Improving researchers' competencies in summer schools in Lithuania

, and

Baltic Journal of Management

ISSN: 1746-5265

Article publication date: 16 May 2008



Duobiene, J., Buoziute-Rafanaviciene, S. and Alonderiene, R. (2008), "Improving researchers' competencies in summer schools in Lithuania", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 3 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Improving researchers' competencies in summer schools in Lithuania

Article Type: Conference report From: Baltic Journal of Management, Volume 3, Issue 2.

In order to do high-quality research and present the results in a qualified way in the globally recognised research journals, researchers should be competent in their research area and, additionally, should demonstrate a high level of other core research-related competencies. Young researchers had the opportunity to improve their scientific competencies at the Doctoral Summer Seminar 2007 “Special EDEN Doctoral Seminar on Research Paper Writing Skills and Methodology Development” that was held on July 8-15, 2007 in Palanga, Lithuania.

This doctoral seminar is included into the set of doctorial seminars that are organised under the auspices of European Doctoral Education Network in cooperation with European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM), ISM University of Management and Economics and Baltic Management Development Association (BMDA), and contributes to the development of vital research competences in the most critical phase of a scholar development period, i.e. introduction to the academic world.

Eight well-known experts from different countries (Lithuania, Finland, UK, and Norway) held sessions on different subjects: Professor Leonidas Donskis, Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), gave an introduction to social science philosophy; Professor Henrik Gahmberg, University of Vaasa (Sweden), discussed qualitative research approaches; Dr Aurelija Novelskaite, Institute for Social Research (Lithuania), held a session on improvement of paper writing skills; Professor Chris Brewster, Henley University (UK), discussed research methods in HRM field; Associate Professor Bill Lee, Management School University of Sheffield (UK), presented qualitative research in finance and accounting; Professor Andrius Bielskis, ISM University of Management and Economics (Lithuania), moderated a discussion on the meaning of scientist in a broader sense; Professor Goran Svensson, Oslo School of Management (Norway), shared experience about academic journals and academic publishing; Professor Catherine Cassell, Manchester Business School (UK), discussed qualitative research.

The main goal of the Doctoral Summer Seminar 2007 was to develop core research competencies of doctoral students. During the seminar, the participants improved their competencies, skills and deepened the knowledge in such areas as:

  • how to write high-quality research papers;

  • how to publish papers and what research publication criteria were;

  • what research methodology (qualitative and quantitative methods) had to be applied; and

  • how to present the paper.

Chris Brewster, one of the most published authors in the international business journals (Survey of the University of Chicago 2005) shared his experience in paper publishing, and told about his life as a practitioner and a scientist. Brewster elaborated on importance of practice and theory relevance, and validation of research within scientific community. He referred Donskis' overview about general development of social sciences, and analysed the development of HRM topics in recent research and publications.

Some professors, participating in the seminar, were not only experts in their research areas, but also editors and reviewers of international scientific journals. For instance, Bill Lee, a Reviewer of a number of leading accounting journals and an Associated Editor, shared the ideas from his own publishing experience and combined them with recommendations on to qualitative research methodology. Moreover, Catherine Cassell is an Associated Editor for the British Journal of Management, Co-editor of Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, An International Journal, and is on the editorial advisory board of other journals. As she works in various projects and one of them is aimed at enhancing good research practice in the field, participants of the seminar got the latest information about research trends and their methodology.

As one of the key topics of the seminar was qualitative research, which is not so common the in Baltic States, the presentation of Henrik Gahmberg dealt with philosophical foundation and paradigms of such research and included workshop with NVIVO7 as a statistical instrument for qualitative data.

The presentation of Goran Svensson was focused on academic journals and academic publishing, as he is an Editor of European Business Review, regional Editor of Management Decisions, an active member of numerous editorial boards and editorial review boards. Svensson gave a lot of practical advice on the issues why, what, where and how to publish.

A very useful and important part of the seminar for the researchers were workshops dealing with scientific career, practice on paper writing, improving presentation skills and working with technical instruments. These workshops were moderated by the Lithuanian professors Ilona BucÏiu¯nieneÇ, Petras Baršauskas, Aurelija NovelskaiteÇ and Andrius Bielskis. It was the unique opportunity to compare different opinions and views to the world of science.

There were 20 participants representing six countries at the seminar: Belgium, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands and Russia. The areas of PhD students' research involved business strategy, business management, human resources management, innovation, marketing, economics, entrepreneurship and philology. According to the comments of the participants:

[...] this summer seminar has eventually proved that academic discourse has no clear-cut disciplinary boundaries, as it extends beyond the limits of social sciences, and creates opportunities for collaboration between various academic disciplines.

The summer seminar let the participants feel more “confident about the whole process of writing,” and “increasingly enriched knowledge about academic publishing, its requirements and subtleties.” Doctoral Summer Seminar was also useful for the beginners being “a good starting point for scientific carrier.”

EIASM, ISM and BMDA have already announced about the Doctoral Summer Seminar 2008 “Doctoral Dissertation Writing: Why, What, and How”, which will be held on July 7-11, 2008 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The participants will:

  • Discuss the scientist role in society, doctoral dissertation requirements, content and experience of doctoral research process worldwide.

  • Discuss the place of their own research in the context of management research.

  • Improve dissertation writing skills by formulating research title, aim, objectives, research question, hypotheses.

  • Discuss research methodology questions: sample, research methods, etc.

  • Practise dissertation writing techniques: language, style, copyright, citation, etc.

  • Elaborate dissertation-writing process and time management issues.

Dissertation provides an opportunity to work independently, at length, on a topic that is of particular interest to the student, even though writing a dissertation is a very demanding process. This seminar is intended to help the students to recognise the purpose of dissertation and make the process enjoyable. During five intense days, the participants improve their competences and skills facilitating the understanding of approach to the thesis and undertaking and evaluating their own research. This seminar will help to move successfully to a higher level of scientific life.

Jurga Duobiene, Solveiga Buoziute-Rafanaviciene and Raimonda AlonderieneISM University of Management and Economics, Kaunas, Lithuania

Related articles