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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Qualitative Research (CMSE11312)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to offer students training on qualitative research in management. It complements other courses offered centrally on research methods, and offers supplementary training in the areas of 'supervised readings'. It is also in line with the efforts of the direction of the programme to bring more discipline specific courses into the programme.
Course description Aims, Nature, Context

The course aims to equip students with a thorough understanding of the main research approaches to management research (e.g. positivism, constructivism) and to locate these within various theoretical approaches (e.g. Foucault, Actor Network Theory, New Institutional Sociology, Bourdieu) in both contemporary and historical settings. The course complements more 'hands on' courses on research methodologies and techniques for qualitative research available centrally at the Graduate school.

The course is organised in 11 sessions (4 sessions taught by Prof Paolo Quattrone and the other sessions are taught by lecturers in the Business School).

The sessions will cover the following themes:
a. Archival research
The session will provide an overview of historical research in terms of methods and trends

b. Researching the profession
The session will offer insights into the theoretical and methodological approaches to studying professions

c. Researching accounting, organizations and society
The session will explore the role of management practices such as accounting in social relationships and structures

d. Qualitative research in corporate communication
The session will discuss researching narratives, visual imagery and other communication media and offer an overview of critical approaches to accounting

e. Researching the field
The session will highlight the theoretical dimension of historical research and link it to more conventional case and field study approaches.

f. Researching practices
The session will challenge conventional wisdom on the finite and static nature of organizations, organizing and management practices more in general.

g. Researching organizational change and the unfolding nature practices
The session will offer an overview of recent approaches that investigate the dynamic and changing nature of management practices and offer theoretical and methodological tools to deal with their multiplicity and unfolding nature.

h. Researching visualizations
The session will offer an overview of the recent attention to visualizations in management studies with emphasis on the notions of inscriptions and epistemic objects and link it to various streams of research in accounting, organization theory and science and technology studies which have had a long-standing interest in the matter.

Student Learning Experience
The course will be organised around a core hours of lectures prompting debate and conversation in the classroom. Students will have to make a number of readings before each class to show their understanding of the topics and engage with the class.

Students will be asked to do a substantial amount of reading prior to class also in relation to the final presentation.

Class interaction and participation will help debating the nature of the various research approaches and methodologies discussed.

The course embeds issues of ethics and responsibility at its core. It aims to develop alternative forms of research that unveil the societal and ethical dimension of management practices.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Other Study Hours 50, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 126 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study - presentation preparation
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Research Proposal 65%
Presentation 25%
Participation 10%
Feedback The course is assessed in three different components:
1. Oral presentation: Students will be asked to prepare and present a research proposal. This will develop their ability to operationalize qualitative research approaches and methods in their realm of research and to communicate them effectively.
2. Written work: The oral presentation will be accompanied by a written essay that will assess their ability to critically understand issues related to qualitative research methods and provide evidence of their critical thinking attitudes.
3. Class participation: Students will be provided informal feedback on class participation. Lecturers will assess students participation (on a 0-5 scale) depending on the quality of their contribution to the class debate e.g. showing evidence of readings prior to class, critical attitude, etc.).
Students' presentations will be assessed along the following dimensions:

- RESEARCH - Evidence of ability to formulate research question showing knowledge of various theoretical and epistemological approaches
- ANALYTICAL - Evaluation of logical coherence and quality in the discursive approach
- SYNTHESIS - Summarization of key arguments, arrival at informed conclusions
- ORGANISATION - Structured presentation, material, coherence and logical flow
- COMMUNICATION - Effective use of visual aids, quality of verbal delivery and audience engagement
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge and Understanding: At the end of the course, students will be able to construct a map of research paradigms in order to be able to combine, use, and contribute to, them in coherent and rigorous ways. This knowledge will allow them to frame their research and execute it following appropriate methodologies.
  2. Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding. At the end of the course students will be able to identify appropriate qualitative research methods and techniques for carrying out qualitative research.
  3. Generic Cognitive Skills. Students will develop critical thinking skills in relation to management and qualitative research
  4. Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills. Although the course is not aimed at developing such skills the presentation element of the assessment will help students to present their thoughts in a systematic and coherent manner.
  5. Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others. Students will be tasked with individual and group work which will develop both their autonomy and ability to work with others.
Reading List
Abbott, A. (1988) The System of professions. Chicago: University Press.
Anteby, M. 2010. Markets, Morals, and Practices of Trade: Jurisdictional Disputes in the U.S. Commerce in Cadavers. Administrative Science Quarterly, 55: 606¿638.
Bechky, B. A. 2003. Object Lessons: Workplace Artifacts as Representations of Occupational Jurisdiction. The American Journal of Sociology. 109 (3): 720-752
Bechky, B. A. 2003. Sharing Meaning Across Occupational Communities: the Transformation of Understanding on a Production Floor. Organization Science 14 (3): 312-30.
Briers M., & Chua, W. F. (2001), 'The Role of Actor-Networks and Boundary Objects in Management Accounting Change: A Field Study of the Implementation of Activity-Based Costing', Accounting, Organizations and Society, 26:237-269.
Carlile, P. 2002. A pragmatic view of knowledge and boundaries: boundary objects in new product development. Organization Science 13 (4): 442-55.
Carruthers, B.G. 1995. 'Accounting, Ambiguity and the New Institutionalism', Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 313-328.
Carruthers, B.G., Espeland, W.N. 1991. 'Accounting for Rationality: Double-Entry Bookkeeping and the Rhetoric of Economic Rationality', American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 97, No. 1.
Cooper, D.J. & Robson, K. (2006). 'Accounting, professions and regulation: locating the sites of. Professionalisation'. Accounting, Organisations and Society, 31(4/5): 415-444
Czarniawska, B (2014). Social Science Research: From Field to Desk. London: Sage
Dambrin C., Robson K., 2011. Tracing performance in the pharmaceutical industry: Ambivalence, opacity and the performativity of ¿awed measures. Accounting, Organizations and Society 36: 428-455
Doganova, L., and M. Eyquem-Renault. 2009. What do business models do? Innovation devices in technology entrepreneurship. Research Policy 38: 1559¿1570.
Dunn, M.B., Jones, C. 2010. Institutional logics and institutional pluralism: the contestation of care and science logics in medical education, 1967-2005. Administrative Science Quarterly, 55: 114¿149.
Edwards, J.R. and Walker, S.P. (2009) The Routledge Companion to Accounting History. Abingdon: Routledge.
Espeland, W., Stevens, M. 2008."A Sociology of Quantification", European Journal of Sociology, XLIX: 401-436.
Fleischman, R. Radcliffe, V. and Shoemaker, P. (2003) Doing Accounting History. Amsterdam: JAI
Fleischman, R., Funnell, W. and Walker, S.P. Critical Histories of Accounting. Abingdon: Routledge.
Freidson, E. (2001) Professionalism: The third logic. Cambridge: Polity.
Greenwood, R., Suddaby, R. and DcDougald, M. (2006) 'Introduction', Professional Service Firms, Research in the Sociology of Organisations, 24, 1-16.
Hallett, T., Ventresca, M. J. 2006. Inhabited Institutions: Social Interactions and Organizational Forms in Gouldner's "Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy". Theory and Society, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Apr., 2006), pp. 213-236.
Hopwood, A.G. 1987. The Archaeology of Accounting Systems. Accounting, Organization, and Society, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 207-234.
Hopwood, A.G. and Miller, P. (1994) Accounting as Social and Institutional Practice. Cambridge: University Press.
Hoque, Z. (2006) Methodological Issues in Accounting Research. London: Spiramus.
Humphrey, C. and Lee, B. (2008) The Real Life Guide to Accounting Research. Oxford: Elsevier.
Jack, L., Davison, J., Craig, R. (2013) The Routledge Companion to Accounting Communication. Abingdon: Routledge.
Kaplan, S. 2011. Strategy and PowerPoint: An Inquiry into the Epistemic Culture and Machinery of Strategy Making. Organization Science, 22 (2): 320¿346.
Knorr Cetina, K. (1997). Sociality with objects. Theory, Culture and Society. 14(4): 1¿30.
Knorr Cetina, K. 2001. Objectual practice. In T. R. Schatzki, K. Knorr Cetina, & E. von Savigny (Eds.), The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory (pp. 184-197). London: Routledge.
Latour, B. (1986). 'Visualization and Cognition: Thinking with eyes and hands'. In Kuklick, H., Long, E. (Eds.) (1986). Knowledge and Society: Studies in the Sociology of Culture, Past and Present. London: Jai Press, pp. 1-40.
Latour, B. (1988) The politics of explanations: An alternative. In Woolgar, S. (1988b) (ed.). Knowledge and Reflexivity. New frontiers in the Sociology of Knowledge. London: Sage Publications.
Law, J., Singleton V. (2005). Object Lessons. Organization, 12, 3, pp. 331-55.
March, J., G. 1987. Ambiguity and Accounting: The elusive link between information and decision making. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 12, 2: 153-168
Meyer, R., E., Höllerer, M., A., Jancsary, D., and van Leeuwen, T. 2013. The Visual Dimension in Organizing, Organization, and Organization Research: Core Ideas, Current Developments, and Promising Avenues. The Academy of Management Annals, 7:1, 489-555.
Miller, P., and Power, M. 2013. Accounting, Organizing, and Economizing: Connecting Accounting Research and Organization Theory. The Academy of Management Annals, 7:1, 557-605.
Nicolini, D. Mengis, J. and Swan, J. (2012). Understanding the role of objects in multidisciplinary collaboration. Organization Science 23: 612-629.
Orlikowski, W. J. 2007. Sociomaterial Practices: Exploring Technology at Work. Organization Studies, 28(9): 1435-1448.
Powell, W. W., Colyvas J. A. 2008. Microfoundations of Institutional Theory in Royston Greenwood, Christine Oliver, Kerstin Sahlin-Andersson, and Roy Suddaby, editors, Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism, (pp. 276-98). Sage Publishers.
Qu, S., and Cooper, D, 2011. The role of inscriptions in producing a balanced scorecard. Accounting, Organizations and Society 1-19
Quattrone, P, Hopper T. (2006). 'What is IT: SAP, Accounting, and Visibility in a Multinational Organisation', Information and Organization, 2006, 16, pp. 212-250.
Quattrone, P. (2015) 'Governing Social Orders, Unfolding rationality and Jesuit Accounting practices: A procedural approach to institutional logics', Administrative Science Quarterly, 60, 3:411'445.
Roslender, R. (1992) Sociological Perspectives on Modern Accountancy. London: Routledge.
Smith, M. (2011) Research Methods in Accounting. London: Sage
Star, S. L. 2010. This is Not a Boundary Object: Reflections on the Origin of a Concept. Science, Technology & Human Values, 35(5), 601-617.
Suddaby, R., Greenwood, R. 2005. Rhetorical Strategies of Legitimacy. Administrative Science Quarterly 35(1) 35-67.
Zietsma, C., Lawrence, T. B. 2010. Institutional Work in the Transformation of an Organizational Field: The Interplay of Boundary Work and Practice Work. Administrative Science Quarterly, 55(2): 189-221.

Anteby, M. 2013. Manufacturing Morals. The Values of Silence in Business School Education. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Battilana, J., B. Leca, and E. Boxenbaum 2009. "How Actors Change Institutions: Towards a Theory of Institutional Entrepreneurship." Academy of Management Annals, 65-107.
Cabantous, L, Gond, J.-P. 2011. Rational decision-making as performative praxis: Explaining rationality¿s éternel retour. Organization Science, 22, 3: 573-586.
Carlile, P. 2004. Transferring, translating, and transforming: an interactive framework for making managing knowledge across boundaries. Organization Science 15 (5): 555-68.
Friedland, R., Alford, R.1991. Bringing Society Back in: Symbols, Practices, and Institutional Contradictions. pp 232-266 in Powell W.W., DiMaggio P.J., The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Garud, R, Hardy, C. & Maguire, S. 2007. Institutional Entrepreneurship as Embedded Agency: An Introduction to the Special Issue, Organization Studies, 28(7): 957-969
Greenwood R., Raynard, M., Kodeih, F., Micelotta E. R., and Lounsbury M., 2011. Institutional complexity and organizational responses. Annals of the Academy of Management, 5:317-371.
Latour, B. (1987), Science in Action. How to Follow Scientist and engineers through society, Cambridge Mass., Harvard University Press. (pp. 64-100).
Latour, B., Pandora¿s hope. Essays on the Reality of Science Studies, (Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999) (browse the book for the distinction he makes between matters of fact and matters of concern).
Lounsbury, M. 2008. Institutional Rationality and Practice Variation: New Directions in the Institutional Analysis of Practice. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 33: 349-361.
Lounsbury, M., Ventresca, M. J. 2003. The new structuralism in organization theory, Organization: The Critical Journal of Theory, Organization, and Society, 10(1), pp.457-480.
Lounsbury, M., Ventresca, M. J., and Hirsch P. M. 2003. Social Movements, Field Frames, and Industry Emergence: A Cultural-Political Perspective. Socio-Economic Review 1(1): 70-104.
Padgett, J. F, Powell, W. W. 2012. The Emergence of Organizations and Markets. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Robson, K. (1992) 'Accounting Numbers as 'Inscription': Action at a Distance and the Development of Accounting', Accounting, Organisations and Society 17(7): pp. 685-708.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems and issues
- Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in management and its sub-disciplines
- Communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists
- Demonstrate leadership and/or initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development and/or new thinking.
- Practice in ways which are reflective, self-critical and based on research/evidence.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Paulo Quattrone
Tel: (0131 6)51 5541
Course secretaryMrs Susan Keatinge
Tel: (0131 6)50 3810
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