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Hands-on Qualitative Methods - 5 ECTS

Date and time

Monday 11 December 2023 at 08:30 to Friday 15 December 2023 at 17:00

Registration Deadline

Wednesday 29 November 2023 at 23:55


Dalgas Have - room DHV 2.69, 2.70 & 2.71 (second floor), Dalgas Have 15, 2000 Frederiksberg Dalgas Have - room DHV 2.69, 2.70 & 2.71 (second floor)
Dalgas Have 15
2000 Frederiksberg

Hands-on Qualitative Methods - 5 ECTS

Course coordinator: Magali Gravier, Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)


Associate professor Magali Gravier
Department of Management, Society and Communication, CBS

Professor Mette Zølner
School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University
Professor Dan Kärreman
Department of Management , Society and Communication, CBS.



The PhD student should attach to the application one document:

A brief note (no more than 150 words), listing:

•       Your name and affiliation
•       Your research topic
•       The kind of data you are gathering
•       Five key questions on methodological/analytical issues in your project.
•       Date of the start of your PhD project

The applicants will be told if they are accepted to the course after the registration deadline.

If you are accepted to the course you should work out a five-pages (maximum) written presentation in which you relate some parts of the curriculum literature in the course to your project.

The presentation should focus on a methodological and analytical issue, and specific references to course literature. A list of literature will be uploaded on Canvas, to which you will have access after acceptance to the course.

Deadline for sending this document is 2 weeks before course begin.

The five pages will provide material for discussions and reflections throughout the course. You will be asked to discuss your own project as well as the projects of course participants, and to reflect upon how you can include the course learnings in your PhD project.

It is a precondition for receiving the course diploma that the PhD student attends the whole course.


This course serves as a basic primer for PhD students on how to conduct solid qualitative research as well as on major considerations that researchers need to reflect upon when aspiring to conduct qualitative research with quality.

Course content

The course will consist of four main components:

1) It will provide the participants with hands-on knowledge on how to conduct a qualitative research project. The course will focus on how to elaborate research designs, how to make a workable research topic, how to choose the appropriate analytical strategy, how to analyze data, and how to present qualitative research in a PhD and in scientific publications.

2) It will discuss qualitative research methods in relation to dominant philosophies of science (i.e. positivism, constructionism, critical realism and pragmatism) and their respective quality criteria.

3) It will enhance the students’ ability to reflect upon own research designs and methods through discussions and sharing of experiences with course participants and CBS researchers.

4) Students will be offered exercises in order to acquire and improve skills in qualitative methods.

Learning objectives

  • Enhance the participants’ knowledge and ability to work with qualitative methods and research;
  • Develop the participants’ capacity to reflect critically upon qualitative methods and research
  • Make participants aware of the pros and cons of doing qualitative research (both in general and in regard to specific qualitative methods);
  • Help the participants learn how to present qualitative research convincingly in their PhD and scientific publications.

Teaching style

Lectures with workshops, dialogues, exercises, student presentations and discussions.

Lecture plan

Day 1 Scientific philosophy and paradigms

10.00     Introduction of the course (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

10.30     Qualitative research processes in various paradigms (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

              (i.e. Positivism, constructionism, critical realism)

              Role playing game – philosophy of science – getting started.

12.30     Lunch 

13.30     Role playing game – philosophy of science Part I

15.00     Role playing game – philosophy of science Part II.

16.00     Short debrief on the exercise

16.15     Discussions around students’ projects (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

17.00/17.15     End of day

Day 2 Research Design and qualitative data: What is it and how to proceed?

9.00       Processes of defining a qualitative research design;

(i.e. Research strategy, deductive, inductive, abductive, retroductive approaches; quality criteria) (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

10.40     Collecting qualitative data and field access

(i.e. Case studies, (participant) observations, shadowing, documents, social media, interviews, visual data) (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

12.30     Lunch

13.30     A tale from the field: planning and collecting qualitative data (Dan Kärreman)

14.30     Discussions around students’ projects and on philosophies of science and data collection (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

16.15/16.30     End of day

18.30     Course dinner

Day 3 doing data analysis

9.00       Various analytical strategies (i.e. Content analysis, Discourse analysis, Narrative analysis) (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

11.30     Hands-on analytical strategies and working in research teams (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

             Exercise 1: applying two analytical strategies to selected data material

12.30     Lunch

13.30     A tale from the field: analyzing data (Dan Kärreman)

14.30     Hands-on analytical strategies and working in research teams

              Exercise 2: applying two analytical strategies to selected data material (Mette Zølner & Magali Gravier)

15.30     Hands-on analytical strategies and working in research teams

Exercise 3: Method combinations (drawing on exercise 1 and 2) (Mette Zølner & Magali Gravier)

17.00/17.15     End of day

Day 4 From Data to theorizing

9.00       Using NVIVO for qualitative data analysis: assets and challenges (Joshua Kragh Bruhn, CBS Library)

10.15     Discussing software based vs manual data analysis (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

11.00     What about theorizing? (Magali Gravier & Mette Zølner)

12.30     Lunch

13.30     A tale from the field: ethical issues (Dan Kärreman)

14:30     Two participant presentations on how to implement learnings in own PhD project

15.30     In class home-work – preparing for tomorrow.

Day 5 Implementing on own research

9.00       Student presentations on how to implement learnings in their Ph.D. projects (Mette Zølner & Magali Gravier)

11.30     A tale from the field: presenting and publishing qualitative analyses (Dan Kärreman)

12.30     Lunch

13.30     Student presentations on how to implement learnings in their Ph.D. projects (Mette Zølner & Magali Gravier)

14.30     Wrapping up and evaluations

15.30     End of the course

Indicative list of literature

(An updated list of literature will be uploaded on Canvas). 

Alvesson, M. and Sköldberg, K. (2009). Reflexive methodology. New Vistas for qualitative research. London: Sage (2nd edition).

Bazeley P. and Jackson, K. (2013). Qualitative Data Analysis with NVIVO. Sage (2nd ed.)

Bhaskar, R. (2008). A Realist Theory of Science. Rev. ed. London: Routledge.

Bhaskar, R. (2015). The Possibility of Naturalism, 4th ed. London: Routledge.

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2021). Thematic Analysis. A Practical guide. Sage.

Cassell C. et al. (2009) Learning to be a qualitative management researcher. Management Learning. 40 (5) 513-533

Flick, U. (2022). An introduction to qualitative research. London: Sage (6th edition)

Flick, U. (ed) (2014). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis. London: Sage.

Gioia, D. A., K. N. Price, A. L. Hamilton, and J. B. Thomas. 2010. “Forging an Identity: An Insider-Outsider Study of Processes Involved in the Formation of Organizational Identity.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 55: 1–46.

Miles, M. B. and Huberman, M. A. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis. London: Sage (2nd edition).

Saldaña, J. (2013). The coding manual for Qualitative Research. London: Sage.

Salmons, J. (2015). Qualitative online interviews. London: Sage (2nd edition).

Silverman, D. (2014). Interpreting qualitative data. London: Sage (5th edition).

Tracy, S. J. (2012). Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact. Wiley-Blackwell.

U. Flick. (ed.) (2018). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Data Collection. London Sage.

Welch C. et al. (2011). Theorizing from case studies: towards a pluralist future for international business research. Journal of International Business Studies, 42: 740-762.

White, P. (2009). Developing Research Questions. Palgrave Macmillan.


Registration deadline and conditions

The registration deadline is 01 November 2023. If you want to cancel your registration on the course it should be done prior to this mentioned date. By this date we determine whether we have enough registrations to run the course, or who should be offered a seat if we have received too many registrations.

If there are more seats available on the course we leave the registration open by setting a new regsitration deadline in order to fill remaining seats. Once you have received our acceptance/welcome letter to join the course, your registration is binding and we do not refund your course fee. The binding registration date will be the registration deadline mentioned above.

Payment methods

Make sure you choose the correct method of payment upon finalizing your registration:
CBS students:
Choose payment method CBS PhD students and the course fee will be deducted from your PhD course budget.
Students from other Danish universities: 
Choose payment method Danish Electronic Invoice (EAN). Fill in your EAN number, attention and possible purchase (project) order number.
Do you not pay by EAN number please choose Invoice to pay via electronic bank payment (+71). 
Students from foreign universities:
Choose payment method Payment Card. Are you not able to pay by credit card please choose Invoice International to pay via bank transfer. 
Please note that your registration is binding after the registration deadline.

Event Location

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Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475

Organizer Contact Information

CBS PhD School
Nina Iversen

Phone: +45 3815 2475