Monday, May 7, 2007

Graduate learning here makes me feel uncomfortable

In this year's first doctoral class, namely Research Methodology in Management, I was assigned to lecture a paper that was recently published on a top management journal. The paper was well written, though it was totally beyond my interest. While I was preparing for this lecture, I've been asking myself over and over again, what methodologies would I learn through this piece of paper?

Indeed, I could learn some detailed knowledge in this interesting field, and how those contents got organized and the like. But honestly speaking, those understandings were only idiosyncratic knowledge in a specific subdiscipline, or even sub-subdiscipine. Whereas methodologies, I suspect, should be the underlying principles that could guide us to view the whole discipline and to do our researches in an integrated and scientific framework. How could a baby "see the world in a grain of sand" in its first glance of the world?

I have to ask, after a lunar new year, am I turning blunt so that I could not understand the professors' effort to this class? Maybe. However, many other fellow students are also quite embarrassed and feel uneasy about this problem.

I highly suggested some of my classmate read Milton Friedman's Essays in Positive Economics for some real discussions on methodological inquires to the discipline of economics and as well as other empirical sciences. His deep insights on verification and falsification of a theory and the role of assumptions to establish a theory revolutionize our methodological understandings.

Fortunately, the lecture was going smoothly.

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