ENT4200 Research methods in an entrepreneurial setting Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Research methods in an entrepreneurial setting
Masterstudium i entreprenørskap
10 stp.


This course aims to enable students to understand the research process in the broad field of management and the specific requirements of entrepreneurship and innovation research. The course provides opportunities for students to plan, carry out and communicate research projects for their project work as well as for their master’s thesis. In particular, the course aims to cover current qualitative research designs and tools for innovators and entrepreneurs as well as knowledge about how to conduct segmentation based on big data appropriate for a digital age. Particular attention is given to participant-oriented and practice-oriented research such as action research, phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, qualitative experiments and narrative methods. Case study as an overarching research design that enables bridging theory and practice. The course goes back to the classics in qualitative theory and moves on to applications in innovation and entrepreneurship research.




After completing the course, the student should have the following overall learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence: 


The student has in-depth knowledge of  

  • how phenomena and practices are refined and investigated scientifically using qualitative methods 

  • the difference between natural, field and laboratory settings  

  • how research in collaboration with customers/users/practitioners/stakeholders is established, developed, and reported 

  • purposive sampling strategies and recruitment in qualitative research 

  • principles of action research methods, phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, qualitative experiments, case studies, critical incidents technique, narrative methods, mixed methods and naturally occurring data 

  • how to theorize from process data as opposed to deductive analysis  

  • ethics and relational research

  • market segmentation utilising surplus digital data  


The student has  

  • the ability to apply qualitative data from existing databases  

  • the ability to compare and select different research methods  

  • the ability to design, implement and evaluate qualitative research projects

  • confidence in generating data and discuss the results in cooperation with customers/users/practitioners/stakeholders in research projects  

  • the ability to go behind the stated and understand challenges of everyday life  

  • the ability to use qualitative designs in research and development projects in an independent way  

  • the ability to plan, collect, systemize, analyze and interpret qualitative data from composite contexts  

  • confidence in communicating the empirical findings to different target groups, the general public included  

  • the ability to apply big data sets for segmentation  

General competence  

The student  

  • has the ability to build trust in relationships with individuals and stakeholders in R&D projects

  • understands ethical principles for participant-oriented and practice-oriented research

  • has the ability to reflect on his or her own research position  

  • has a critical and creative attitude to method selection across sectors, industries and tasks  

  • has acquired systematic and analytical capabilities, and has strengthened the ability to solve problems

  • can communicate relevant professional issues, analyses and conclusions in fields bordering innovation and entrepreneurship  

  • has the ability to secure research quality 

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Lectures, workshops, cases, presentations, project. 

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

The following coursework requirements must be approved before the student may take the exam: 

  • The student must take part in the two practical analysis seminars as part of a group of two or three students.

 Prior to the first practical analysis seminar, students must submit, prepare and present a research proposal based on their own innovation/entrepreneurial idea. Feedback from the seminar leader will be given in the first seminar. The first draft must have a scope of two pages (+/- 10 per cent). Font and font size: Arial or Calibri, 12 points. Line spacing: 1.5. 

Prior to the second practical analysis seminar, students must submit a reworked research proposal and read the first proposal of two fellow student groups. During the second seminar, students must provide written and oral opponent feedback on the proposals. Attendance is required at both seminars in order to receive opponent feedback and comments from the seminar leader. The proposal must have a scope of five pages (+/- 10 per cent). Font and font size: Arial or Calibri, 12 points. Line spacing: 1.5. 

Students who are unable to attend the seminars will be given an alternative compulsory activity: a reflection note on both the first and second drafts of the research proposal, based on comments from the seminar leader.

Vurdering og eksamen

The exam in the course is a group-based (two to four students) research proposal based on a case of their choice and developed from the two drafts from the practical analysis seminars. In this proposal, students must define the problem definition, the purpose of the research, their sampling strategy and data collection method. The chosen research design and method of analysis must be substantiated based on its applicability to the chosen research question and purpose.

The exam paper must have a scope of 15 pages as a basis, plus two pages per group member (+/- 10 per cent). Font and font size: Arial or Calibri, 12 points. Line spacing: 1.5. 

Students who do not pass are given one opportunity to submit an improved version of the research proposal for assessment.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

All aids are permitted, as long as the rules for source referencing are complied with.


Grade scale A–F. 


The exam papers are assessed by one internal and one external examiner.

At least 25 per cent of the exam paper are assessed by two examiners. The grades awarded for the papers assessed by two examiners form the basis for determining the level for all the exam papers. The external examiner also assesses papers where there is doubt about awarding a grade.