One of the more intriguing things I noticed at the ABO Conference was the seamless integration of field, survey, and experimental research in the conference. It was as it should be, becoming a non-event.
More than anything this is what I had hoped for 25 plus years ago when I used field research as part of my dissertation at University of Michigan. We are moving in the right direction, having the method fit the research question – a suggestion I first heard from Bill Kinney in 1988!
How do we help PHD students get to this point? Kristina Rennekamp from Cornell gave me a look like “what planet are you on?” when I asked her about what does Cornell do to get its behavioural students ready to use multiple behavioural methods? “Coursework in surveys and qualitative research methods” was her reply! It was so obvious to her that it did not merit mention!
That too is how it should be! Eight years ago when we redesigned the PHD program at Queen’s we paired three six week introductions to experimental, field and archival research in accounting courses ( yes I know we leave out analytical models but with no one on faculty . . . . . ) with four six week methods courses in experimental design, survey research, qualitative methods and regression ( the remaining six week course was taken in fall of second year) delivered across the first year combined with later more in depth courses. This is just one example of how to balance the demand for broader behavioural methods training with the pressures of program design!