Course code Soci5046

Credit points 3

Methods of Social Research

Total Hours in Course120

Number of hours for lectures12

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes24

Independent study hours84

Date of course confirmation09.11.2021

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developers

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Dina Bite

Dr. sc. soc.

author lect.

Lana Janmere

Mg. sc. soc.

Prior knowledge

VadZ5083, Methodology of Project Management

VadZ5084, Practical Project Management

Course abstract

The aim of the study course is to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills of the planning and carrying out of social researches and in the future professional work in the management science.

The study course provides knowledge and skills in the planning and implementation of social research required for the working out of master's paper and in management field in future professional work. Students both theoretically and practically learn the most important methods of qualitative and quantitative research approach, improving their skills of collection, analysis and interpretation of study data. Practical study activities are geared to the implementation of the newest and the most appropriate research methods for the management science.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge. Knows and understands the essence of social research, is acquainted the most important research methods (practical work, individual task); knows the difference between quantitative and qualitative research approach (individual task).
Skills. Able to independently develop research tools to obtain quantitative and qualitative data and evaluate their validity (individual task); able to collect, analyse and interpret various data obtained by social research methods (individual task); able to apply social research methodology in case studies (practical work); able to plan tasks responsibly (individual task, exam); able to participate in planning and goal setting (practical work); able to develop social interaction, collaboration and organizational skills appropriate to the profession (practical work); students are able to present the results of their work (individual task).
Competence. Able to independently develop a qualitative and quantitative research program according to the respective management problem, incl. use innovative approaches and solutions (individual task, exam); able to independently use various social research methods for information acquisition and analysis (individual task, exam); able to independently solve non-standard situations in management with techniques of social research methodology (exam).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Definition of social research, limitations, perspectives of its usage (1 hour)
2. Elements of the research programme (1 hour)
3. Quantitative approach in the social research. Logical analysis of the terms (1 hour)
4. Identification and measurements of the variables (1 hour)
5. Main data collecting methods in quantitative approach – survey, content analysis, observation (2 hours)
6. Population identification and sampling in quantitative research (1 hour)
7. Validity of the data in quantitative research (1 hour)
8. Quantitative analysis of the data (1 hour)
9. Qualitative approach in the social research (1 hour)
10. Design of the qualitative research (1 hour)
11. Principles of sampling in qualitative research (1 hour)
12. Observation and document analysis as methods of data collection in qualitative approach (2 hours)
13. Interview as a method of data collection in qualitative approach (1 hour)
14. Focus group discussions (1 hour)
15. Processing and analysis of the information of qualitative research (1 hour)
16. Action research as an approach of organizational investigation (1 hour)

List of seminar topics (18 hours)
1. Preparation of the research programme. Conceptualization and operationalization. Defining of the aim, tasks, object, subject, research questions or hypothesis (2 hours)
2. Ethical aspects and validity of social research (1 hour)
3. Quantitative content analysis of documents (2 hours)
4. Qualitative content analysis of documents (2 hours)
5. Preparation of the questionary of the survey and data analysis (5 hours)
6. Coding and analysis of semi-structured interviews (1 hour)

7. Focusgroup discussion (5 hours)

Requirements for awarding credit points

Exam. The final assessment is made of the assessment on two independent tasks (60%) and written exam (40%).

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Literature studies, preparation and presentation of two individual tasks.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Students must prepare and successfully present two individual tasks (60%), they must pass written exam (40%). Students must take part in all practical works. 10% correspond to one point in the 10-point grading scale.

Compulsory reading

1. Mārtinsone K., Pipere A. (red.) Zinātniskās darbības metodoloģija: starpdisciplināra perspektīva. Rīga: RSU, 2021, 607 lpp.
2. Mārtinsone K., Pipere A. (red.) Zinātniskā rakstīšana un pētījuma rezultātu izplatīšana. Rīga: RSU, 2018, 301 lpp.
3. Robson C., McCartan K. Real World Research: A Resource for Users of Social Research Methods in Applied Settings. 4th edition. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley, 2016. 533 p.
4. Adams J., Raeside, R. Khan, H. T. A. Research Methods for Business and Social Science Students. Second edition. eBook. New Delhi: Sage Publications Ltd., 2014. 304 p. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams:
5. Creswell J. W. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2009, p. 260.
6. Kroplijs A., Raščevska M. Kvalitatīvās pētniecības metodes sociālajās zinātnēs. 2. papild. izd. Rīga: Raka. 2010, 190 lpp.
7. Neuman W.L. Social research methods. Qualitative and Quantitative approaches: Seventh edition. Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited, 2014. 599 p. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams:

Further reading

1. Baxter P., Jack S., Qualitative Case Study Methodology: Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers. The Qualitative Report. Canada, West Hamilton, Ontario. 2008
2. Content analysis /edited by Franzosi, R. London: SAGE Publications, 2008. Volume 4.
3. Cilvēks. Dzīve. Stāstījums. Rakstu krājums. Latvijas antropologu biedrība, 2002, 155 lpp.
4. Questionnaires /edited by Bulmer, M. London: SAGE Publications, 2004. Volume 4.
5. Payne G., Payne J., Key concepts in Social Research. Sage Publications, 2004.
6. Flick U. An Introduction to Qualitative Research. Third edition. London: Sage Publications, 2006, p. 443.
7. Gray, D.E. Doing Research in the Real World. London: Sage Publications, 2004. p. 422.
8. Ievads pētniecībā: stratēģijas, dizaini, metodes. Sastādītāja K. Mārtinsone. Rīga: Raka, 2011, 284 lpp.
9. Matthew D., Sutton C., D. Social Research. The Basics. London: Sage Publications, 2004, p. 385.
10. The Sage Handbook of Social Research Methods. Ed. by Alasuutari P., Bickman L., Brannen J. SAGE Publications, 2008, p. 631.
11. Singh, K. Quantitative social research methods. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2007. p.431.

Periodicals and other sources

1. The Research Methods Knowledge Base. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams:
2. European Societies. European Sociological Association, UK. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams:
3. International Journal of Social Research Methodology. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams:
4. Humanities and Social Sciences. Latvia. [Tiešsaiste] Pieejams:


Mandatory study course in the ESAF professional master study programme “Project Management” and professional master study programme “Business Management”