“We Never Even Wondered Whether We Trusted Them or Not”: From Freedom to Mutuality in a Student Research Project
Of the many lines of research in the broad field of business and professional communication, one that has received increasing attention over the past few years is focussed on the complex interactions between practice and learning. Sarangi and Candlin (2010), for example, have discussed the impact of inviting practitioners to the classroom in order to share their expertise in a specific field of interest. More recently, Drury-Grogan & Russ (2013) have looked at how to integrate simulations of real cases in pedagogical settings. As Blake (1991) indicated, the ultimate step in bridging the gap between learning and practice is to get the students out of the classroom and provide them with opportunities to work with practitioners in the work field. This paper reports on one such effort made in the context of the master’s program in Multilingual Business Communication (MBC) at Ghent University, where students work in teams on a specific research project that has been commissioned by a professional organization. In particular, we present a case study on a student research project in the area of employer branding that was conducted for the Belgian division of a multinational in the food industry.
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