Business PhD

Research Methods and Statistics

All students, regardless of specialization, will choose research methods electives. The elective courses available are sufficiently diverse that students from differing specializations may select courses that are most appropriate to their area.

The Alberta School offers a two-term course sequence (MGTSC 705, Multivariate Data Analysis I, and MGTSC 706, Multivariate Data Analysis II), which most PhD students take. The Alberta School also offers a course in qualitative research methods (BUS 701) and is planning to introduce a course in philosophy of research and experimental methods. In addition, a wide range of other statistics and research design courses are available in other Faculties. Students choose from these according to their research needs and goals.

The following methods courses for doctoral students are offered within the Alberta School of Business.

ACCTG 701 The Methodological Foundations of Accounting Research

Because the practice of accounting and the use of accounting information are complex and multi-faceted, a wide variety of research approaches provide an understanding of accounting. These approaches are primarily in the social sciences, but also in mathematics and some of the humanities, such as history and philosophy. The purpose of this course is to examine some of the fundamental ideas and concepts underlying the research process in accounting. It focuses on the philosophy of the social sciences, since they provide the core of theory and methods for accounting research. Topics include the objectives of social science research; the nature and role of theories; the relationship between facts and values; theory construction, testing, falsification and inference; "positivist" vs. "non-positivist" methods; social studies of science and scientists; and research ethics (including research involving human subjects). The emphasis is on the scientific method broadly construed and applied, rather than on specific techniques. Open to all doctoral students or with written permission of the instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

BUS 701 Qualitative Methodology for Business Research

Examines qualitative research methods as they apply to business research. Includes: the terrain and history of qualitative research, exploring different approaches to qualitative research, designing qualitative research, strategies of inquiry, qualitative data analysis, writing up research, and professional and ethical issues. Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

BUS 715 Experimental Design for Behavioural Science

The objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the essential principles and techniques for conducting scientific experiments on human behaviour. It is tailored for individuals with an interest in doing research using experimental methods in areas such as psychology, judgement and decision making, consumer behaviour, behavioural economics and finance, organizational behaviour, and human performance. Classes are conducted in an interactive seminar format, with extensive discussion of concrete examples, challenges, and solutions. Prerequisites: Registration in the Business PhD Program or permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

MGTSC 705 Multivariate Data Analysis I

An overview of multivariate data analysis normally taken by students in the first year of the Business PhD program. The course is designed to bring students to the point where they are comfortable with commonly used data analysis techniques available in most statistical software packages. Students are expected to complete exercises in data analysis and in solving proofs of the major results. Topics will include univariate analysis, bivariate analysis, multiple linear regression, and analysis of variance. It is expected that students have as background at least (a) one semester of calculus; (b) one semester of linear algebra, and (c) two semesters introduction to probability, probability distributions and statistical inference. Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

MGTSC 707 Applied Business Analysis of Time Series and Panel Data

This course is organized into two parts. Part I covers univariate and multivariate time domain models of stationary and nonstationary time series. Topics covered include univariate time series models, unit root tests, time series regression modeling, systems of regression equations, vector autoregressive models for multivariate time series and cointegration. In Part II the course introduces the issues and opportunities that arise with panel data and the main statistical techniques used for its analysis. Topics covered include fixed-effects models, random-effects models, dynamic models and limited dependent variable models. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on how to use S-plus and Stata to estimate panel data and time series models. There is relatively less emphasis on statistical theory. Evaluation in the course is based on homework assignments and a term project. Prerequisite: MGTSC 705 or equivalent.

SMO 706 Seminar in Quantitative Research Methods (in development)

Quantitative methods is an empirics-focused seminar that is intended to sharpen the student's ability to design and use quantitative and mixed methods in behavioural studies, as well as to broaden the student's knowledge of exemplary research in methods in this domain of research. The course complements standard regression or ANOVA course taken by students, and is particularly tailored for students of organization, strategy, and entrepreneurship. Prerequisite: Registration in Business PhD Program at the University of Alberta or written permission of instructor. Approval of the Associate Dean, PhD Program is also required for non-PhD students.

Other appropriate research methods courses may be substituted with approval of the supervisor. The following table lists some of the past courses taken by our students.  

ECON 506 Applied Econometrics
ECON 509 Time Series Methods in Financial Econometrics
ECON 598 Econometric Theory and Applications
ECON 599 Applied Econometrics
ECON 608 Topics in Econometrics
PSYCO 531 Design and Analysis in Psychological Research I
PSYCO 532 Design and Analysis in Psychological Research II
SOC 509 Multi-Variable Sociological Analysis
SOC 515 Quantitative Methods in Social Research
SOC 518 Qualitative Methods in Social Research
SOC 519 Comparative and Historical Methods in Sociological Research
SOC 533 Research Design
SOC 609 Multivariate Analysis
SOC 615 Advanced Methods of Sociological Inquiry
SOC 616 Structural Equation Modelling with LISREL
STAT 5xx Graduate Courses in Statistics

updated April 25, 2018