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Conducting and Communicating Research

The students shall learn how to craft papers (e.g., their thesis) in a way that it is meaningful, i.e. relevant and rigorous. To do so, they will develop an understanding of how to search for and use existing research, how to frame their contributions, and how research design choices may influence the execution of their research projects.
Course code
Course type
BSc Course General Studies
Weekly Hours
FS 2020
Juniorprof. Dr. Victor Frederik Jan van Pelt
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

This course provides an introduction to conducting and communicating about research. The main goals of the course are to help students learn about setting up a research project, presenting a research idea, and structuring a research report. This course is particularly useful for students who seek to produce an excellent Bachelor or Master Thesis, assignments, essays, and articles. However, the course also covers essential skills to succeed in nearly any professional career; many professionals must write and analyze research reports, determine the extent to which publicly available research is relevant for their business, and initiate small-scale research projects within their business context to analyze specific interventions and policies.

The course has four sessions:

  1. The first session introduces research; we discuss what research entails, how we use it to explain and understand management and business practice, and why it is useful.
  2. The second session covers different research methods and which goals different research methods pursue.
  3. The third session focuses on presenting and pitching research ideas to a broad audience.
  4. The fourth session explains how to structure a research report and covers referencing techniques.


Students form groups of two at the start of the course. 25% of students’ grades depends on a group presentation in the third session. The remaining 75% of students’ grades depends on a short paper that students write after the fourth session. Both the group presentation and the short paper focus on using a conceptual or theoretical idea, school of thought, or the work of a scholar to offer an answer or perspective to an interesting practical problem or question. Students are encouraged to work on the group presentation and short paper in preparation for or conjunction with the Bachelor or Master thesis. Also, exceptional short papers will be submitted for publication in a suitable journal, blog, or online resource.

Date Time
Thursday, 23.01.2020 15:30 - 18:00
Thursday, 06.02.2020 15:30 - 18:00
Thursday, 13.02.2020 15:30 - 18:00
Tuesday, 18.02.2020 15:30 - 18:00
Supplemental Reading MaterialStyle: Lessons in Clarity and Grace (Williams)The Elements of Style (Strunk and White)Economical Writing (McCloskey)
Lecture (100%)
Presentation (25%), Short Paper (75%)
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