Research Seminar I (spring semester), MCF



Smirnov Marat, Senior Lecturer, Department of Finance & Accounting, Graduate School of Management, St.Petersburg University



30 contact hours



Course Description:

Research seminar is aimed at developing knowledge needed for successful preparation and writing master thesis. The research seminar addresses the main approaches to the research, research methods, research process and writing of master thesis. The first year of Research seminar introduces students to the research process and helps them develop the skills needed to collect relevant information, to read and evaluate the research of others. It makes students familiar with the development of structured questions to guide their research, critical analysis of literature to set their inquiry in the context of the work of other scholars, research design and the selection of research methods. The first year of the course is finalized with final research proposal and brief critical literature review on a selected research topic.

Course Content (Topics and subtopics):

Topic 1. Understanding general research philosophies and approaches
Topic 2. Critical reviewing of the literature
Topic 3. Research design: formulation and specifics
Topic 4. Empirical part of research
Topic 5. Writing and presenting the research project

Course Organization:

The course will follow a lecture, students’ in-class presentation & discussion, case analysis, and group exercise formats.
Maximum number of students per group: 30

Course Reading (the full list):

Core reading:

Saunders M., Lewis Ph., Thornhill A. Research Methods for Business Students. Prentice Hall, 2016

Supplementary reading:

Adams, J. et al. 2014. Research methods for business and social science students. 2nd ed. Sage. [Electronic resource]

Easterby-Smith M., Thorpe R., Lowe A. Management Research: An Introduction, 2nd edition. London: Sage Publications, 2004

Yin R. 2003. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage

Fendt J. Grounded Theory Method in Management Research: Users’ Perspectives // Organizational Research Methods, 2007, August 8.

Eisenhardt K., Graebner M. Theory Building from Cases: Opportunities and Challenges // Academy of Management Journal, 2007, Vol. 50, # 1, pp. 25-32.

Exam format:

Presentation of handed-in final Research Proposal and Brief Literature Review, 15 minutes per student

Grading Policy (% or points):

Course progress – 55%, exam – 45 %.

Course progress

Fall semester results – 10%

Assignment 1 (individual assignment) –15%

Assignment 2 (individual assignment) – 20%

Group Exercise 1 – 5%

Group Exercise 2 – 5%


Quality (fit with the requirements) of the Research Proposal & Brief literature review – 35%

Peer-review of the classmate’s report (written and in-class) – 5%

Handing-in in time – 5%

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