Scientific Methods: Research Design and Meth. Choices for Accounting and Business and Management Science

MET527 Scientific Methods: Research Design and Meth. Choices for Accounting and Business and Management Science

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    The purpose of this course is to enhance and reinforce knowledge and understanding of the decisions needed to design a research study.  Hence, students should develop skills needed to formulate research questions, develop a design for answering those questions, and then implement and evaluate the evidence received from the research effort.  The class will cover a number of research strategies and issues that might be part of a research project.  Although different research strategies will be more relevant to some disciplines than others; a broader view of the research process should enable students to identify strengths and weaknesses of research efforts in various areas.  Thus, the goal of the course is to provide the student with an understanding of the concept of a philosophy of science, to improve the student’s research skills, to discuss issues related to researcher ethics and to expose students to a variety of research they may encounter in their professional careers.

    The course will cover research related to:

    • Empirical
      • Experimental data
      • Observational data
    • Theory/Modeling
      • Positive analysis
      • Normative analysis
    • Qualitative Analysis
      • Case studies
      • Interviews
    • Mixed Methods

  • Learning outcome

    After completing this course, the student can:


    • Account for the main positions in philosophy of science and the role of philosophy of science in current practice
    • Evaluate the appropriateness and application of different methods and processes in research and scholarly development projects
    • Contribute to the development of new methods, interpretations and forms of documentation in the field
    • Understand the concepts of integrity and ethics in research


    • Formulate problems, plan and carry out research
    • Critically carry out research and produce scholarly research of a high quality nature
    • Assess academic issues and challenge established knowledge and practice in the field
    • Critically assess measurement of constructs used in research
    • Perform analysis of the quality of a given research project for the purpose it has been designed

    General competence

    • Carry out research with scholarly integrity
    • Critically assess the relationship between problem formulation and research design
    • Assess and understand the role and limitations of design in the testing for causal and associational relationships

  • Teaching

    Intensive course.  The course will be conducted as a blend of lectures and discussion of selected parts of the course material, as well as critical evaluations of selected empirical studies.  In addition, the participants own research problems will be addressed.

  • Restricted access

    • PhD candidates at NHH
    • PhD candidates at Norwegian institutions
    • PhD candidates at other institutions
    • PhD candidates from the ENGAGE.EU alliance
    • Motivated master’s students at NHH may be admitted after application, but are subject to the approval from the course responsible on a case by case basis
    • Individuals outside academia may be admitted after application, but are subject to the approval from the course responsible and the Vice Rector for Research on a case by case basis

  • Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Compulsory Activity

    The student is:

    • Expected to actively participate in class
    • Make one brief presentation to the class
    • Write a commentary on one paper in a department research seminar

  • Assessment

    To pass the course, the student is expected to write an individual term paper at the conclusion of the course on a topic agreed upon during the class.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    Active participation in the class is expected, including discussion of selected parts of the course materials.  The course material will also include research papers, which discuss methodological issues or exemplify the various scientific methods which are used in the relevant field.

    A complete list of readings will be available prior to the course.

  • This is an ENGAGE-course

    This course is offered to PhD candidates from the ENGAGE.EU alliance.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Will be offered Spring 2024.

Course responsible

Associate Professor Floris Zoutman, Department of Business and Management Science (main course responsible).

Assistant Professor Simone Traini, Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law.