What is it about?

We have interviewed 20 top scientists, including 17 Nobel Laureates, exploring how they think and learn. Along the way, we have realised that these excellent scientists were also telling us about what makes excellent research for them. Being interested in research in our area, management and organization studies, we started wondering if any of what we have learned, applies in our area. It seems to us that at least some of it does.

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Why is it important?

Our findings are important as they suggest that we may consider rethinking how we do a few things in the management and organization studies. First, all researchers seem to use their intuition, yet, in our area, this is virtually never reported. Instead of just trying to assimilate an increasing amount of information, the novices in the area could benefit from exercising the switch between the big picture and the detail - what we call "seeing the essence". Finally, master-apprentice relationships seem to be indispensable for achieving the highest level of mastery in any field, so we may try to reinstate these as well as workshops or communities of researchers to achieve superior performance.

Perspectives

While we do not argue that any of what we have found is simply transferable to the area of management and organization studies, we do believe that the points we make are worth consideration and can be potentially important.

Dr Viktor Dörfler
University of Strathclyde

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This page is a summary of: Understanding “expert” scientists: Implications for management and organization research, Management Learning, September 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1350507619866652.
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