Doctoral Course, 7.5 ECTS

Course director

Mandar Dabhilkar, associate professor of operations management, email:

Course coordinator

Helene Olofsson

Learning objectives

The aim of this course is to introduce new doctoral students to quantitative research methods in business studies. On successful completion of the course students are expected to be able to:

  • Describe basic ideas, underlying assumptions, elements of design, data collection and analysis techniques available to a quantitative researcher in the field of business studies, e.g., surveys, patent data, hospital- and patient data and event studies.
  • Reflect over contemporary methodological problems and possible solutions.
  • Understand how to read and report quantitative research in a critical and publishable way.  
  • Be familiar with basic statistical concepts associated with quantitative methods, such as statistical inference, statistical association and causation among variables
  • Be familiar with and able to use basic uni-, bi- and multivariate data analysis techniques using computer based statistical packages such as SPSS.


The course deals with the following topics:

  • Differences between qualitative and quantitative research
  • The quantitative research process: models, constructs, measurement, design
  • Use of primary data sources such as in survey research
  • Use of secondary data sources such as in patent data-, hospital and patient data-, bibliometrical data- and event data studies
  • Validity and reliability
  • Pooling data across transparently different groups of key informants
  • Techniques for improving response rates
  • Introduction to SPSS
  • Basic statistical analysis: summarizing and describing samples of data
  • Statistical inference (from samples to populations): probability; estimation; hypothesis testing for relationships between variables and comparing groups.
  • Statistical association and causation among variables
  • Mediation and moderation
  • Key statistical tests of hypothesis: t-tests; Chi-Square, F-test
  • Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
  • Regression analysis
  • Multiple regression analysis
  • Factor analysis
  • Cluster analysis

 Teaching and learning activities

The course consists of seminars, lectures and exercises. The emphasis is on business studies which for example will be reflected in the reading list for each seminar and the statistical exercises. There are six parts:

1. Seminar on quantitative research methodology in business studies
2. Seminar on survey research
3. Seminar on event study methods, patent- and hospital and patient data studies
4. Lecture and exercise on descriptive statistics
5. Lecture and exercise on multivariate statistics and hypothesis testing
6. Seminar on usage of SPSS

Preliminary reading list (subject to change)

Seminar on survey research

Forza, C. (2002). Survey research in operations management: A process based perspective. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 22(2), 152-194.

Hensley, Rhonda L. (1999). A review of operations management studies using scale development techniques. Journal of Operations Management, 17(3), 343-358.

Rungtusanatham, M., Ng, C. H., Zhao, X., & Lee, T. S. (2008). Pooling Data Across Transparently Different Groups of Key Informants: Measurement Equivalence and Survey Research*. Decision Sciences, 39(1), 115-145. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5915.2008.00184.x

Frohlich, M. T. (2002). Techniques for improving response rates in OM survey research. Journal of Operations Management, 20(1), 53-62.

Boyer, K. K., & Lewis, M. W. (2002). COMPETITIVE PRIORITIES: INVESTIGATING THE NEED FOR TRADE-OFFS IN OPERATIONS STRATEGY. Production and Operations Management, 11(1), 9-20.

Ferdows, K., & De Meyer, A. (1990). Lasting Improvements in Manufacturing Performance: In Search of a New Theory. Journal of Operations Management, 9(2), 168-184.

Dabhilkar, M. (2011). Trade-offs in make-buy decisions. Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 17(3), 158-166. doi: 10.1016/j.pursup.2011.04.002

González-Benito, J. (2007). A theory of purchasing's contribution to business performance. Journal of Operations Management, 25(4), 901-917.

Miller, Janis L, Craighead, Christopher W, & Karwan, Kirk R. (2000). Service recovery: a framework and empirical investigation. Journal of operations Management, 18(4), 387-400.

Seminar on event study methods, patent- and hospital and patient data studies:

Hendricks, K. B., V. R. Singhal. 2003. "The effect of supply chain glitches on shareholder value”.  Journal of Operations Management, 21, 5, December 2003, Pages 501-522.

Hendricks, K. B., V. R. Singhal, V. R. 2001.  "The Long-Run Stock Price performance of Firms with Effective TQM Programs as Proxied by Quality Award Winners". Management Science, 47, 359-368.

Hendricks, K. B. and Singhal, V. R. 2008.  The effect of product introduction delays on operating performance. Management Science, 54, 878-892.

Brown, S., J. Warner. 1985. "Using daily stock returns: The case of event studies". Journal of Financial Economics, 14, 3-31.

MacKinlay, C. A. 1997. “The event studies in economics and finance”.  Journal of Economic  Literature, 35, 13-39.

Barber, B. M., J. D. Lyon. 1997. “Detecting Long-Run Abnormal Stock Returns: The Empirical Power and Specification of Test-Statistics”. Journal of Financial Economics, 43, 341-372.

Kothari, S. P., J. B. Warner. 1997. “Measuring Long-Horizon Security Price Performance”.  Journal of Financial Economics, 43, 301-339.

Bergek, A, Tell, F, Berggren, C & Watson, J. (2008) Technological capabilities and late shakeouts: industrial dynamics in the advanced gas turbine industry, 1987–2002, Industrial and Corporate Change, 17(2): 335-392

Brusoni, S., Prencipe, A., & Pavitt, K. (2001) Knowledge Specialization, Organizational Coupling, and the Boundaries of the Firm: Why Do Firms Know More than They Make? Administrative Sciences Quarterly, Vol 46, No 4, pp 597-621

McDermott, C. M., & Stock, G. N. (2011). Focus as emphasis: conceptual and performance implications for hospitals. Journal of Operations Management, 29(6), 616-626.

Clark, J. R., & Huckman, R. S. (2012). Broadening focus: Spillovers, complementarities, and specialization in the hospital industry. Management Science, 58(4), 708-722.

Clark, J. R. (2012). Comorbidity and the Limitations of Volume and Focus as Organizing Principles. Medical Care Research and Review, 69(1), 83-102.

KC, D. S., & Terwiesch, C. (2011). The effects of focus on performance: Evidence from California hospitals. Management Science, 57(11), 1897-1912.


Reference literature for statistical exercises

Hair, J. P., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (1998). Multivariate data analysis. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Newbold, Paul, Carlson, William, & Thorne, Betty. (2012). Statistics for Business and Economics: Pearson Higher Ed.


The course is examined through active participation in seminars and exercises and through one final assignment. The final assignment consists of three parts:

1. Discussion of how one or more of the approaches to data collection possibly could be adopted in the doctoral student’s own research, eg survey, patent- or patient data and/or event studies. Reflect on advantages and disadvantages with the selected approaches.

2. Selection of a few articles that are based on quantitative research methods in the doctoral student’s dissertation area (eg marketing, finance, accounting, operations management or organization studies) and reflect on key particularities for their field. Try to find articles that correspond to the methods emphasized in this course, eg primary data such as surveys or secondary data sources such as patent, hospital or patient data.

3. Using and trying out statistical techniques taught in the course, eg descriptive statistics, cluster analysis, regression analysis and factor analysis. A dataset and instructions will be provided by the course director.

The student’s performance in relation to the learning objectives for the course is assessed according to a pass/fail grading scale. Further guidelines and criteria will be distributed in due course.


Schedule 2017

November 8: 13-17

November 14: 13-17

November 22: 13-17

November 28: 13-17

December 5: 13-17

December 13: 13-17

All meetings in the Management Room (Room 15:305), building no 15, 3rd floor.