Research Methods and Skills
Research competencies and skills are essential for the effective conduct and understanding of research and ultimately for evidence-based decision-making, whether in business, government or civil society. For example, you can think of consumer market research for innovative products or services, impact studies of ICT projects, studies on female entrepreneurship, and studies on corporate greening in the hotel industry. The development of research competencies is particularly relevant for junior academics whose career is increasingly dependent on their research output. When embarking on a DBA program, you also need to have a solid understanding of what constitutes good research, how to design and execute empirical studies and how to present and discuss research results in a convincing and effective manner.
The RMS training program offers a unique program to develop academic skills and a scientific mindset and to facilitate the kick-starting of research activities of DBA candidates, (junior) faculty and decision-makers in government departments, private business firms, NGOs and international development organizations. In developing countries, this program can serve as capacity building for staff in universities, but also research units within businesses, NGOs, ministries and think tanks. In developed countries, this program fills the gap between master graduation, and the start of a DBA research. After completion of this program, you are better equipped to apply for DBA programs, or start your actual DBA research within your own institute.
This program is offered both on campus (12 weeks, starting from mid-September to early December of every year) and blended (i.e. online videos, handouts, moderated online forum discussions, feedback on assignments per email and Skype). The program comprises five modules and takes you through the empirical research cycle step-by-step. Our classes balance theoretical knowledge with experience-based learning. We strongly believe that learning-by-doing will help you develop a unique set of skills to draft and execute your research proposal. With all assignments being geared towards drafting an initial research proposal, the RMS training program truly kick-starts your research journey.
Reasons to follow this program
- Gain a comprehensive understanding of the process of research, learning how to move from an initial research idea to designing a solid study to empirically examine the phenomenon of interest
- Learn about the main qualitative and quantitative research approaches and learn how to apply them
- Be ready to start a DBA program
Research Methods and Skills – on campus
In a full-time 12 weeks program on-campus in Maastricht, you will follow five Subject Modules consecutively. It is thus an intensive period of study with plenary class sessions being combined with individual and group assignments and self-study. Discussions with peers and RMS lecturers about your initial research ideas will help you sharpen and refine these ideas. The coursework and assignments are all geared towards drafting a solid individual 10-page Research Proposal that needs to be presented and defended successfully for a committee of RMS lecturers. The program is delivered in the period from 2 September to 22 November.
Module 1: Introduction to Research Methodology
The first module focuses on “the basics” of research. It discusses research philosophy, deductive and inductive reasoning, research ethics, the role of literature in the empirical research cycle, literature search & review, presenting a main argument, conceptualizing research (i.e. transforming research question variables into a conceptual model), and the main qualitative and quantitative research strategies in business and management research. The lectures and associated assignments are not only intended to set the stage for the more specialized courses on quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, but are also intended to help sharpen own research ideas in terms of the research question(s), theoretical framework and research strategy. The sessions of this first module are geared towards drafting the problem statement and outlining the theoretical framework of the individual Research Proposal.
Module 2: Qualitative Research Methods
This course will introduce participants to the characteristics of and approaches to designing and conducting qualitative research projects. Participants will gain hands-on experience in various qualitative methods and analytical techniques.
Module 3: Quantitative Data Collection
This module aims to provide a solid introduction to the survey as data collection strategy. The module discusses sampling strategies, instrument development, data collection, data processing, and the strengths and weaknesses of survey designs.
Module 4: Quantitative Data Analysis
The course provides an introduction to quantitative data analysis, starting by introducing basic statistical concepts and continuing with intermediate and advanced-level techniques of econometric analysis, such as multiple regression models and non-linear regression functions.
Module 5: Individual 10-page Research Proposal Development
This module focuses entirely on drafting a solid and feasible individual 10-page Research Proposal as the final product of the RMS training program. This proposal has to be presented and defended before a committee of RMS lecturers.