Becoming a Scholar: Learning to Reason
Speakers: Mikko Ketokivi (IE) and Saku Mantere (McGill)
Time: Thursday, 12 May at 10am (Eastern) / 3pm (London) / 7.30pm (Delhi). This webinar is scheduled for 90 minutes (including Q&A).
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One of the central skills of a management scholar is the ability to reason from empirical data to theoretical conclusions in a way that convinces the scholar's audience. But how does this happen? How do we learn to reason? Can reasoning be taught? Our experience as instructors in doctoral programs is that reasoning does not receive sufficient attention. Or more accurately, instead of teaching our students how to discover effective ways of reasoning, a common way of educating students is to offer them various reasoning models or "templates." Sometimes these "templates" are distilled into simple rules of thumb, which students then apply in their own research. That a multiple case study should have about a half dozen cases is an illustrative example of a simple rule.
But how does a budding scholar know which rules have a methodological foundation and which are merely social conventions? Which rules are universal, and which are context dependent? For example, it seems reasonable that the requisite sample size -- both in qualitative and quantitative research -- depends on the context and the research question. How can we learn to reason about sample size? To be sure, not everything about how we reason can be idiosyncratic, therefore, at least some rules need to be followed. But all researchers must always understand the rules that they follow. In this webinar, we examine the ways we could teach our students informed rule-following where the rules enable the scholar's reasoning without overly constraining it.
- Mikko Ketokivi is Professor of Operations Management and Organization Design at IE University.
- Saku Mantere is Professor of Strategy and Organization at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University and Director of Desautels Institute for Integrated Management.
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Cranfield School of Management