Meditation …

How does the doctoral student find time and space to think … to resolve … to plumb the depths?


Back to eating the elephant …

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????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 …

Into darkness and back up to the light again … towards the design of a conceptual framework

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:

  1. What is the starting point or point of departure of your research in relation to the literature in the field?
  2. What are some of the assumptions you are going to start from?
  3. How will you be interpreting some of the key concepts?
  4. In terms of what are you going to be analysing or investigating the particular focus of your thesis?
  5. Is there a gap in the previous literature?
  6. Have you identified an inadequacy in the existing body of literature?
  7. In relation to current knowledge (as reflected in the literature), what do you intend to do?
  8. 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).


Confused and unravelling

Question Mark

There are four types of business knowledge and so differing associated tools:

  1. What we know we know – benchmarking and communities of practice
  2. What we know we don’t know – R&D, market research, competitive intelligence
  3. What we don’t know we know – knowledge maps, audits, training, networks
  4. 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.


It’s time to start and to get organised

Me and Facebook Again 106

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

To do:

  • 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