This course adopts the following intensive structure to make the most of your valuable time.
Case Studies: Critical Thinking in Business
We present a number of real-life case studies in which critical thinking has led to effective business outcomes.
- Intellectual Property
- Music Royalties
- Market Acquisition
The Criticality Trajectory
We explore best practice in critical thinking via an exploration of our Criticality Trajectory (depicted below).
Auditing Critical Thinking
These three research-backed models of assessing critical thinking are first briefly considered:
1. The RED (Recognise assumptions, Evaluate arguments, Draw conclusions) model from Pearson's Watson-Glaser II Critical Thinking Appraisal
2. Halpern’s Critical Thinking Assessment, and
3. Bloom’s Taxonomy.
These then serve as background knowledge during a practical activity in which participants will actively learn how to undertake a critical thinking audit.
Some common indicators of a deficit in critical thinking are then appraised:
- An absence of business strategy
- Rapid changes in business strategy
- Intra-team conflicts
Signs of a sufficiency of critical thinking are also appraised:
- Work being completed comprehensively
- Work done on time
- Work done to an appropriate standard
The key steps involved in an organisational audit of critical thinking are then considered in detail:
Elements of a Critical Thinking Audit
i. Assess a Business Product
This can be virtually anything concrete such as a physical product, a report, or a debrief on an individual or team task.
ii. Ask all stakeholders and participants to describe the requirement to the auditor.
Ideally, this will be done first on a 1-to-1 basis and then in a group.
iii. Invite honest judgements on the effectiveness of the product
- Ask participants to succinctly but accurately describe the product.
- Ask participants to articulate their approach to creating the product and why they opted for this approach over any alternatives. (A pivotal point is achieved when participants suggest adjustments to improve their own work.)
- Ask whether all necessary elements are present.
- Ask whether all unnecessary elements have been excluded.
- Ask whether there should be a hierarchy of importance and, if so, ask whether this has been respected. (What is the first thing you would mention if you had only 10 seconds to describe the product? Which element would you support first if you had a limited budget?)
iv. Invite honest assessments of the implications of the work
- What are the implications?
- Did the work require a recommendation and, if so, was this provided?
- Was any recommendation substantiated?
- Do you agree with the recommendation? If not, do you feel that it is nevertheless defensible?
- Are there any weaknesses in the recommendation?
- What are the best alternative recommendations?
v. Competencies to Assess
- Problem solving
- Team cohesion
- Open mindedness
- Tolerance for ambiguity
- Time efficiency
- Retroduction/ abductive reasoning
Insight into Action
The course will end with the creation of a brief initial action plan for improving critical thinking in each participant’s business context.
Dates, times and delivery
The Critical Thinking Skills (online) course will run from 30 January - 8 February 2024 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each session will be 90 minutes.
These live video sessions will be held over Microsoft Teams at 09:30 – 11:00 (UK time) on:
- Tuesday 30 January
- Thursday 1 February
- Tuesday 6 February
- Thursday 8 February
A world clock, and time zone converter can be found here: https://bit.ly/3bSPu6D
This is a ‘virtual classroom’ course, and is designed to replicate the experience of a classroom. The sessions are ‘live’ and are not recorded.
No attendance at Oxford is required and you do not need to purchase any software.
Accessing your online course
Details about accessing the private MS Teams course site will be emailed to you during the week prior to the course commencing.
Please get in touch if you have not received this information within three working days of the course start date.