MG4G4      Half Unit
Topics in Management Research

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Diane Reyniers NAB5.22


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Diploma in Accounting and Finance, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Economics and Management and MSc in Management and Strategy. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course addresses various interesting topics which will be used to encourage creative and logical thinking, structuring of clear arguments and critical assessment of evidence. The focus is on interpretation of findings rather than statistical or econometric techniques.

The intellectual backbone of the course is applied and empirical economics (including behavioural economics) and finance but, wherever appropriate, contributions from the psychology, sociology and management literature will be discussed. We will mainly deal with issues which are amenable to rigorous empirical investigation. The course is designed around a set of empirical research papers. Examples of questions considered are whether pain killers are more effective when they are expensive, whether creative people cheat more, whether people overvalue their own ideas.

The main objective of the course is to enable students to comprehend and critically assess the management literature, to evaluate statements in terms of evidence and to detect false reasoning or logic.

Topics vary each year (based on student feedback) but examples are racial discrimination, negotiation and gender, graduate earnings, leadership, optimism and entrepreneurship.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the LT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with Departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Two mock exams in the MT.

Indicative reading

Lecture 1: Creativity and cheating

Gino, F. & D. Ariely (2012) The dark side of creativity: Original thinkers can be more dishonest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102 (3), 445-459.

Lecture 2: Marketing and placebos

Shiv, B.; Z. Carmon & D. Ariely (2005) Placebo effects of marketing actions: consumers may get what they pay for. Journal of Marketing Research, XLII (November), 383-393.

Lecture 3: Do we know what we want?

Ariely, D.; G. Loewenstein & D. Prelec (2003) Coherent arbitrariness: Stable demand curves without stable preferences. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 73-105.

Lecture 4: Racial discrimination

Bertrand, M. & S. Mullainathan (2004) Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination. American Economic Review, 94, 4, 991-1013.

Lecture 5: Morale and pay inequality

Breza, E. ; S. Kaur & Y. Shamdasani (2018) The morale effects of pay inequality. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 611-663.

Lecture 6: Graduate earnings

Belfield et al. (2018) The relative labour market returns to different degrees.  Institute of Fiscal Studies.

Lecture 7: Optimism and entrepreneurship

de Meza , D. et al. (2019) Curb your enthusiasm: Optimistic entrepreneurs earn less. European Economic Review, 11, 53-69.

Lecture 8: The dark side of leadership

Nevicka, B.; F.S. Ten Velden, A.H.B. De Hoogh & A.E.M. Van Vianen (2011) Reality at odds with perceptions: Narcissistic leaders and group performance. Psychological Science, 22, 10, 1259-64.

Lecture 9: We love our own ideas

Hooshangi, S. & G. Loewenstein (2016) The impact of idea generation and potential appropriation on entrepreneurship: An experimental study. Management Science, (not published yet)

Lecture 10: Negotiation

Small, D. A., M. Gelfand, L. Babcock & H. Gettman (2007) Who goes to the bargaining table? The influence of gender and framing on the initiation of negotiation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 4, 600-613

Bowles, H.R., L. Babcock &L. Lai (2007) Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 103, 84-103.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2019/20: 19

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills