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Supervisory power and postgraduate supervision
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:49 authored by Andrew M. D. Armitage
The supervision of postgraduate Master's Degree dissertations has attracted little attention in the academic literature and is an under researched area of supervisory activity. This research was a response to generate new knowledge concerning the praxis of supervisors who supervise Master's Degree dissertations within the area of Continual Professional Development (CPD). As such, this study set out to gain insights and generate new knowledge into the strategies and approaches that supervisors use to deal with a diverse range of students and subject specialisms. The findings from this study will be useful to supervisors as a means to inform policy, practitioner-based knowledge and practice, in an under-researched area of academic activity. An insider practice-based ethnographic research methodology was used to study the praxis of fourteen Master's Degree dissertation supervisors located in the Continuing Professional Development curriculum area in a UK business school. The fieldwork for this study consisted of fourteen semi-structured interviews given by supervisors concerning their supervisory practice. The results of the study indicate that supervisors work within subject and methodological silos when supervising their students. However, the findings also show that supervisors give both academic and pastoral support to their students during the process of supervising dissertations. The conclusions of the study advocate the need for supervisors to exchange ideas and best practice, more readily regarding their professional praxis of the supervision process. They also identify that supervisors need to be aware of the different types of students who present themselves to the dissertation process in terms of their individual learning styles and pastoral needs. These evidence-based outcomes are captured within a model of supervisor-student relationships that contain the potential to influence practitioner-based practice and development.
Publication titleInternational Journal of Management Education