • formalize and communicate efficiently the conclusions that are drawn the research process (for instance, reporting in consulting firms)



The course uses a mix of frontal teaching and participative learning. We will use lectures, interactive discussions group projects, analyses of exemplary researches, and presentations.



15% Class participation

35% Group assignments

50% Final Exam



All needed material will be distributed.

Useful readings:

  • Bailey, K. (2008). Methods of social research. Simon and Schust
  • Hair, JF, et al. (2007). Research Methods for Business. West Sussex: John Wiley and sons
  • Yin RK. 2003. Case Study Research: Design and Methods., SAGE. California.