ERIC Number: EJ695720
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact of Supervisors' Cognitive Styles on the Quality of Research Supervision in Management Education
Armstrong, Steven J.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v74 n4 p599-616 Dec 2004
Background: An aspect of teaching and learning that has been seriously overlooked in higher education is the process of research supervision. High failure rates for research dissertations in the social sciences have been partly attributed to student dissatisfaction with supervision and poor student-supervisor relationships. One personality variable that has been shown to be partly responsible for shaping the effectiveness of supervisory relationships is cognitive style. Aims: The study examined the effects of supervisor cognitive style on the quality of supervision for students undertaking a research project in the field of management education. Sample: Both parties in each of 118 supervisor-student dyads within a university business school in the UK participated in the study. Method: Data were collected using the Cognitive Style Index to measure subjects on the analytic-intuitive dimension of cognitive style. A self-developed Thurstone attitude scale was used to measure students' perceptions of the quality of supervision. The scale's validity was assured by making extensive use of subjects' (N = 100) judgments from the population of interest in the scale's development. A second parallel scale was developed to test the instrument's reliability characteristics. Results: Findings revealed that students perceived the quality of supervision to increase significantly with the degree to which supervisors were analytic in their cognitive style. Students whose supervisors were more analytic also achieved significantly higher grades for their dissertations. Conclusions: Whilst there may be many factors influencing interpersonal relationships of this nature, this study demonstrated the potential relevance of cognitive style, which may prove to be a fertile area for further investigation.
Descriptors: Measures (Individuals), Supervision, Social Sciences, Doctoral Dissertations, Administrator Education, Cognitive Style, Student Attitudes
The British Psychological Society, St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road, East Leicester, LE1 7DR UK. Tel: 0116-254-9568.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Attitude Scale