How does the doctoral student find time and space to think … to resolve … to plumb the depths?
During 2014, I explored, completed my doctoral proposal and make good progress. I met the usual doctoral hurdles. Overcame them. Sadly early in 2015, with the vision of completion later in 2015, I lost my way. Not even sure why or how this happened. But ascribe it to burn-out, taking on too much without completion, coupled with a new and interesting job. So first pointers:
- Write regularly, often in small parts, synthesizing – do this along the way before it becomes the elephant in the room;
- Maintain a feasible pace based on attainable deadlines;
- Ensure a balanced lifestyle – walks, healthy diet, water, rest, laughs, meditation;
- Set aside the time for energizing the research – no other new challenges; and
- Complete the bits that have been started – avoids scattering of energy.
Having lost myself, it’s time to claw it back. Deal with the elephant bit by bit. Positive steps that tick the boxes:
- Complete the required journal article;
- Structure the collaborative writing exercise;
- Finalize Chapter 3 – Research Design and Methodology; and
- Focus on final data collection: an interview, transcript of a YouTube video and analysis of content of a learning portal.
Chat again later …
Thanks to Prof Johannes Cronje …, thanks heavens for Prof Johannes Cronje!
The attached doc is a work of art and a blessing to doctoral newbies.
Will be back here tomorrow when I fully understand what I am trying to say.
The research week has ended with some solid digging deep, going into dark and unfathomable theory and back into the light. I have set myself the challenge of using the literature I have gathered to write notes for the following 8 questions:
- What is the starting point or point of departure of your research in relation to the literature in the field?
- What are some of the assumptions you are going to start from?
- How will you be interpreting some of the key concepts?
- In terms of what are you going to be analysing or investigating the particular focus of your thesis?
- Is there a gap in the previous literature?
- Have you identified an inadequacy in the existing body of literature?
- In relation to current knowledge (as reflected in the literature), what do you intend to do?
- What theoretical model relates to your research topic?
Only seven days in a week so looks to be a challenging time ahead. Want to crack on with the stuff that’s difficult for me: theoretical underpinnings.
Meanwhile I have created and included here a good view of the project in diagrammatic format. This part is easier to do (and more fun).
There are four types of business knowledge and so differing associated tools:
- What we know we know – benchmarking and communities of practice
- What we know we don’t know – R&D, market research, competitive intelligence
- What we don’t know we know – knowledge maps, audits, training, networks
- What we don’t know we don’t know – creative tension, audits, dilemmas, complexity science
Drew, S. 1999. Building knowledge management into strategy: making sense of a new perspective. Long range planning. 32(1). pp. 130-136.
Jashapara, A. 2011. Knowledge Management An Integrated Approach. 2nd Edition, Essex. U.K., Prentice Hall.
Difference between current capabilities and framework of future expectations
I have started my PhD research with some trepidation and enthusiasm. As I start the search for relevant literature to be used for an preliminary literature review for the proposal, I am reminded of my own chaos – erupts when PDFs are gathered in a day-long search and no writing has been done. It’s so easy to source appropriate material but how do I keep a handle on what I have found, what has been read, what is extremely valuable and what needs to be saved yet marked as ‘useless’? A few invaluable tools:
- A logical filing system – digital and paper-based
- Endnote – management of reference material, ready for citation
- Cross referencing system from Endnote to PDFs of important articles
- Freemind for laptop brainstorming use
- Folders and subfolders of topics, matching the structure established in Endnote
- Goodsync software to maintain all inforamtion in sync
- Dropbox for cloud storage
- Choose a brainstorming tool to match Freemind for my Samsung tablet
- Google Drive account for PhD studies
- Read today’s collection of resources, make summaries and fill in spaces in the mindmap
- Tighten up the categories to be used for the preliminary literature review – proposal
- Empty out old MSc files and archive the m-learning stuff I am unlikely to use this time round
- Meditation, breathing, relaxation
- In between write 1000 words: 2 chunks with proof reading of 500 per session based on seeds – strategy, technology-enhanced learning, design science, design-based research, research design