2013-Eda Ulus

Silence is Golden – Learning from Introversion to Broaden Teaching and Learning Experiences in Management and Business

Dr. Eda Ulus – Principal Applicant, University of Leicester 

Inge Aben, Co-Applicant, University of the West of England 


This project was the culmination of a number of conversations and the authors’ experiences and observations about introversion in a variety of learning and management contexts.   The authors became increasingly interested in the concept of introversion, particularly the lived experiences of it in higher education learning and training settings.  As a result of support from The British Academy of Management, we were able to explore our interests, with the aim of analysing the data for both teaching pedagogy and management practice.   

When we started sharing our grant work through internal and external channels, we were struck by the energetic interest in our topic, beyond our initial focus on teaching and learning spaces.  A number of practitioners wished to share their experiences of introversion, including misperceptions of this concept and disadvantages encountered in settings favouring extraverted characteristics.  We were pleased to conduct interviews with students, educators, and management practitioners, learning from their conceptualisations of introversion and implications for teaching, learning, and working. 

As we progressed in our research, we learned that further cross-cultural research on meanings and nuances of introversion would help to expand our analysis.  We will build upon the support from The British Academy of Management by bidding for future large-scale grants, to explore these topics in a range of countries, and to study in more depth the themes that are emerging from our research.  These themes include: the influence of social, historical and cultural context upon introversion; qualitative meanings of introversion; the interpretation of introversion by others; and links of introversion to other concepts such as masculinity in higher education.  We found the connection between introversion and masculinity to be important not only in higher education, but also in a number of organisational spaces, with significant implications for management practice.