Dr.Goparaju Purna Sudhakar


In Management education, Training, and Executive Development learning aids such as Conceptual Papers/Review Papers, Empirical Papers, Case Studies, Books and Videos play major role in imparting learning. Usually both management researchers/professors and practitioners at some point or other they will be reviewing these kind of learning aids in their careers. The quality of management learning aid not only depends on the content writer/author but also the reviewer who is reviewing the content. This specific experiential insight I am writing with more than 24 years of management content authoring (authored or edited around 20 books; more than 100 papers/articles/case studies) and reviewing of (more than 300 papers/case studies); and development experience of more than 100 videos content.

Common Items to Look For: When reviewing the management content products, irrespective of learning aid you are reviewing, following items are to be examined:

  • First and Most Important Point is, Reading the Learning aid Line by Line. There is no shortcut to review a management learning aid, other than to read it line by line. This is most important and first point to remember.
  • Second Point is, Look for Title of the Paper, Case Study, Book, Video being reviewed and check whether the main text/sections discussed in the learning aid are in sync with Title or not. That is sometimes, what happens is, author starts to write a paper with some intention and objective in mind, but, while during the development, he may deviate and take deviated path in writing the running text.
  • Third Point is, Check the Semantics and Syntax in learning aid. That is, whether the meaning of the sentences is coming as per the objective of the paper/learning aid or not (this is semantic check); another point is; check the language, grammar, sentence breakages, typos in sentences (this is syntactic check).
  • Fourth Point is, Check Whether Learning aid is structured or not; that is, Paper, Case Study, and Video should be divided into Sections; and these sections should be numbered. Section numbers should be in sequence. It is best practice to have section numbering in case of a book up to 3 to 4 levels (Example: 1.1.1, 1.1.2, …… or,, …..);
  • Fifth Point is, Look for Tables, Figures, Diagrams, and Illustrations in the Learning aid. Each of these value additions should be numbered and titled. (For example, “Table 3.2: Leader Vs. Manager” (in case of a book indicating Table 2 in Chapter 3); “Figure 4.5: Decision Making Process in Organizations” (indicating Figure 5 in Chapter 4)). All the Table Numbers, Figure Numbers, Diagram/Image Numbers, Illustration Numbers should have separate sequence serial/numbers. Some time, in Figures/Diagrams, Links between different components will be missing; or will be in incorrect direction; One needs to check for them. The Semantic meaning Figure/Diagram conveying should be inline with the existing literature or the literature presented in the paper being reviewed.
  • Sixth Point is, Check for Continuity in the Learning aid. That is There should be continuity in the flow when passing through one section to another section in learning aid. There should not be jumping in flow.
  • Seventh Point is, Referencing style. Here, mentioning the reference papers at the end of the paper/learning aid and inline citations wherever the paper is referred in the running text. Appropriate referencing styles such as APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA (Modern Language Association) are to be followed. Sometimes, some papers will be referred in running text, but they are not specified at the end of the paper (in references sections); sometimes paper which are not referred in running text will be mentioned in References section of Paper. These things are also to be looked for when reviewing learning aid. Where Quotations are there in running text, provide the citation of the quotation there. This is very much needed in case of a Case Study.
  • Eight Point, in case of Case Study, keep illustrations at the end of the case study with serial number. In case of a book, have Appendix for keeping any standards, procedures, processes, etc. In case of a research/empirical paper, keep Questionnaire/ Instrument in Appendix at the end of the paper.
  • Ninth Point, Check for the Facts and Figures in the Learning Aid. Facts mentioned in the learning aid should be inline with the previous historical literature in that specific stream of management. For Figures (Example: Currency Figures, Measurement Units), follow international standards and uniformity across the learning aid. There should not be several currencies at multiple locations in the same paper. Single Currency format is to be followed throughout the learning aid wherever possible.
  • Tenth and Most Important point is, Check for Uniqueness of the content in Learning aid. Examine whether learning aid is conveying the message, which the paper/case study/video is intended to convey.

Irrespective of the learning aid being reviewed, above common points are to be examined while reviewing a management learning aid. Now, Let us see, what specific points a reviewer needs to focus on while reviewing each of the learning aids separately:

  1. Conceptual Paper/Review Paper: The core competency of this specific learning aid should be the literature review section. The definitions of concepts, conceptual linkages, and the conceptual model development, and proposing hypotheses. These should be typical components in this specific type of learning aid. Also inline citations and references section plays key role in this specific type of learning aid.
  2. Empirical Paper: The core competency of this specific type of learning aid should be the research methodology. Clear research methodology with survey sample, survey instrument, research design/model, data collection procedure, analysis procedure, hypotheses testing should play major role in this type of paper. One more thing is, sometimes up to data analysis stage author bring the research correctly in the paper, however, while interpreting or mentioning in research findings, incorrect interpretation of statistical results will be there. As a reviewer, this should be examined.
  3. Case Study: The focus in this type of learning aid, majorly will be the Illustrations, organizational history, the business context, the problem and organizational responses. Year specific data is to be authenticated while reviewing a case study. Similarly, quotations play major role in case study. Organizational events should be in chronological order. The teaching notes, discussion questions prepared should be in sync with the text being presented in the case study.
  4. Book: In reviewing this specific type of learning aid, focus should be on Chapterization of the book, Uniformity in length of chapter (best practice is to have 20 pages per chapter) across all chapters in book, ensuring each chapter comes under the scope/title of the book, Value additions in book, and learning interventions such as exercises/quiz.
  5. Video: While reviewing video content, majorly voice, noise, relevance of what is said is inline with title of video, structuring in presentation, body language, animation (automated or manual), Whether video also specifies the relevant references are to be examined. Quality of Video PPT is also to be examined. Sometimes, some slides in PPT will have missing titles/headings. This is also to be verified.

Hope, I was able to convey what I want to convey….. These points are based on my personal experience of management content authoring/reviewing. Hope, this will be useful to you.

Best wishes,

Dr.Goparaju Purna Sudhakar, PhD, PMP



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