Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of this seminar, students will be able to: - use methods and techniques of qualitative analysis; - plan and implement a study based on them.

Course contents

1. Ontology, epistemology, and methodology of qualitative studies

2. Main types of qualitative studies

a. Ethnography

b. Case study

c. Interview-based study

3. Data collection techniques

a. Observations

b. Ethnographic interviews

c. Archival data

4. Data analysis techniques

a. Open, axial, and selective coding

b. Gioia methodology

5 How to build a grounded theory

6. Mixed methods

a. Quali-quantitative studies

b. Quanti-qualitative studies


The course handbook is:

M.R. Tagliaventi (2019). La ricerca qualitativa nelle organizzazioni. Roma:Carocci

Optional readings

Corbin J. e Strauss A. (1998). Basics of qualitative research. 4th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Fontana A. and Frey J. H. (2003) The interview: from structured questions to negotiated text. In N. Denzin e Y.S. Lincoln (eds.), Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Pp. 61-106.

Gibbs G. R. (2013) Using software in Qualitative Analysis in Flick u. (Ed.) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (CA), 277-293.

Gioia, D. A., Corley, K. G., & Hamilton, A. L. (2013) Seeking Qualitative Rigor in Inductive Research Notes on the Gioia Methodology. Organizational Research Methods, 16(1), 15–31.

Guba E. G. and Lincoln, Y. S. (2005) Competing paradigms in qualitative research? In Denzin, Y. S. and Lincoln, N. K. (Eds. ) Handbook of Qualitative Research, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 105-117.

Lofland J. and Lofland L. H. (1995) Analyzing Social Settings: A Guide to Qualitative Observation and Analysis, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Companies, chapters 3-5.

Spradley, James P. (1979) The Ethnographic Interview. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Part two, Steps One to Eleven (pp. 45-203).

Van Maanen, J., Sorensen J. B., and Mitchell, T. R. (2007) The interplay between theory and method, Academy of Management Review, 32 (4): 1145-1154

Additional material can be made available on https://iol.unibo.it/.

Teaching methods

The course aims to offer students effective tools to carry out qualitative studies. Consequently, students will be asked to collect qualitative data (i.e., to perform observations and interviews), transform them into field notes, and code qualitative field notes following a grounded theory approach. Experimenting with what it takes to design and conduct interviews and observe people in social settings will prompt reflections on qualitative research practice. Additionally, how to use the grounded theory approach in order to make sense of data will be center stage in the course.

Specifically, students will conduct two one-hour observations of a private and of a public setting of their choice. In addition, they will design the protocol for a semi-structured interview on a topic that they select based on their own interests, and then conduct the interview. They will be asked to transcribe both observation and interview.

Subsequently, they will be asked to code the interview following the so-called ‘Gioia methodology’. Throughout class meetings, we will practice with data collection and coding techniques in an interactive way.

Assessment methods

The course requires the following outcomes:

a) The transcription of two one-hour observations

b) The elaboration of an interview protocol

c) The transcription of an interview

d) The coding of the interview

All the outcomes have to be sent by email, detailing student’s first name, family name, and Unibo ID number, to the following account: [mailto:sde.progetticlamed@unibo.it].

Registering dates and all information about the course will be communicated only via https://iol.unibo.it/)

The final grade will be based upon the following weights attributed to the assignments detailed above:

a) Transcription of two one-hour observations (40%)

b) Elaboration of an interview protocol and transcription of the interview (30%)

c) Interview coding (30%)

Office hours

See the website of Maria Rita Tagliaventi