This course offers an introduction to empirical social science methods with particular attention to issues relevant to organizational research done outside the laboratory. It focuses on questions of research design: how to turn a research question into an empirical study that can answer the question. Organizational research employs a plurality of methods and the course is designed to allow students to fully understand, evaluate and employ different methods.
The course offers a survey of the most common non-experimental research approaches in organization studies, strategic management and economic sociology, examines their logic of inquiry, and evaluates the relative advantages. In addition, we examine how common challenges, such as measurement, causality and multi-level data structures, are addressed across designs. In practice, modes of scientific inquiry not only involve empirical designs for data collection and inference, but also genres of motivating, writing and publishing research, and so the course addresses these aspects as well.
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