TEACHING

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COURSES TAUGHT
MASTER LEVEL

COURSES TAUGHT
DOCTORATE LEVEL

  • Methodology of information gathering through consultation;
  • Research methods in project management;
  • Research-action and project management;
  • Seminar in epistemology, organization and projects;
  • Schools of thought in project management;
  • Research instruments in project management;
  • Qualitative business research methods;
  • Qualitative research methods in Project Management;
  • Quantitative research methods in Project Management;
  • Research methodology in nursing science;
  • Methodology for analysis of data applied to nursing science;
  • Quantitative methods in industrial relations;
  • Epistemology and theories in project management;
  • Epistemology and research methods;
  • Doctoral seminar II in Industrial Relations : Methods;
  • Critical and reflexive methodologies in project management research (Guided Reading);
  • Nursing Advanced Research Methods;

FAVOURED PEDAGOGICAL APPROACH THE MASTERS LEVEL

The classic approach to teaching courses on the foundations of program management research consists of teaching formal knowledge which is then measured through an exam administered in the classroom. This teaching approach is not in sync with the circular reality of the research process. In addition, the steps involved in research are studied in a theoretical manner. It becomes a matter of learning certain notions in order to pass the exam.
The majority of students registered in management programs are rarely exposed to the challenges of research. After taking a course on the foundations of research that makes use of classical teaching methods, students often find themselves at a loss when they are required to set up their own research projects, whether an essay, a master’s thesis or a doctoral thesis is involved. This observation is hardly a new one since Scott was already noting in 1962
1 :
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"Every science teacher, in fact, knows that even best laboratory direction do not convey those arts of experiment that students readily learn by combination of trying for themselves and watching a demonstration by instructor.  The same difficulty shows up in the problem of developing science education in new universities springing up in many part of the world. Without the presence of trained scientists to introduce experimental techniques by personal example, education tends to be restricted to the articulate contents of science (which professors of high intelligence can obtain from books and pass on to their students) and to be relatively sterile and unproductive with respect to the unspecifiable art of scientific research." (Scott, 1962, p. 351-352).
The combination of formal learning and experiential learning (meaning the hands-on aspects of undertaking research2) has appeared as a method of doing things differently.

Let us take for example graduate level courses in research methods. Instead of making research methods the departure point of the teaching activity and inviting the students to reflect, at the end of the process, on a possible subject for research (and from a practical viewpoint on how to get marks) the courses in research methods given by Jacques-Bernard Gauthier initiate students into diverse research methods based on the theme that each student wishes to study in their essay or master’s thesis. It is for this reason that graduate level courses on research methods have been divided into three sequential parts.

In the first part of the course, the students specify the theme of their research to the extent of being able to identify a specific question to be researched. In the second part of the course, one studies the different steps to follow in order to empirically explore the specific question that was identified. An article published in one of the various journals in the area of project management is then dissected as a typical example of the research procedures being studied. Finally, students are invited to disseminate the results of their empirical searches.

Through his teaching methods, Jacques-Bernard Gauthier initiates students into research using an incremental method consisting of many information loops that encourage learning. The incremental method closely resembles systems with which many researchers are experimenting. The different learning loops are illustrated in the following Figure.

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Jacques-Bernard Gauthier makes use of this same incremental learning process in courses dealing with the conceptual aspects of project management. In addition to imparting theoretical notions, an effort is made to develop analytical capacities and the ability to structure a critical position regarding conceptual works in the area of project management. Such capacities and abilities are not acquired overnight. They must be built up. This is where the incremental learning process, which is initiated with theoretical writings that are abundantly quoted in project management, comes into play. These theoretical texts arise from different schools of thought and different authors.

In order to frame a critical position regarding the theoretical texts in question, the student must grasp the essence of these schools of thought or of the authors to whom these texts refer. Every week, students undertake a study of one of these schools or one of these authors. Using sample questions to guide themselves, students must produce a short commentary on the school or author in question. Their comments are annotated to underscore strong points, but also to note aspects that the student must improve in the next commentary. Thus, over the weeks, all the while learning theoretical notions, students can forge analytical capacities and an ability to structure their comments, while at the same time perfecting what will finally become a reflexive position regarding many key theoretical texts in project management.

REFELEXIVE METHODOLOGY AS THE FOUNDATION STONE AT DOCTORAL SEMINARS ON RESEARCH METHODS

Most of the students who undertake doctoral studies in administrative sciences are practitioners whose research project deals with one aspect or the other of management practice. This presents wonderful opportunities to conduct hermeneutic exercises within (and upon) management.

Jacques-Bernard Gauthier, who is inspired by the work of Alvesson
3 and of Cunliff4-6, structures the doctoral seminars on research methods that he gives around two orders of reflexivity. The first order is organized around three levels of interpretation, and the second order, reflecting on the first, includes four degrees of reflection. Jacques-Bernard Gauthier applies this operation involving two orders of reflexivity equally to qualitative research and to quantitative research.

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(1) Scott, W. T. (1962).  Polanyi’s Theory of Personal Knowledge : A Gestalt Philosophy.  The Massachusetts Review, 3 (2), 349-368.
(2) Je m’inspire ici de Polanyi, M. (1962).  Personal Knowledge.  Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy.  Chicago : The University of Chicago Press.
(3) Alvesson, M. & Sköldberg, K.  (2018).  Reflexive Methodology: New Vistas for Qualitative Research (3
rd edition).  London: Sage.
(4) Cunliff, A. L. (2003). Reflexive inquiry in organizational research: Questions and possibilities.  Human Relations, 56(8): 983-1003.
(5) Cunliff, A. L. & Jun, J. S. (2005). The Need for Reflexivity in Public Administration.  Administration & Society, 37(2): 225-241.
(6)Hibbert, P., Sillince, J., Thomas, D. et Cunliffe, A. L. (2014). Relationally Reflexive Practice: A Generative Approach to Theory Development in Qualitative Research. Organizational Research Methods, 17(3) : 278-298.