Analysis of Qualitative Data


Nanna Mik-Meyer, Professor, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School 

Anne Reff Pedersen, Professor MSO, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School 

Megan Neely, tenure-track associate professor, Department of Organization, CBS

Course coordinator
Nanna Mik-Meyer, Professor, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School


The PhD student should be well versed in basic literature on qualitative methods and be in the middle of – or just finished with – his/her data collection. The student should upon course registration attach one document:

A brief note (no more than 300 words), listing:

  • Your research topic and research question(s)
  • Precise description of the data you have gathered 1 December 2022
  • Key concepts/theoretical perspective(s) that inspire your research
  • Five key questions on methodological/analytical issues in your project
Registration deadline is 1 December 2022.

The PhD student will be told if he/she is accepted to the course before 5 December 2022. If you are accepted you should work out a three-pages (maximum) analysis of data gathered in your PhD project. The three pages shall offer an analysis of interview quotes/sequences or text from documents.

This data should weigh 1/3 of the presentation (approx. one page) and the analysis of the data should weigh 2/3 of the presentation (approx. 2 pages). Please upload you analysis together with your brief note of your project (the 300-words document). Deadline for this combined document is 6 January 2023.


An important feature of qualitative research is that it generally describes itself as inductive rather than deductive, that is, qualitative research develops interpretation and concepts based on empirical data rather than collecting data to test for given hypotheses or models. However, qualitative analyses vary in relation to when in the process concepts enter the analytical work. Consequently, this course will involve analytical approaches that have an explicit conceptual basis and an analytical approach that builds the conceptual framework along the way. The course will also include introduction to thematic analysis as many students end up combining a thematic approach with key concepts from their dissertation in their analytical work.

Course content
A central goal of the course is to teach the students how to develop strong analysis from a qualitative dataset. In order to do so the students are taught to conduct qualitative analyses in a systematic, consistent and transparent way. The course will enter the so-called black box of how to conduct qualitative analysis and focus on the actual analysis of qualitative data, that is, when interviews or documents are analysed and the role of concepts in this undertaking. 

The course will involve concepts inspired by different research traditions, namely, Grounded Theory (Charmaz’s version), Symbolic Interactionism, Narrative Analysis and Phenomenology as well as Thematic Analysis and show students how different conceptual approaches contribute to specific analysis of data.

Teaching style

Dialogue-based lectures, group discussions and exercises as well as concrete feedback sessions to all participating students. The three pages analysis of data provided by all participants will constitute the outset for discussions in the course (cf. ‘student presentations’), and you must be prepared to participate in discussions of your individual presentation as well as other students’ analyses.

Lecture plan

Day 1
10.00    Introduction to the course – Mik-Meyer

11.30    Lunch
13.30    Break
13.45    Joint discussion
14.45    Break
16.00    Day ends

Day 2
9.00     Lecture 4 Mik-Meyer: EXAMPLE 1: GROUNDED THEORY
9:45     Joint discussion
10:30   Lecture 5 Mik-Meyer: How to conduct a GT analysis
11.15   Break
11:30   Lecture 6 Reff Pedersen: EXAMPLE 2: NARRATIVE ANALYSIS

12:30   Lunch
13.30   Joint discussion
14:15   Lecture 7 Reff Pedersen: How to conduct a NARRATIVE analysis
15:00   Student presentations (two parallel groups)
16.00   Day ends

Day 3
9.00     Lecture 8 Neely EXAMPLE 3: PHENOMENOLOGY
10.00   Joint discussion
10.45   Lecture 9 Neely: How to conduct a PHENOMENOLOGICAL analysis
11.30   Break
11:45   Lecture 10 Mik-Meyer: EXAMPLE 4: SYBOLIC INTERACTIONISM

12:30   Lunch
13.30   Lecture 11: Mik-Meyer: How to conduct a SI analysis
14.15   Break
15.15   Student presentations and discussions (two parallel groups)
16.00   Day ends

Day 4
9.00     Lecture 12 Mik-Meyer: EXAMPLE 5: THEMATIC ANALYSIS
10.00   Joint discussion
10.45   Lecture 13 Mik-Meyer: How to conduct a thematic analysis
11.30   Break
11:45   Student presentations and discussions (two parallel groups)

12:30   Lunch
13.30   Student presentations and discussions (two parallel groups)
15.00   Break
16.00   Course ends

Learning objectives

1) The course will provide the students with hands-on knowledge on how to conduct systematic, consistent and transparent analyses of qualitative data.

2) The course will discuss qualitative analysis in relation to the aforementioned three perspectives and their criteria of how to progress from data to analysis.

3) By sharing examples of actual analysis, the students with have a good platform for developing the quality of their PhD’s projects’ analyses as well as learn from the discussions of fellow students’ projects.

On completion of the course, students should have better understanding of the craft skill needed for conducting convincing qualitative analyses.


Certificates will be granted to students with full participation in all sessions. The students will receive a diploma where it is certified that the students have taken part in and completed all requirements for the PhD course.


Start date

End date




Course Literature

Course literature (primary)
Järvinen, M. & Mik-Meyer, N. (2020) Qualitative Analysis. London: SAGE. Please read chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12. (Key book of the course)

Blumer, H. (1986) Chapter 1 “The methodological position of symbolic interaction” and chapter 3 “Society as symbolic interaction” in Blumer, H. (ed) Symbolic Interactionism. Perspective and method. Berkeley: University of California Press. (approx. 70 pages)

Clarke, A. E. (2003) Situational analysis: Grounded theory mapping after the postmodern turn, Symbolic Interactionism, 26 (4): 533-576.

Gephardt, R. 2004. What is qualitative research and why is it important? Academy of Management Journal, 7: 454–462.

Holstein, J. A. & Gubrium, J. F. (1995) The active interview. New York: Sage.

Humle, D. M., & Pedersen, A. R. (2015). Fragmented work stories: Developing an antenarrative approach by discontinuity, tensions and editing. Management Learning46(5), 582-597.

Pratt, M. G. (2008) Fitting oval pegs into round holes: Tensions in evaluating and publishing qualitative research in top-tier North American journals, Organizational Research Methods, 11 (3): 481-509.

Pratt, M. G. (2009) For the lack of a boilerplate: tips on writing up (and reviewing) qualitative research, Academy of Management Journal, 52 (5): 856-862.

Schütz A (1944) The Stranger: An essay in social psychology, American Journal of Sociology, 49(6): 499–507.

Searle, C. & Silverman, D. (1997) Ensuring rigour in qualitative research, The European Journal of Public Health, 7 (4): 379-384.

Small, Mario Luis, and Jessica McCrory Calarco. 2022. Qualitative Literacy: A Guide to Evaluating Ethnographic and Interview Research. Please read chapters 1, 2, 3, and 5.

Vaara, E., Sonenshein, S., & Boje, D. (2016) Narratives as sources of stability and change in organizations: approaches and directions for future research. Academy of Management Annals10(1), 495-560.

Terry, G., Hayfield, N., Clarke, V. & Braun, V. (2017) “Thematic analysis” in Willing, C. & Rogers, W. S. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology. London: SAGE Publications, pp. 17-37.

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2): 77-101.

Fereday, J. & Muir-Cochrane, E. (2006) Demonstrating rigor using thematic analysis: A hybrid approach of inductive and deductive coding and theme development, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(1): 80-92.

Timmermans, Stefan, and Iddo Tavory. 2022. Data Analysis in Qualitative Research: Theorizing with Abductive Analysis. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Supplementary literature

Blumer, H. (1986) Symbolic Interactionism. Perspective and method. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Charmaz, K. (2006) Constructing Grounded Theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage.

Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. (2000) (eds) Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Deterding, Nicole M., and Mary C. Waters. 2018. “Flexible Coding of In-Depth Interviews: A Twenty-First-Century Approach.” Sociological Methods & Research.

Emerson, Robert, Rachel Fretz, and Linda Shaw. 2011. Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Evans, C. (2018) Analysing semi-structured interviews using thematic analysis: Exploring voluntary civic participation among adults” in Lewis, J. (ed.) SAGE Research Methods Datasets Part 1. London: SAGE Publications.

Goffman, E. (1990) The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Double day.

Justesen, L. & Mik-Meyer, N. (2012) Qualitative research methods in organisation studies. Copehagen: Hans Reitzels Publishers.

Patton, M. Q (2001) Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Silverman, D. (2013) Interpreting qualitative data. London: Sage.

Small, Mario Luis. 2009. “`How Many Cases Do I Need?’: On Science and the Logic of Case Selection in Field-Based Research.” Ethnography 10(1):5–38.

Suddaby, R. (2006) From the Editors: What grounded Theory is not, Academy of Management Journal, 49(4), 633-642.

Vaismoradi, M. & Snelgrove, S. (2019) Theme in qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 20(3).

Timmermans, Stefan, and Iddo Tavory. 2022. Data Analysis in Qualitative Research: Theorizing with Abductive Analysis. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

DKK 5,200 (covers the course, coffee/tea and lunch)

Minimum number of participants

Maximum number of participants

Copenhagen Business School
Kilen, Kilevej 14
2000 Frederiksberg
Room: KL4.74 (fourth floor)

Contact information
Administrative support:

PhD support 
Nina Iversen 
Tel.: +45 3815 2475 
Email: ni.research@cbs.dk 

Registration deadline

Please note that your registration is binding after the registration deadline.  

In case we receive more registrations for the course than we have place, the registrations will be prioritised according to two factors: 1) PhD projects that fit the content of the course, and 2) CBS PhD students.

Register here