ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Using this resource
Using this resource 
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A resource for learning

These learning materials are aimed primarily at postgraduate and doctoral research students in the management field of the social sciences, who are interested in developing their ability to think and operate in the sophisticated, creative and efficient way that is characteristic of many expert management researchers. The materials are also likely to be useful for early-career academics who recognise the advantage of accelerating the further development of their expertise beyond the rate at which it may occur incidentally – as merely a side-effect of accumulating experience.

We have designed this resource for self-directed learning by individuals who may work through the text on the various key topics and associated exercises in any sequence. However, we recommend that the learning activities for each key topic are studied in order, as there is some progression where later activities build on the earlier ones. In the interest of promoting open access to the materials, they have been created with economy of electronic data in mind so that anyone with even a fairly slow internet connection can use them successfully. Therefore megabyte-hungry images and videoclips have been avoided, and strong emphasis has been placed instead on presenting the ideas through a combination of text, tables, and downloadable forms. Users are encouraged to download these ‘read-only’ form files and complete the exercises on their own computer. This approach has the advantage that the space for writing responses will expand to encompass whatever the user wishes to say.

To download a form, click on the Word document at the bottom of the relevant page. A new page will open giving you the option to open the file or save the file. If you click ‘open’, the file will open in your word processing software. If you click ‘save’ and select the ‘desktop’ icon, this will download the activity document to your desktop. You can then either create a new folder called ‘Learning to Think Like an Expert Management Researcher’, or alternatively keep it in your 'my documents'.

A resource for teaching

Users who have some responsibility for postgraduate research methods training, doctoral supervision, or early-career academic mentoring may also find the materials useful as a teaching resource. The learning activities and downloadable forms may be adapted or further developed for self-study or classroom use. To create forms which are not read-only, the entire text on any downloaded read-only form can be copied and pasted into a new Word file. Then the newly created file can be modified and saved for use.

Potential uses of the materials, whether in their present or adapted form, include:

  • Drawing the attention of individual students or early career academics to the website and encouraging them to use the materials as an individual self-study resource
  • Basing research and study skills tutorials on particular key topics or sets of learning activities within them, possibly inviting students to complete the same learning activity forms (as part of their preparation or during the tutorial) and discussing the different responses
  • Directing students towards sets of learning activities as a follow-up extension for research and study skills lectures
  • Harnessing sets of learning activities as back-up support for individual supervisions, inviting students to refer to them when they reach the appropriate point in their studies
  • Creating parallel exercises to those in the materials which focus on the substantive management areas being studied by students, so that the content has greater relevance

Background

These materials were developed by

  • Prof Mike Wallace, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University
  • Prof David Denyer, Cranfield University School of Management
  • Dr Judy Pate, University of Glasgow Business School
  • Harnessing sets of learning activities as back-up support for individual supervisions, inviting students to refer to them when they reach the appropriate point in their studies
  • Creating parallel exercises to those in the materials which focus on the substantive management areas being studied by students, so that the content has greater relevance

Their work was supported from 2006 to 2009 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through its Researcher Development Initiative (RDI).

Disclaimer

It is hoped that these learning materials will prove useful to learners and trainers. However this cannot be guaranteed and no responsibility can be accepted for any failure to achieve particular learning outcomes. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information, including references, no responsibility can be accepted for any errors or omissions. Users may create their own files by copying read-only downloadable files as indicated above (see A Resource for Teaching). But no responsibility can be accepted for any consequences of creating and using files based on downloadable forms in this resource. The materials on this site reflect the views of their authors and do not represent the official view of the ESRC.