Cullen, John G.
The writing skills course as an introduction to critical
practice for larger business undergraduate classes.
International Journal of Management Education, 9 (4).
Calls for greater levels of critical thought in business and management education increased in the wake of the global
financial crisis. Many business educators articulated a need to develop students who engage with theory at the deepest
level in order to cultivate more socially engaged managers and management thinkers. These calls surfaced at a time
when organisations voiced concerns about the quality of the basic literacy and numeracy skills of graduates. It is often
difficult to introduce students to critical practice at the undergraduate level due to larger class sizes, with the result
that deeper theoretical engagement is often postponed until postgraduate stages of business education. This paper
discusses the findings from an action research project conducted on a critical writing skills project which aimed to
introduce a group of 95 first-year business students to the concept of critical practice through their written assignments.
The research unearthed some opportunities, challenges and possible pitfalls associated with deploying a critical writing
skills module paper, with the aim of informing practice and signposting future research needs.
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