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The challenge of introducing the subject of research and research methods to business undergraduates

Rich, M.G., Brown, A. & Banerjee, A (2019). The challenge of introducing the subject of research and research methods to business undergraduates. Proceedings of the European Conference on Research Methods in Business and Management Studies, 2019-J, pp. 278-284. doi: 10.34190/RM.19.038


The research process is complex, involving many conceptually different steps. The identification of a suitable problem can be a challenge involving a high level of creativity, whereas applying a chosen research method must follow accepted and well defined rules. How researchers iterate between current discipline theory, subject knowledge and research methodology is usually opaque to the outside researcher. Students with no exposure to research find this puzzling because they are being encouraged to do something creative and original, and at the same time to adopt clearly defined language and a set of conventions associated with the chosen methodology. Business students in their 1st year face many new situations. Most of them have little experience of what research is about or the various elements that are necessary for a successful project. The teaching at school level mostly focuses on imparting subject knowledge and instilling basic numeracy and literary skills. It does not prepare them so well for setting their own goals and working independently - the core of research. Traditional teaching methods can help them acquire the relevant subject knowledge and basic research methods. But putting these together in a piece of practical research requires in depth understanding and creative thinking. Problem-based learning (PBL) is a way to help UG students at the beginning of their research attempts to develop the mindset and skills needed. This paper makes the case for introducing Critical Thinking skills to Business Management students in their 1st year, using a problem-based Learning (PBL) approach.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 Academic Conferences Limited. All rights reserved.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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