Research Methods for Business and Leadership (MHR101)

This course will provide a platform for your learning in the master's program as well as your lifelong learning in a manager- and researcher role. The course offer opportunities to develop skills and competence in identifying, collecting, evaluating, synthesizing, and presenting management- and leadership relevant information. The course will also introduce you to contemporary research methods and writing a master thesis. Methods are selected from major management-relevant social science disciplines such as psychology, sociology, and organization studies.

Course description for study year 2022-2023. Please note that changes may occur.


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The course starts with a presentation and evaluation of the foundation for good social science research including design-, sample-, measurement-, and analysis issues. Then we introduce important quality concepts such as objectivity, falsification, explanation, empirical testing, and reliability/validity, and precision. Throughout we focus on implications for research- and management processes, and we work extensively with cases and assignments related to individual studies as well as reviews and meta-analyses. The point of departure is contemporary standard management-relevant research in social sciences such as psychology, sociology, and organizational theory.

Throughout the course, we expect participants to evaluate knowledge, participate in class discussions, and write papers.

Learning outcome

A candidate who has completed this class should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills, and general competence.


After completing this course the student has

  • advanced knowledge in fundamental quality principles of research in social sciences and how research relates to a manager's role.
  • in-depth knowledge of how to critically classify, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and apply state-of-the-art knowledge from several social science disciplines.
  • in-depth knowledge of the elements of contemporary social science research.


After completing this course the student can

  • analyze and extract, evaluate, and apply existing knowledge in social sciences and management.
  • critically discuss contemporary knowledge within business and leadership.
  • present, discuss and write critical evaluations of the quality of contemporary knowledge within business and leadership.
  • analyze methodological issues and make a research plan.

General competence

After completing this course, the student can:

  • analyze and formulate methodological problem statements for relevant academic, business/professional, and research ethical issues.
  • based on rhetorical principles communicate, present, and argue for the result of independent work, like analyses, methodology, and conclusions, to various audiences like specialists and the general public.
  • apply his/her knowledge and skills in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects.
  • on a sound social science scientific basis, continue life-long learning in research, management, and life in general.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Individual home exam 1/1 7 Days Letter grades

Coursework requirements

Compulsory assignments
  • 2 group-based cases/assignments,
  • 1 Individual case/assignment

These cases/assignments must be passed before the exam.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Torvald Øgaard

Method of work

Student-centered learning based on cases, lectures, seminars, discussions, and group-work.

Class attendance is not mandatory but highly recommended since the interactive class ambiance offers an efficient learning environment as well as a chance to acquire highly needed skills.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Research Methodology and Philosophy (MHR180_1) 5
Applied social science research methods (MHR115_1) 5

Course assessment

The course will be assessed and evaluated according to the University of Stavanger' administrative quality system.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto