Management Department Paper Publishing Workshop: DEVELOPING SKILLS TO ENHANCE FIELD RESEARCH TRAINING – WILL HARVEY
There has been little discussion about the quality of ongoing field research training for novice researchers, despite the recognition that it is important for their academic careers. Past and present approaches to field research training have followed an apprenticeship model, which we suggest does not equip field researchers with the necessary guided learning throughout the fieldwork, including the growing demands of working with practitioners to increase research engagement and impact. We provide three contributions to strengthen the apprenticeship model in order to enhance the skill development of field researchers. First, we emphasize the need to provide guided learning during the experiential stage of a research project, widening the accessibility of expertise across the research ecosystem to enhance the skill development of researchers. Second, we develop a heuristic that we term a critical juncture to better support researcher learning during the experiential stage of research skill development. Third, we advocate for a revised conception of and engagement with practitioners within the apprenticeship model to recognize their broader value, including how potential academic-practitioner tensions may arise and be managed during research projects. We conclude by providing implications for educating researchers within institutions and the broader academic community, since the enhancement of fieldwork research skills is not exclusive to doctoral and early career researchers, but an ongoing process of learning for all researchers.