Topic outline

  • Welcome to the Researching Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Master's thesis seminar) course (MNGT-E3001)!

    The primary aim of this course is to introduce Master's students in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management to the basic steps of conducting research in their field of specialisation and help them to apply it to their planned master thesis. 

    In essence, research in entrepreneurship and innovation consists of asking important questions and using scientific methods to design and implement ways of answering these questions. There is generally no one right way to approach these issues (although there are definitely wrong ways!). Instead, research in entrepreneurship and innovation consists of numerous choices that involve trade-offs. We will start the course by introducing relevant topic areas in entrepreneurship and innovation to have an idea about what is 'hot' in this field at the moment. We then address the research process (including identifying research questions, philosophy of science) and trade-offs among research designs such as the choice to use qualitative versus quantitative methods. We will also cover main qualitative and quantitative methods applied in entrepreneurship and innovation research. 

    It is important to know that it is up to your own interest and needs to choose the order in which you proceed in this course. The topics are already organized in a suitable order. Each topic comes with a set of readings and in most cases short introductory videos. Please note that neither the topics nor the readings covered should be considered to be exhaustive. We simply cannot cover everything in the time allotted. The purpose is to provide a solid foundation in the important issues related to each topic and the field as a whole. The overall goal of the course is to help prepare students to develop interesting research questions and pursue answers to them by using appropriate scientific methods. These are essential prerequisites for a successful Master's thesis.

    Before engaging with the sessions of this course please take a look at the more detailed description of the course structure below, and see the Syllabus (top-right corner on this page) and familiarise yourself with the main requirements to complete the course successfully. 

    Please make sure to familiarize yourself with the preliminary assignment. Without submitting this short piece of work, it will not be possible for you to go on with this course.

    For any enquiry regarding this course please contact  

    Happy learning!

    Course Structure and Materials

    The course consists of 8 topics that cover the basics of qualitative and quantitative research:

    Basics of Qualitative Research in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management

    • Topic 1:  Different qualitative approaches to inquiry 
    • Topic 2:  Observation and Note-Taking
    • Topic 3:  Interviewing and non-mainstream approaches to collect data
    • Topic 4:  Qualitative Data Analysis 

    Basics of Quantitative Research in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management

    • Topic 5:  Quantitative Data
    • Topic 6:  From Theory to Empirics
    • Topic 7:  Quantitative Analysis
    • Topic 8:  Interpreting and Publishing Research Findings

    Each topic will include reading materials and videos that will introduce you to the core themes. In addition, you may be asked to independently look for more information.


    Online sessions 

    Introductory session on Friday 30.10.

    We will organize an online introductory session on the course on Friday 30th of October at 14.15-16.00. Participation is voluntary, but recommended. 

    Feedback sessions on 20.11. and 11.12.

    The course includes two obligatory assignments (20 points for assignment 1 and 32 points for assignment 2) that allows you to develop your skills as a researcher, and to work on a topic that is of interest to you. We offer an online feedback session after each of the obligatory assignments:

    • The first feedback session is on Friday 20th of November at 14.15-16.00.
    • The second feedback session is on Friday 11th of December at 14.15-16.00.

    Participation in the feedback sessions is voluntary. 

    The Introductory and Feedback sessions will be organized in an Adobe Connect Meeting.

    To join the meeting:



    Preliminary Assignment 

    Since this course should help and assist you in the process of your master thesis paper, you should already have a rough idea about the topic you want to proceed. Small changes might still occur, but the overall direction should already be present. Therefore you need to submit till Tuesday the 27th of October already some first ideas about your future research project. You will find more information about it under the "Assignments" section. And don't stress out too much about this. This should just be a kind of ground work we will then work on, allocate you to your supervisor and know which research methods you should focus on for the upcoming assignments.

    Obligatory Assignments – due 17.11. and 07.12 

    The course includes two obligatory assignments (20 points and 32 points) that allow you to develop your skills as a researcher, and to work on a topic that is of interest to you. The first assignment focuses on either on Qualitative or Quantitative Research (depending on your planned master thesis topic) and it is due Tuesday the 17th of November. The second assignment will focus on your particular research methodology and it is due Monday the 7th of December at 10 am.

    You must complete and pass these 2 obligatory assignments in order to pass the course. However, note that they only amount to a maximum of 52 points of the total 100 points of this course and it might be very difficult to reach the maximum amount of points. In order to pass the course, you need to collect a minimum of 50 points from these exercises and the assignments. Therefore I strongly encourage you to also work on the exercises.

    We offer an online feedback session after each of the obligatory assignments (see information above). The participation is voluntary. 

    Topic Exercises – due 17.11. and 04.12.

    In association to each topic there are two small exercises (3 points each), which test the comprehension of the topic and help you to develop skills to critically read and evaluate scientific research. These exercises are voluntary. However, if you do not complete them, you will automatically loose the points they are worth, and cannot get the highest grade from the course. Altogether the voluntary exercises amount to a maximum of 48 points of the total 100 points of this course (8 session, 2 exercises in each session, 3 points for each exercise).

    The first set of exercises (Either 1-4 (Qualitative) or 5-8 (Quantitative); depending on your planned master thesis research framework) are due Tuesday the 17th of November, and the second set of exercises are due due till Monday the 7th of December at 10 am.


    Elaboration of the Evaluation Criteria and Methods

    In order to pass the course, you need to collect a minimum of 50 points in the exercises and assignments. Note, it is mandatory to submit both assignments, but you may choose the number of exercises. If you decide to skip some exercises you will no longer have the possibility to score maximum points, as in each exercise you can score a maximum of 3 points of the final grade. 

    For more information on the points to grade conversion, see Table below:

    Course Evaluation Overview

    Course Requirements

    Weighting (Points) 

         1. Qualitative Research Exercises


    1. Assignment 1 


    1. Quantitative Research Exercises


    1. Assignment 2


    1. Total



    Points conversion scale

    Final grade

    (official scale)

    90 - 100


    80 - 89


    70 - 79


    60 - 69


    50 - 59


    0 - 49

    0 (Fail)



    Suggested schedule

    This is a self-paced online course, and as such the students can decide how to allocate the topics according to their own speed, needs and interests. Just keep in mind the exercise and assignment deadlines


     26 October – 04 December 2020

    Week 1


    Preliminary Exercise due till Tuesday 27th of October

    Topic 1: Different qualitative approaches to inquiry and Sampling 
    Topic 2: Observation and Note-taking

    Introduction session on Friday, 30th of October 14.15 (optional)

    Week 2


    Topic 3: Interviewing and non-mainstream approaches to collect data
    Topic 3: Qualitative Data Analysis

    Week 3


    Assignment 1 and Exercises (Topics 1-4) due on Wednesday 17.11. 
    Feedback Session on Friday 20.11. (Optional)

    Week 4


    Topic 5: Quantitative Data 
    Topic 6: From Theory to Empirics

    Week 5


    Topic 7: Quantitative Analysis
    Topic 8: Interpreting and Publishing Research Findings

    Week 6


    Assignment 2 and Exercises (Topics 5-8) due on Monday 07.12.  at 10am
    Feedback Session on Friday 11.12. (Optional)

    Some suggestions to create learning synergies with other Aalto courses:

    This course works complementary to other Aalto research method courses, such as ‘26E02900 Doing Quantitative Analysis’ or ‘21E00011 Doing Qualitative Research’. 

    If you are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and innovation management research, or you are writing a thesis on the topic, we recommend to combine this course with the online course ‘25E55000 Entrepreneurship and Society’ to strengthen your theoretical understanding of entrepreneurship research.