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Critical Thinking - Faculty Resources

Articles on Critical Thinking in Business

  1. Brock, S. E. (2010). Measuring the importance of precursor steps to transformative learning. Adult Education Quarterly: A Journal of Research and Theory, 60(2), 122-142.

    This study seeks to determine the effect of transformative learning on undergraduate business students, which previous literature suggests may be a key factor in these students’ future success. A survey finds that out of the ten steps in the transformative learning process, “critical reflection,” “disorienting dilemmas,” and “trying on new roles” are most highly associated with reports of transformative learning.

  2. Cavaliere, F., & Mayer, B. W. (2012). Flooding the zone: A ten-point approach to assessing critical thinking as part of the AACSB accreditation process. Education, 133(2), 361-366.

    This study is based on the experiences of Meredith College School of Business in working to improve critical thinking in the curriculum in order to earn accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The authors provide ten points to help schools emphasize critical thinking in order to work towards accreditation and as well as other advantages.

  3. Gini, A. (2008). Liberal education in an interdependent world. Continuing Higher Education Review, 72, 85-93. 

    In a keynote address at the University Continuing Education Association 93rd Annual Conference, Gini defends the study of humanities and social science disciplines, particularly because of their role in stimulating critical thinking. He advocates for interdisciplinary coursework that will provide business students with a foundation in humanities and social science concepts, and the vice versa as a solution to bridge the gap between critical thinking and marketable skills in higher education.

  4. Hannon, S., McBride, H., & Burns, B. (2004). Developing creative and critical thinking abilities in business graduates: The value of experiential learning techniques. Industry and Higher Education, 18(2), 95-100. Doi: 10.5367/000000004323051868

    The authors of this article attempt to improve critical thinking among students in an undergraduate business program by developing a specialized module. Individual and team decision-making and conflict-resolution exercises relevant to business issues help students build critical thinking skills.

  5. Neville, M. G. (2008). Using appreciative inquiry and dialogical learning to explore dominant paradigms. Journal of Management Education, 32(1), 100-117. Doi:

    In this paper, Neville argues that learning to question underlying assumptions is an important skill for business students to learn, and thus proposes a method for inserting critical thinking theories into undergraduate curricula. She suggests changes to teaching approaches as well as course design, and presents preliminary results implying the success of this method.

  6. Rippin, A., Booth, C., Bowie, S., & Jordan, J. (2002). A complex case: Using the case study method to explore uncertainty and ambiguity in undergraduate business education. Teaching in Higher Education, 7(4), 429-441. Doi: 10.1080/135625102760553928

    After a two-year study on the case method in undergraduate business courses, this paper provides an outline of the history of this method. While it traditionally conceptualized organizations as machine-like, this concept has evolved to describe organizations as more complex and ambiguous. Managers will need critical thinking skills to face the problems developed in such a paradigm, and the authors argue that the case method should be used to support this need.

  7. Smith, G. F. (2003). Beyond critical thinking and decision making: Teaching business students how to think. Journal of Management Education, 27(1), 24-51.

    Smith reviews business schools’ efforts to develop critical thinking skills in their programs, and finds them insufficient and irrelevant in day-to-day business practices. In this paper, he outlines a comprehensive thinking-skills program designed to remedy this by introducing skills in coursework and reinforcing them throughout the curriculum.

  8. Varner, D., & Peck, S. R. (2003). Learning from learning journals: The benefits and challenges of using learning journal assignments. Journal of management education, 27(1), 52-77.

    This article is a reflection on using Learning Journals as a pedagogical tool. This method helps students develop critical reflection skills, engage with and retain course content, and allows instructors to assess learning outcomes. However, journals present many practical and ethical issues as graded assignments.

Articles on Critical Thinking in Financial Accounting

  1. Carrithers, D., Ling, T., & Bean, J. C. (2008). Messy problems and lay audiences: Teaching critical thinking within the finance curriculum. Business Communication Quarterly, 71(2), 152-170. Doi: 10.1177/1080569908318202

    Previous literature has identified a weakness among finance students’ ability to think critically when tackling “ill-structured” finance problems. As a response, this research seeks to learn why and discovers that homework assignments do not prepare students to tackle these types of problems. The authors provide suggestions on how to redesign finance curricula to improve critical thinking skills.

  2. Nelson, I. T., Ratliff, R. L., Steinhoff, G., & Mitchell, G. J. (2003). Teaching logic to auditing students: Can training in logic reduce audit judgment errors? Journal of Accounting Education, 21(3), 215-237. doi:10.1016/S0748-5751(03)00027-7

    Logic and critical thinking are important skills among auditors, but are typically absent from accounting curricula. The authors teach logic to a group of students, and after an evaluation, find that these students outperform other students and professional auditors in identifying valid versus invalid arguments.

Articles on Critical Thinking in Marketing

  1. Klebba, J. M., & Hamilton, J. G. (2007). Structured case analysis: Developing critical thinking skills in a marketing case course. Journal of Marketing Education, 29(2), 132-139. Doi: 10.1177/0273475307302015

    The authors identify an approach known as “structured case analysis” as an instructional method intended to build critical thinking skills in in marketing courses. Three course modules are undertaken and find support for the effectiveness of this approach.

  2. Page, D., & Mukherjee, A. (2007). Promoting critical-thinking skills by using negotiation exercises. Journal of Education for Business, 82(5), 251-257. Doi: 10.3200/JOEB.82.5.251-257

    As a solution to strengthening critical thinking among business students, Page and Mukherjee proffer a model business negotiations course that emphasizes active-learning experiences such as role-playing. These experiences work to simultaneously build negotiations skills and critical thinking skills.

  3. Peach, B. E., Mukherjee, A., & Hornyak, M. (2007). Assessing critical thinking: A college's journey and lessons learned. Journal of Education for Business, 82(6), 313-320. Doi: 10.3200/JOEB.82.6.313-320

    This article is a reflection on one business school’s experience implementing a curricular assessment plan. The authors articulate some of the lessons learned from this process about conducting assessment, and compare assessment of critical thinking with results from previous literature.

  4. Pearce, G., & Lee, G. (2009). Viva voce (oral examination) as an assessment method: Insights from marketing students. Journal of Marketing Education, 31(2), 120-130. Doi:

    “Viva voce,” or oral examinations, are an atypical method of assessment in marketing curricula. Pearce and Lee conduct such an examination among final-year marketing students, and conclude that this method fosters dialectic communication between student and interviewer, and also provides practice for job interviews.

  5. Roy, A., & Macchiette, B. (2005). Debating the issues: A tool for augmenting critical thinking skills of marketing students. Journal of Marketing Education, 27(3), 264-276. Doi: 10.1177/0273475305280533

    This article discusses the role of developing critical thinking skills via debate in marketing curricula, and provides guidelines for the professor’s role in planning and facilitating the debate, adapting this method to marketing coursework, preparing students to participate, and evaluating learning outcomes.

Articles on Critical Thinking in Management

  1. Carson, L., & Fisher, K. (2006). Raising the bar on criticality: Students' critical reflection in an internship program. Journal of Management Education, 30(5), 700-723. Doi: 10.1177/1052562905284962

    After reviewing literature and designing teaching strategies for students in an internship program at the University of Sydney, the authors analyze students’ writing and conclude that a combination of teaching strategies, students’ contributions, and work experience were successful in leading most students to reflect critically.

  2. Cunliffe, A. L. (2004). On becoming a critically reflexive practitioner. Journal of Management Education, 28(4), 407-426. Doi: 10.1177/1052562904264440

    Cunliffe argues that the practice of “critical reflexivity” is important to management education because thinking critically about one’s own “assumptions and activities” can lead to more ethical management practices. The author introduces three methods intended to encourage this process among students.

  3. DeLoach, S., Saliba, L., Smith, V., & Tiemann, T. (2003). Developing a global mindset through short-term study abroad: A group discussion approach. Journal of Teaching in International Business, 15(1), 37-59. Doi: 10.1300/J066v15n01_04

    The authors of this article advocate for using group discussion as a central method in study abroad courses. This technique has the power to shape the “global mindsets” of students and future managers. Furthermore, group discussion maximizes faculty time compared to other methods of providing feedback.

  4. Holmes, P., Cockburn-Wootten, C., Motion, J., Zorn, T. E., & Roper, J. (2005). Critical reflexive practice in teaching management communication. Business Communication Quarterly, 68(2), 247-256. Doi: 10.1177/1080569905276668

    In response to a need for reflection on the application of critical theory in a management communication program, the authors deconstruct three classroom incidences wherein the value of applying this theory was exhibited. They conclude that critical reflection is a beneficial factor in developing effective communicators.

  5. Thomson, G. S. (2011). Good conversations: An enhanced model to teach business ethics. Journal of International Education Research, 7(1), 73-80.

    In light of concern over lack of ethics in business decision-making, Thomson describes the implementation of the Integrative Model of Ethical Decision-Making in an upper-level management course. This method was successful in helping students think critically and increased their awareness of the role of ethics in decision-making.

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