About this Resource
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
How does your critical reading link with your self-critical writing?
Who do we think you are? 


You are a member of the real audience who is reading (and hopefully learning from) these learning materials. As the authors of the materials, we have written them with an image of our audience in mind. Have a look at this profile of our imagined audience. Consider how far our image of our readers matches your perception of yourself.

(On the homepage, we mentioned our imagined audience and our purpose in creating this resource. We’ll now add more of our assumptions about who we designed the resource for.)


Profile of the Audience for this Learning Resource


Experienced enough to have gained at least a first academic degree (but not necessarily in management), possibly to have worked as a manager as well, and perhaps setting out on an academic career.


Busy, under pressure from the requirements of their study programme or tasks as an academic alongside their other domestic, social and possibly other work commitments. So they will appreciate materials that are easily navigated on a computer, written in an informal and accessible style, contain lots of short learning activities, and are directly relevant to learning how to think like an expert management researcher.


Keen to learn something practically useful out of studying the resource materials.

Hoping to become more confident in their ability to think critically, solve research problems, and write convincing arguments.

Sceptical, so they won’t accept that the materials are going to be useful in meeting their needs unless every learning activity turns out to offer them something that they can see is helping them to learn.

Open-minded, ready to try the learning activities, even if their habitual way of learning has been different.

Best subject  

Their specialist area: knowledgeable about some of the major ideas, debates, and classic research studies in this area. They also have familiarity with the wider management field, though in less depth.


User-friendly literature that explains complex ideas in simple terms, making them easy to grasp.

Plenty of examples to show how abstract ideas apply to real situations.

Pet hates      

Deadlines, especially when several loom up at the same time.

Spending time on studying that turns out to be wasted, as in reading irrelevant literature or collecting more empirical data than can be written up.

Believe that   

I can accelerate my own learning. I can deepen my understanding through reading, discuss ideas with other students or colleague academics, try out for myself doing what experienced management researchers do, and make a habit of reflecting on what I’m learning that I can apply in the future.


In our role as authors of the resource, we are keeping in mind this profile of our imagined audience so that we can try to meet their learning needs effectively. Consider these two questions exploring how far our profile actually applies to you:

A.   Which parts of the profile fit your self-perception well, and why?

B.   Which parts of the profile do not fit your self-perception very well, and why not?

Our image of our audience is very general, so it is bound to fit some users of this resource better than others. But however loose the fit, the resource is there for you to use as selectively as you wish to meet your particular learning needs. While we (like any other authors) will have an imagined audience implicitly or explicitly in mind, any readers can harness this or other publicly available literature for their own purposes.