Business School Teaching of Research Methods – A Review of Literature and Initial Data Collection for Undergraduate Business School Students


  • Anthony Mitchell
  • Martin Rich



teaching research methods, curriculm design, use of technology, project supervision


This paper reviews approaches to teaching research methods and the effectiveness of the student supervisor relationship in managing research projects. Corporate scandal, changes in society, the emergence of online technologies and a need to reduce teaching costs have all led business schools to change their curriculum including how research methods are taught and undergraduate and postgraduate projects supervised. Management research, and the manner in which research methods are both taught and practiced continue to make a key contribution and play a significant role in the partnership between academia and practice. Virtual learning has been helpful in a better understanding of research methods, developing critical thinking and understanding issues in more depth that are briefly covered in class. Researchers have found that the blending learning approach and use of computer‑mediated discourse supported a collaborative learning approach and resulted in more active and reflective learners (Altinay and Paraskevas, 2007). Despite this positive example, the use of technology for learning has generally been limited to supplementing face to face learning (Thomas and Thomas, 2012). The class is increasingly culturally diverse, students more mobile while academics may be Anglo‑centric and westernised. Supervision needs to be responsive to the changing needs and ambitions of the student; to move away from a dyadic relationship between supervisor and student, and emphasise the importance of collaborative learning environments and collective models of supervision (Malfroy, 2005). Literature reviewing three related research questions is presented. Questions remain as to whether changes are driven by a need to reduce cost or improve pedagogy. Data collection has started with undergraduate business students through pilot surveys and interviews to gain an improved understanding of the trends, initiatives and best practice. A further paper will explore in more detail postgraduate business students. At a time when some schools are moving more content on‑line and seeking new forms of assessment so there is a need to ensure that management research continues to fulfil a contribution towards intellectual and practical understanding. Corona virus has made this need more urgent.



23 Feb 2021