A Social Sciences Perspective of Academic Research in Management

This information is for the 2022/23 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 Economics and Management, 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 MRes/PhD or MPhil/PhD programme.

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

The seminar provides 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). It also provides an opportunity for the full cohort of research students across the Department of Management programmes to meet regularly to discuss and share their different perspectives on academic research in Management. 

The Seminar series will also develop your skills to evaluate underlying the research philosophy and research design in academic research. You will be required to submit a paper from outside your direct area of expertise and apply the insights gained from course to discuss and evaluate the research paper. 

Alongside an overview of the different Management specialisms and research by Faculty groups the seminars will cover the following topics:

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

Undertaking  Research in Management: Research Paradigms and Research Process.

Quantitative research methods: an introduction and overview of the methodological toolkit, and their limitations.

Qualitative research methods.

Experimental data and its limitations

Theory development.

Measurement and Survey Designs in Management research.

Technology within the context of increasing sophistication of socio-technical arrangements.

Designing experiments.



20 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Submit a paper of between 1000-1500 words responding to a research paper outside your subject specialism. 

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 
  • Any readings assigned for any given session

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2021/22: 9

Average class size 2021/22: 9

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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