MY401      Half Unit
Research Design for Studies in Digital Innovation

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Kenneth Benoit Col 8.11 and Prof Chrisanthi Avgerou NAB 3.22


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation.

Course content

This course will deliver the core methodological training for students completing a dissertation for the MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation.  It covers issues of research design and research methods for information systems studies, including sessions on the collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data.  Lectures will introduce the principles of a range of research design issues and methodological approaches, while classes will contextualise this teaching in relation to information systems research.  Drawing on a variety of examples in Information Systems, the course will provide the platform for students to consider a range of design options, as well as methodological techniques, to adopt in their own dissertations.  By the end of the course, students will be familiar with a range of research design options and will be better equipped to not only design, but also to collect and analyse data for, their own dissertations.

The list of topics covered would consist of:

1. Introduction

2. Inference, causation, and treatment controls

3. Relationship between theory and data

4. Operationalization and measurement

5. Overview of Fixed versus flexible designs (survey of qualitative and quantitative strategies)


7. Case study methods

8. Interviews and focus groups

9. Thematic analysis

10. Quantitative inference

11. The Analysis of Online and social media


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Lectures for this course will be delivered by staff by the Department of Methodology.  To help to contextualise the materials covered in the course for the students, and to ensure a good fit with the requirements of the MISDI dissertation, the seminars will be led by staff from the Department of Management.  A formative assignment will be assigned for the middle of the teaching term (LT) for which students will be expected to submit a 1,000 word initial proposal for their dissertation.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

Indicative reading

Agresti, A. and Finlay, B. (2009) Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences [4th edition].  Prentice Hall.

Bauer, M. and Gaskell, G. (2000) Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound.  Sage.

Flick, U. (2014) An Introduction to Qualitative Research [5th edition]. Sage.

King, G., Keohane, R. and Verba, S. (1994) Designing Social Inquiry. Princeton University Press.

Robson, C. and McCartan, K. (2016) Real World Research [4th edition].  John Wiley.

Seale, C. [ed.] (2004) Social Research Methods: A Reader.  Routledge.



Essay (100%, 2000 words) in the LT and ST.

Key facts

Department: Methodology

Total students 2016/17: Unavailable

Average class size 2016/17: Unavailable

Controlled access 2016/17: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills