Module Handbook

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Course WIW-SMG-SRM-K-7

Sustainability Research Methods (2V, 3.0 LP)

Course Type

SWS Type Course Form CP (Effort) Presence-Time / Self-Study
2 V Lecture 3.0 CP 30 h 60 h
(2V) 3.0 CP 30 h 60 h


CP, Effort 3.0 CP = 90 h
Position of the semester 1 Sem. in WiSe
Level [7] Master (Advanced)
Language [EN] English
Area of study [WIW-SMG] Sustainability Management
Livecycle-State [NORM] Active


By attending this course, students will get in touch with the theoretical background on conducting empirical research in the field of sustainability management. Topics we will cover are transdisciplinarity, constructing surveys, reliability and validity of measurement instruments, mixed methods approaches, particularities of empirical research in different sectors generally and in partnerships between nonprofit organizations, public institutions, and businesses, particularly.

Students will apply this knowledge by gathering and analyzing empirical data on current research questions.


Teaching material:
  • Helmig, B. & Spraul, K. (2016). Handbook of Nonprofit Scales: Perceptual Measures for Research on Nonprofit Organizations, internes Lehrmaterial. Mannheim, Kaiserslautern: Universität Mannheim; Technische Universität Kaiserslautern.
  • Text books from which specific chapters will be used:
  • Bryman, A. (2016). Social Research Methods (5. Aufl.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Czarniawska, B. (2004). Narratives in Social Science Research. London: Sage.
  • Domínguez, S. (2014). Mixed methods social networks research: Design and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Marsden, P. V. & Wright, J. D. (2010). Handbook of Survey Research (2. Aufl.). Bingley: Emerald.
  • Silverman, D. (2014). Interpreting Qualitative Data (5. Aufl.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.


  • Buchanan, D. A. & Bryman, A. (2007). Contextualizing Methods Choice in Organizational Research. Organizational Research Methods, 10, 483–501. doi: 10.1177/1094428106295046.
  • Helmig, B., Spraul, K. & Tremp, K. (2012). Replication Studies in Nonprofit Research. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 41, 360–385. doi: 10.1177/0899764011404081.
  • Mauser, W., Klepper, G., Rice, M., Schmalzbauer, B. S., Hackmann, H., Leemans, R. & Moore, H. (2013). Transdisciplinary global change research: the co-creation of knowledge for sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 5, 420–431. doi: 10.1016/j.cosust.2013.07.001.
  • Starik, M. & Kanashiro, P. (2013). Toward a Theory of Sustainability Management. Organization & Environment, 26, 7–30. doi: 10.1177/1086026612474958.

Requirements for attendance (informal)


Requirements for attendance (formal)


References to Course [WIW-SMG-SRM-K-7]

Module Name Context
[WIW-SMG-INM-M-7] Intersectoral Sustainability Management P: Obligatory 2V, 3.0 LP