ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Getting inside the mind of an expert management researcher
Your learning through the two-way process of academic discourse
Who do we think you are?
Who do you think your audience is?
What’s distinctive about researching management?
Induction into a western tradition of academic scholarship
What’s your ‘academic comfort zone’, and how could you expand it?
Official expectations that you will develop your critical frame of mind
Expectations check-up
How well does your work match-up to your assessors’ expectations?
Are you a more critical thinker than you realise?
Experiences of thinking critically in your academic work
Helping yourself learn to think like an expert management researcher
Comparing lists of Dos and Don’ts
Maximising your learning by linking critical reading with self-critical writing
Experiences of thinking critically in your academic work


Consider your past training and your present management studies or research as a novice academic. Here you may have had parallel experiences to those in your everyday life, but in a context where a more formal, rigorous approach to critical thinking is promoted. In your experience as a student, have you:

   

Type of Incident

Tick if Yes

  1. tried to convince students, your tutor or supervisor, or academics about claims you have made that they have challenged?

 

  1. questioned a strongly asserted claim in the academic literature because not enough evidence is given to make it convincing to you?

 

  1. read claims in an academic text which you have not been ready to accept because they conflict with other texts you have read?

 

  1. attempted to weigh up the different arguments expressed in an academic debate in working out your own position?

 

  1. changed your mind about a management issue after you reflected on the arguments by students, your tutor or your supervisor, or academics?

 

  1. discovered that the author of an academic text you read holds different assumptions from you about a management practice or issue?

 

  1. planned a small-scale research investigation either as a student, to be assessed by your tutor or supervisor, or as an academic, to be assessed by academic reviewers?

 

  1. weighed up different alternatives in working out how to collect and analyse data for a small-scale research investigation?

 

  1. created a diagram to display visually something that you have found out in your work as a student or an academic?

 

  1. written a project, dissertation, thesis or research funding proposal, justifying how your approach stands a good chance of achieving the outcomes you seek?

 

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As before, add up the number of ticks. The more ticks you have, the more your experience of academic work has given you practice in thinking critically and following the logic of enquiry in the way that experienced academic researchers do. So you can have some confidence that you have already made a good start on developing your critical frame of mind, whether you were aware of doing so or not!