A Social Sciences Perspective of Academic Research in Management

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Naufel Vilcassim NAB 4.38

Head of the Doctoral Programme 


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/PhD in Management - Information Systems and Innovation, MRes/PhD in Management (Employment Relations and Human Resources), MRes/PhD in Management (Marketing) and MRes/PhD in Management (Organisational Behaviour). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The Seminar runs across all Management PhD Programmes and is a compulsory course for all students in the first year of their PhD.

Using the classic text by Kuhn, you will be introduced to the nature of scientific enquiry in the social sciences.

In addition, you will be given the opportunity to engage with and appreciate research in other Management subject areas in order to understand some of the major streams of research (i.e. what is Micro OB vs. Macro OB, or Consumer Behaviour vs Modelling research in Marketing, researching formal and informal rules and their effects, etc).

The Seminar series will also develop your academic presentation skills by requiring you to present a paper from outside your direct area of expertise and apply the insights gained from the first two parts of the course.

The seminars will cover the following topics:

1. Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition

2. Conducting Research in Management

i. data analysis and interpretation

ii. a) inferring causality including what we can learn from experimental data and its limitations

b)  ethics of experimental research including issues applicable in  conflict/contested situations

c)  causal inference from non-experimental data

iii. quantitative and qualitative research methods and the implications of ‘big data’

iv. measurement and survey designs

v. neuro/physiological approaches: EEG, fMRI, Galvanic/Skin Response, Eye-Tracking, etc.

vi. the important role of technology within the context of increasing sophistication of socio-technical arrangements, for example, understanding the social processes in technological disruptions, distributed innovation processes, and digital platforms.  


20 hours of seminars in the MT.

This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of seminars online and/or physically distanced settings.

Indicative reading

  • Thomas S Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition

accompanied by

  • John Preston: Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: A Reader’s Guide 

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: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills