Academic Writing Skills - From PhD Paper to Publication for Business School Students

Note: all our courses are taught online this year.

This course will run over a period of 5 days and you will be working on one of your PhD papers during the course. We will have 2 hours of interactive seminars in the morning and 3 hours of practical writing sessions in the afternoon, during which you will work on your own paper as well as give and receive feedback from other participants. The overall goal of the course is to help you improve your academic writing skills and improve one of your PhD papers which you aim to publish in a top journal. 

Course days11-15 January 2021
Course levelPhD candidates from Business Schools conducting research in the field of management and organizations
Coordinating lecturersJanina Klein
Other lecturersAshley Metz (Tilburg University), Georg Reischauer (WU Vienna), Wouter Stam (VU), Jost Sieweke (VU), Christopher Wickert (VU)
Forms of tuition

Interactive seminars (morning session, 2 hours) – on specific topics in the writing process (e.g how to write an introduction, how to write a literature review, etc.)

Practical writing sessions (afternoon session, 3 hours) – participants work on their papers, integrating the learning from the seminar in the morning and then give feedback to each other

Forms of assessment

Peer assessment during practical writing sessions (formative)

(Re-)Writing an introduction for their paper (summative) based on the learning from the course

Credits3 ECTS
Contact hours25 hours
Tuition feeRead all information about our tuition fees and what's included here    
How to applyFind our application form here   

PhD Candidates in Business Schools. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please contact us: [email protected]

On the first day, you will learn how to engage in academic conversations and how to target a particular journal for your work. Day two will be all about how to write a good introduction. The introduction is arguably the most important part of a paper and you will also learn how to apply a template for writing introductions. On the third day you will learn more about how to work on your theory section and improve the current version in your own paper. Day 4 will focus on the methods section. You will learn how to ensure your methods are consistent and reliable. Finally, on day 5, you will learn the revision processes and how to respond to the reviewer’s comments. We will go through an exemplary revision process based on a paper published in the Academy of Management Journal. 

The course draws on Huff’s (2008) book “Designing Research for Publication” as well as various articles on academic writing and exemplary papers that you will read prior to the course. A detailed reading list will be shared in December 2020. Prior course reading accounts for approximately 25 study hours. 

During the interactive seminars, you will also be assessing exemplary papers and discuss their strengths and weaknesses in class. During the practical writing sessions, you will be working on the respective sections of your paper discussed in the morning. You will also give peer feedback on their section and receive feedback as well, thus enhancing the learning process. At the end of the week, you will have revised your introduction, theory, and the methods sections of your paper.

The assessment takes the form of a written assignment, the revised introduction of your paper which has to be handed in one week after the course. You will receive written feedback on this piece of work from the course facilitators. 

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Signal to readers which academic conversations you are joining and contributing to. 
  • Be able to write effective introductions based on a step-by-step model. 
  • Understand how to critically review chosen literature and be able to apply this in your own work.
  • Assess chosen research methods in terms of appropriateness, consistency, and reliability and improve your own work. 
  • Be able to draw on various tips and lessons learned in the review process. 


Janina Klein is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Change at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Janina obtained her PhD in Management at the University of Edinburgh Business School and holds a MLitt (Master) in International Business from the University of St Andrews. Her professional background is in consulting where she worked for more than ten years in various roles. Janinas responsibilities included organizational change management (M&As and reorganization programs), executive education and business development. Janina is a certified business coach.
Janina's research focusses on organizational change, more specifically she is interested in organizational design and identity change and the role of emotions in organizational change processes. She is particularly interested in change in hybrid organizations.


Ashley Metz is an Assistant Professor of Organization Studies at Tilburg University.  She obtained her PhD from the Hertie School in Berlin and holds an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona. During her doctoral studies, she conducted research at the Copenhagen Business School and Stanford University.  Prior to academia, Ashley worked in innovation and product management in the location services division of Nokia (now HERE). 

She is interested in the institutional processes involved in how organizations work to create nonfinancial value, and in possible unintended consequences and alternative futures.  To study these theoretical interests, she focuses on two empirical spheres: organizations and fields with dedicated non-financial goals, such as impact investors and social-purpose organizations; and corporate firms using novel strategy practices known under the umbrella of ‘futures studies’ to think differently about their strategies for a sustainable world.  


Jost Sieweke is Associate Professor in the Department of Management & Organization at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the programme director of the Executive MBA: Leading with Purpose. Jost received his PhD from the University of Duesseldorf (Germany) in 2012 with a thesis examining the contributions of Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus to research in management and organization studies.
In his research, Jost focuses on two broad topics: First, he examines antecedents and consequences of human errors, and he investigates how and under which conditions employees and organizations learn from errors. Second, he has a broad interest in leadership. Among others, he focuses on the effects of leaders on employee learning from errors and coordination in teams, and he explores leader effectiveness, especially in crisis situations. 


Wouter Stam is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) of VU University Amsterdam. He is also Scientific Director of the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI). Professor Stam holds a Master in International Business Studies, specializing in finance, from Maastricht University and received his PhD (with cum laude distinction) from VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Social Sciences, with a thesis examining the impact of social capital on the performance of entrepreneurial firms. During 2009-2015, he was a faculty member at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) where he taught courses in the undergraduate, MBA, and PhD programs and received a prestigious GRF research grant from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council. He has also been a visiting scholar at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2006-2007), and RSM Erasmus University (2014).
His research examines the management challenges surrounding the creation and growth of entrepreneurial ventures, with a special emphasis on the strategic dilemmas faced by innovative entrepreneurs who operate in emerging industries. He is currently leading several research projects that consider how social capital and inequality influence entrepreneurial activity and performance. His other work focuses on the contextual underpinnings of entrepreneurial decision-making, with projects examining how networks shape the cognitive biases of entrepreneurs in areas such as risk-taking, planning, and time management.


Christopher Wickert is Associate Professor of Ethics & Sustainability in the Department of Management & Organization at VU University Amsterdam. Christopher obtained his PhD in Management from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland in 2013. During his doctoral studies, he has also conducted research and taught at University of Zurich, University of St. Gallen and at IESE Business School in Barcelona. Prior to becoming a researcher, he worked as a consultant with the United Nations Global Compact Office in New York. He holds an MSc degree in business administration from WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany.
In his research, Christopher explores different patterns of corporate social responsibility implementation in globally integrated companies, paying particular attention to how firm size influences the way companies organize CSR. Furthermore, Christopher has been studying a range of phenomena under the umbrella of CSR, such as the evolvement and diffusion of CSR standards, the influence of organizational identity orientation on the implementation of CSR practices, or the prevalent mismatch between CSR “talk” and CSR “walk” in small and large firms. Furthermore, he has investigated dynamics at the individual level of analysis by looking at CSR professionals inside large corporations and their concomitant struggles when selling CSR issues intra-organizationally. Christopher is also interested in Critical Management Studies (CMS), philosophy of science, business ethics, and social entrepreneurship

Georg Reischauer is an Assistant Professor at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business. His research focuses on the nexus of digital strategy, digital organization, and digital sustainability. In particular, he explores how organizations utilize and respond to digital technologies in order to create business and public value. Georg studies these phenomena in digital markets, digital transformation contexts, and infrastructure contexts. Georg received his PhD from the Technical University of Vienna.