Applied Research Methods


The goal of this course is to teach advanced research methods for business context. In particular the course will endow
students on how to design a proper methodology to collect data to analyze distinct business problems (i.e., research
questions). It’s a multi-method course, thus encompassing both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

A. Knowledge and Understanding
Understanding the importance of conducting high-quality research in business research
Discuss the different research methodologies
Critically evaluate the suitability of different research methodologies to answer different research questions.

B. Subject-Specific Skills
Understand the importance of making business decisions based on reliable data
Learn how to define a problem to-be solved (i.e., research question)
Learn how to select the proper methodology (quantitative and/or qualitative) to answer a specific problem to-be
solved in the business context.

Link the specific data to data analysis methods

C. General Skills
Develop critical thinking skills
Develop anlytical skills
Communicate in oral form in the roles of both presenter and discussant
Work in teams

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Aníbal António Sá da Costa López


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Gliner, J.A., Morgan, G. A., & Leech, N. L. (2017). Research Methods in Applied Settings: An Integrated Approach
to Design and Analysis, Third Edition. New York, Ny: Routledge, 2017.
Christensen, L. B., Johnson, R.R., & Turner, L. A. (2015). Research Methods, Design, and Analysis. 12th Edition.
London: Pearson Education.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., Thornhill, A., & Bristow, A. (2019). Understanding research philosophy and approaches
to theory development. In book: Research Methods for Business Students (pp.128-171). Edition: 8th Chapter: 4
Publisher: Pearson Education.

Teaching method

This course consists in 3h class per week and feedback meetings with teams. These are mostly lectures but also include
students’ presentations. Slides used in class are posted on Moodle. Students are expected to look at these before

Evaluation method

Grading will take into account the following elements:
1. Two individual quizzes (30 minutes each). These quizzes will be solved in class. Weight on the final score: 30%;
2. Methodology Plan: in groups*, students must develop a methodology plan to a specific business problem to-be
solved**. The plan must comply will all the requirements of conducting high-quality research discussed in class. This
10-page report counts for 40% of the final grade;
3. Poster/video presentation: The methodology plan must be presented in the last class in a poster (or video) format.
Weight on the final score: 30%.
*The same teams of the Entrepreneurial project course
**We encourage students to work on the problem to-be solved underlying the business idea they are developing in
Entrepreneurial Project course.

Subject matter

1: Introduction to research methods
a. What is high-quality research in business context?
b. Key concepts
c. Defining the problem to-be solved (or research question) and establishing attainable research goals
d. Quantitative vs Qualitative research methods
e. Theory development and literature review
2: Quantitative Research Methods for business – Descriptive methods
a. Key concepts
b. Cross-sectional methods
c. Longitudinal methods
d. How to create reliable survey questions
3: Quantitative Research Methods for business – Causal methods
a. Lab experiments
b. Field experiments
c. Quasi-experimental designs
d. Randomized Experimental designs
4: Qualitative Research Methods for business
a. Key concepts of qualitative research
b. Interviews
c. Focus Group
d. Observation
5: Data analysis, ethics and reporting
a. Quantitative and Qualitative data analysis methods
b. Levels of evidence and how to report results
c. Ethics in doing research


Programs where the course is taught: