Collaboration to Improve Learning: Research Support for the Graduate Business Degree Candidate
November, 2012 IACBE Meeting, San Diego, CA
9 Pages Posted: 16 May 2013 Last revised: 8 Jan 2015
Date Written: November 16, 2012
In a “cooperative” environment of faculty, professional librarian and writing expert collaboration MBA candidates are better equipped to defend the thesis statement of their capstone projects, and succeed in the business world.
This paper highlights the skills graduate students need to use information sources more effectively, and communicate in a cogent manner.
Steven Fleisher, Outreach Librarian finds that a research consultation following a library instruction session provides the ideal learning outcome. In this information literacy environment, come advanced research expectations. The thesis writer is evaluated by his or her ability to collect refereed articles, case studies, as well as professional readings (including SWOT analyses, and legal interpretations). When the student is already familiar with university library subscriptions, the consultation takes the form of an idea exchange where both the librarian and writer can discuss the best possible sources that can be added to the existing bibliography. If there is not a familiarity with online searching, then the librarian employs skill-building measures which summarize what is available. The repetition of accessing databases usually realizes favorable results during the researching process; especially when the student has identified authors of interest. The professor is included in the consultation process when he or she determines that the student may not have the needed research background to complete the thesis course in a timely manner.
Suki Stone, a core adjunct professor assumes the role as the writing expert. Master’s candidates are referred to her if writing style presents a challenge for the candidate. Her mentoring services are not of a remedial nature, many times quite the opposite. We have experienced candidate situations, where there are perhaps too many ideas to complete a logically flowing thesis. Our observation has been that working professionals with life experience know what their research interests are; however, they have not been part of an academic community for several years and need assistance with writing style and the creation of bibliographies. Another type of mentee candidate might be the experienced academic, who needs the intervention of an impartial evaluator. The mentee, although well-versed has the opportunity to work with Dr. Stone on an unlimited basis addressing research manuscript skills, and the selection of qualitative literature. Frequently her consultation will be a continuation of the research inventory identified by the outreach librarian.
Keywords: Mentoring, Thesis research, MBA candidates, MBA degrees, Business success, Research consultations
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