Philosophy of Science and Qualitative Research Methods in Master Theses

Master theses at CBS must include basic reflections on research methodology and philosophy of science [da. “Videnskabsteori”]. This workshop addresses the question of how supervisors can help students meet that mandatory requirement; especially for study areas that predominantly rely on qualitative methods.

In the workshop, we will take our point of departure in some basic concepts and approaches within the philosophy of science and we will then proceed to discuss how these typically relate to the kinds of research questions posed in business school projects and the methods used to answer them.

In particular, we will focus on how overall arguments from the philosophy of science can be used to articulate the strengths and weaknesses of using qualitative methods in studying firms, organizations, and markets.

[Note that CBS offers a parallel philosophy of science workshop focused on the strengths and pitfalls of quantitative methods. You should chose the track that seems most pertinent to you and the relevant study program context. There will be some overlap in content between the two workshops, but depending on the study program context, you may also choose to attend both.]

The workshop will cover the following areas:

• What are the overall debates in the philosophy of science?

• What are the overall strengths and pitfalls of applying qualitative methods?

• What role do methodology and philosophy of science play in student projects?

• How can supervisors help to ensure basic scientific standards in business school projects?

Target group

Teachers who supervise large written student projects, i.e. master theses. Depending on the study program context, the course may also be relevant for teachers who supervise bachelor projects as well as larger 1st, 2nd, and 4th year projects. New as well as experienced supervisors can benefit from the workshop.

Intended learning outcomes

After the workshop, participants should be: 

• Better able to help students with questions of philosophy of science and methodology

• Better able to guide students in discussions of qualitative data collection, analysis, and interpretation

• Better able to articulate the relevance of the philosophy of science and methodology for business school projects


1/2 day

Registration deadline

4 April 2023


Apr 11 2023


1:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Thomas Presskorn-Thygesen


Thomas Presskorn-Thygesen