Theory and Research Evaluation

MET504 Theory and Research Evaluation

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    In this course we will address three domains that researchers are facing:

    1. the theories we develop or apply,

    2. the empirical observations we make,

    3. and the world or things we try to describe, predict and understand.

    Research in many respects deals with bridging the gaps between these three different domains and an important goal of the course is to provide perspectives on how they are interrelated and how we as researchers go about to connect them. In the course we will discuss different approaches to how we can proceed and we also focus on criteria that allow us to evaluate how we should do it.

    We will be drawing on literature in philosophy of science, methodology and on contributions in areas like psychology, organization theory and marketing. The readings will address different issues that arise in the intersections between the three domains listed above. We will address different perspectives (e.g. empiricism and (critical) realism) on the relationship between theories, empirical observations and the "world".

  • Learning outcome

    After completion of the course, the students will be able to:


    • critically assess the role of theories for describing and understanding the world
    • critically assess the logic behind procedures for discovering and testing theories
    • evaluate and assess what we should require of a "good" theory and to be familiar with criteria for evaluating research
    • understand the foundations of philosophy of science and implications of doing research


    • formulate research problems and investigate them in a scholarly manner
    • challenge established knowledge and practice in their fields of study
    • apply sound criteria for evaluating theories and research contributions

    General competence

    • contribute to the development of new knowledge, better theories, and application of more appropriate methods,
    • identify ethical and philosophical issues and implications of different theoretical approaches and research practices
    • discuss and raise questions from a philosophy of science perspective.

  • Teaching

    The teaching consist of lectures, student presentations and interactive seminars.

    The course is taught intensively over the period of one week. The course will be offered digitally for external PhD students that are not able to attend the course on campus. For those on campus the course would be physical.

  • 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

    There is no cap on the number of students. 

    NHH Research Scholars should register for the course as recommended.

    External Research Scholars: We kindly request you send an application to attend the course (copy url).

  • Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Compulsory Activity

    Mandatory attendance.

    Compulsory activities (work requirements) are valid for one semester after the semester they were obtained.

  • Assessment

    Individual written term paper.

    Re-take is offered the semester after the course was offered for students with valid compulsory activities (work requirements).

  • Grading Scale

    Pass / fail

  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    Text book: Godfrey-Smith, Peter (2003): An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science: Theory and Reality, University of Chicago Press.

    In addition there will be selected articles.

    The outline, with a complete list of readings, will be available in due time prior to the start of 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 dates will be posted on Department of Strategy and Management's web pages.

Course responsible

Professor Einar Breivik, Department of Strategy and Management