Design of Field Research Methods - HBS 4070 & FAS 2070 (Harvard University)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2014

Field research involves collecting original data (qualitative or quantitative) in field sites. The course will combine informal lecture and discussion with practical sessions designed to build specific skills for conducting field research in organizations. Readings include books and papers about research methodology, as well as articles that provide exemplars of field research, including both theory driven and phenomenon driven work. Specific topics covered include variance versus process models, blending qualitative and quantitative data (in one paper, one study, or one career), collecting and analyzing different kinds of data (observation interview, survey, archival), levels of analysis, construct development, and writing up field research for publication. A core aim of the course is to help students understand the contingent relationship between the nature of the research question and the field research methods used to answer it, and to use this understanding to design and carry out original field research. Course requirements include several short assignments assessing readings and a final paper designed to help students' further their own field research goals. Priority will be given to advanced doctoral students, appropriate for Doctoral students in year 2+.

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