Business and Management literature — podcast

In this podcast explore the resources available to you covering business and management from the Library

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Business and Management literature podcast on SoundCloud.


Welcome to this short podcast on how to find the best sources of Literature for your Business & Management focused dissertation.

Now, there are quite a few words and phrases that would come to mind if I was asked to sum up business and management literature “There’s a lot of it”, “Expensive” and “fast-moving”, would probably all feature somewhere.

You will undoubtedly have already used many of these resources before. It might be a book you found in the Library (either on the shelves or online), or an article from a reading list that your lecturer recommended. You may even look at specific journals like the Harvard Business Review, or ones that are relevant to your specialism such as “The Journal of Marketing”.

For a dissertation however, you will likely need to consult a wide range of literature. There are lots of different literature sources to consider and we’ll talk about these in a bit more detail shortly. A key consideration for you to think about though is the type of literature you are going to need.

There’s an ongoing debate about the merits of the different types of research which are published in the Business and Management field and you will need to decide which better suits your project. Academic or research literature is very intensive and will usually report on the methods and results of a study. Raw data will usually have been collected in some way (via an experiment, a survey or a series of interviews) and the literature will provide analysis and conclusions that the authors have drawn from this activity.

For Business and Management however, practitioner research is also of huge value. These will usually be written by a professional or expert in a field (such as HRM). It will be based on real life experiences and observations and intended to support those working in specific industries by making note of discernible trends and helping to establish best practices. An analysis and reporting of a new method of performance measurement would be an example of something you might expect to find in a practitioner journal.

Which you choose will obviously depend largely on your subject, but there is a lot of value in trying to use both if you can and highlight any noticeable similarities or differences that the research highlights.

Let’s talk about the different types of literature available now and think about the best ways to access the different types of sources.

Books first — The Library has over 2 million of these, and close to a million available in electronic format. Using our Library search tool is the best method for identifying these, and making use of some of the limits and advanced searching features will help you to narrow down your search results — There’s extensive guidance available on this (and for all the other sources) available on the accompanying post on Business & Management literature which we would strongly advise you to read after you have listened to this podcast. For books as well you should also look around and talk to people (such as academics, students and librarians) about what they recommend.

New books are published all the time in the field of business so keep an eye out for reviews in media such as the Financial Times or Fortune magazine. If the Library doesn’t hold a copy, we can get hold of these for you and there’s lots of information on our website about how to do this

Journal articles form the backbone of many dissertations and academic papers. Again, the Library can really help you here. We subscribe to over 38,000 titles in total and make sure that we have access to all the leading publications in your field. Searching for relevant articles does take a bit of work. Library search and Google Scholar are both good options and are the quickest way to see if we have something specific. However, for a dissertation you will need to do an extensive search of the available literature so you will probably need to also use bibliographic databases. These allow you to enter more complex search strategies and apply limits to make sure that your searches are comprehensive, but that crucially you don’t get overwhelmed with a long list of irrelevant results.

We have lots of databases to choose from and they all have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. The likelihood is you will have to replicate your search strategy on multiple databases, but again we have a lot of help available online to make sure you do this correctly and consistently.

It can be a time-consuming process but it’s well worth doing as you will be rewarded with a much greater volume of useful research which you can then use to support the central arguments of your own dissertation.

There are lots of other types of literature available as well, including; conference proceedings and unpublished academic papers can be valuable sources of up to date information giving you an insight into the latest research directions.

Proceedings can be easily accessed using the Web of Science platform and Google Scholar. Google Scholar also allows you to search for unpublished research or you can consult individual university websites (including AMBS) for direct access to these papers.

You may also want to look at previous dissertations submitted. Unfortunately, University of Manchester only provides access to PhD theses currently (via our eTheses service), but you can use sources such as ProQuests: Dissertation and Theses product to search for Masters level dissertations from other institutions.

Finally you may of course want to look for literature online. In a fast-moving field such as Business and Management this can be a viable strategy, but you need to be careful to properly evaluate any content which you come across online. Identifying reputable websites can be a useful way to do this and then searching these individually for relevant content.

You will find an example of how to do this, plus information about all the other services in our accompanying Business and Management literature post.

The final point to make is that if you are struggling to identify relevant literature you can (and should) ask the Library for help! This is one of many things that Librarians are good at — helping people to find relevant things, so please do use the “Help” options on the Library website if you need them. Someone will be able to get in touch with you and help to get your research moving in the right direction.

Thanks very much for listening!

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