Qualitative Research Methods in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Credits: 7.5 ECTS
Level of course: PhD
Course type: Elective
Maximum number of participants: 30
Study location: Bodø, Norway and online
Course coordinator: Einar Rasmussen and Thomas Lauvås (Nord), Lise Aaboen (NTNU), Anna Brattström (Lund), Steffen Korsgaard (SDU)
Teaching language: English
Teaching semester: Autumn 2022
Costs: No tuition fees.
Course evaluation: Evaluation using final survey​

Date and Location 2022:

  • Digital Workshop 1: Wednesday 7th September
  • Digital Workshop 2: Thursday 15th September
  • Physical 3-day Workshop in Bodø: 3-5th October
  • Digital Workshop 3: Wednesday 9th November

Course description

This course is aimed at PhD candidates in innovation and entrepreneurship. The course will help participants understand the benefits and challenges associated with qualitative research designs, and learn specific methodologies and techniques for collecting and analyzing qualitative data. The participants will engage in sessions to learn techniques and to put them into practice. This will enable the participants to develop confidence in their chosen approach and eventually apply it in their independent studies. Being offered as an advanced course we will provide an overview of qualitative research designs and delve deeper into specific topics such as data collection techniques, case studies, process studies, coding of qualitative data, and publishing qualitative research. ​

This course is designed using an activity-based learning approach and will involve active participant involvement. The course will include readings from innovation and entrepreneurship journals that have applied the above approaches. The participants will also learn the nuances connected with carrying out the various steps involved in these methodologies. Individual feedback sessions will provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback from both peers and faculty. The course will also have plenary sessions with researchers who practice qualitative approaches in their own research. These will be in the form of short lectures and interactive Q&A sessions. Participants will also have numerous opportunities to have informal interactions with the faculty.

Learning outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will possess the following:


  • Advanced understanding of the qualitative research tradition in innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Overview of commonly used approaches to conducting qualitative inquiries
  • Deeply understand a few specific methodologies used to conduct qualitative research and the specific steps and techniques needed to apply them​


  • Ability to identify research gaps and relevant research designs in the qualitative tradition which can be used in a PhD thesis
  • Ability to choose among various research designs
  • Ability to design and implement specific qualitative methodologies that are widely used in innovation and entrepreneurship journals
  • Design interview guides and protocols for qualitative studies
  • Be equipped with various analytical techniques that can be directly used to enhance the standard of the qualitative papers in a PhD thesis​

General Competence

  • Understand and appreciate situations and phenomena which are suitable for being investigated using qualitative inquiry
  • Ability to critically read, review, present and discuss top quality qualitative research papers
  • Ability to participate in high quality academic dialogue at both conferences and scientific journals


Must fulfil the requirements for admission to the PhD program.

Recommended previous knowledge:

Necessary: A basic overview of research methods.

Optional: A brief overview of innovation and entrepreneurship research literature in general.

Mode of delivery:

Face-to-face and online lectures, plenary talks, hands-on exercises, group discussions and student presentations.

Learning activities and teaching methods:

Lectures, practice sessions, seminars, tutored assignment work.


An extended abstract (900 words) submitted prior to the course and a paper (15 double spaced pages) will be evaluated for the grade (pass/not pass).

Course literature and recommended reading:

The course literature is divided into mandatory and recommended readings and will be distributed when accepted to the course. Note: The reading list may be subject to amendment at semester start.

Application and registration

Application Deadline: 26th of June 2022

Date & Location

Start date: 07/09/2022
Date digital: 7th September, 15th September, 9th November
Date physical: 3-5th October
Location: Zoom / Bodø