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The Book

Skill Sheets is a practical resource for understanding and developing core skills that all university students need to obtain. In a very concise manner, this book shows how these skills are related and how one can develop and work with many skills simultaneously. With these skills to hand, students are able to maintain a better focus on the content of their course. Developed and at RSM Erasmus University, it has been thoroughly tested over many years by both students and professors, and improved accordingly.


Rob van Tulder, Professor of International Business-Society Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam/Rotterdam School of Management. He holds a PhD degree (cum laude) in social sciences from the University of Amsterdam. Published in particular on the following topics: European Business, Multinationals, high-tech industries, Corporate Social Responsibility, the global car industry, issues of standardisation, network strategies, smaller industrial countries (welfare states) and European Community/Union policies.

How to purchase

The book – Skill Sheets – An Integrated Approach to Research, Study and Management - (2018, ISBN 9789043033503) can be ordered directly online by clicking one of the following links depending your country of origin:

Dutch Dutch buyers

International buyers International buyers

Research skill levels

In the introduction to every series of Skill Sheets four levels of skill proficiency are specified:

  • Level 1: Entry level Bachelors
  • Level 2: Exit level Bachelors
  • Level 3: Exit level Masters
  • Level 4: Postgraduate level

You should develop your research skills in every phase of your academic career (and thereafter!). The levels of skills proficiency below provide an indication of the skill proficiency you should minimally aim for.

Find below the four specified levels of Research skills proficiency:

Level 1

  • Research on questions formulated by others/the teacher
  • Own experience forms the prime basis of research
  • Link general knowledge (secondary school) to prime object of research or the university
  • Understand the reflective cycle as concept
  • Can make distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ research, and between ‘science’ and ‘journalism’
  • First use of basic Internet search methods and (online) libraries
  • Understand and able to use the relationship between model and reality (inductive and deductive reasoning)

Level 2

  • Research on the basis of (simple) own questions
  • Experience of fellow students forms additional basis of and input for research
  • A broad spectrum of research methods is understood and applied; choice of the best method concerning the research topic
  • Accession requirements of Master are known
  • Mastering in particular the descriptive part of the reflective cycle
  • Use Internet and other search engines effectively in combination with a systematic use of (online) libraries

Level 3

  • Translation of other people’s experience into own research questions
  • Commitment to a specific research master
  • Knowledge of master specific skills and research methods
  • The whole reflective cycle is mastered; understanding of the balance between description and prescription
  • Mastering advanced research methods on Internet and in libraries (in particular as regards finding relevant scientific articles)
  • Knowledge of important other sources of information

Level 4

The graduated Master remains research-oriented, invests in attitude and creates the right preconditions for good research

  • Applies the reflective circle with an emphasis for the prescriptive dimension (based on solid descriptive research)
  • Is part of a network of informants and is capable of intensifying and de-intensifying this network in order to access relevant information.
  • Feedback on research by contractors.

'An Integrated Approach to Research, Study and Management'