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UNIVERSITY OF HULL Presentation to the PhD Experience Conference, 8 th -10 th February 2011 by Philip Coombes.

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Presentation on theme: "UNIVERSITY OF HULL Presentation to the PhD Experience Conference, 8 th -10 th February 2011 by Philip Coombes."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNIVERSITY OF HULL Presentation to the PhD Experience Conference, 8 th -10 th February 2011 by Philip Coombes

2 Part time MPhil student First enrolled in October 2009 Hull University Business School General interest in marketing and strategy topics Currently in advanced stage of literature review Intending to apply for upgrade to PhD during 2011 A brief introduction

3 Managing the Research Process: An Experiential Guide Title of the paper

4 Based on my own experience as a research student, the paper provides information and advice for research students managing the research process during their first few months of study. Five main areas of the research process have been identified and have been termed as follows: 1.Getting started 2.Data collection 3.Motivational issues 4.Support and supervision 5.Time management. Background

5 Getting started It can often take a student a year to find an acceptable focus and this may well include false starts, drifting and moments of despondency and elation (Easterby-Smith et al., 2002: p.21). A discussion on philosophy is essential before embarking on a research project because, according to Hughes (1980), the research process is inextricably embedded in commitments to particular visions of the world and to knowing that world. A PhD candidate is expected to be fully familiar with all of the literature appertaining to the subject area that is being researched as well as having a broad knowledge and understanding of the discipline in general (Remenyi et al., 1998: p.16).

6 Gaining of what Saunders et al. (2007: p.163) term physical access, may be difficult. A number of strategies: –Allowing sufficient time to collect the data –Providing a clear account of purpose and type of access required –Overcoming any organisational concerns –Using suitable and appropriate language –Developing access to the organisation incrementally –Establishing credibility with the organisation. Data collection

7 Easterby-Smith et al. (2002: p.13) point out … much determination and single-mindedness are essential to completing any significant piece of research. There is so much uncertainty about the processes and outcomes of any project, and the work invariably expands beyond anything considered reasonable at the outset, so it is not an activity for the faint-hearted. Motivational issues

8 Phillips and Pugh (2005: p.71-78) identify eight major stages in the process of conducting a Doctor of Philosophy degree: –Enthusiasm –Isolation –Increasing interest in work –Transfer of dependence from the supervisor to the work –Boredom –Frustration –A job to be finished –Euphoria. Easterby-Smith et al. (2002) explain that support can come from: –Supervisors –Students colleagues (through friendships and support groups). Support and supervision

9 Effective time management strategies devised by the student. Setting of goals: –May be broken down into a project, an action plan, or a simple task list –An importance rating may be established, deadlines may be set, and priorities assigned –Process results in a plan with a task list or a schedule or calendar of activities. Time management

10 Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Lowe, A. (2002), Management Research: An Introduction, 2nd Edition, London, Sage Publications. Hughes, J. (1980), The Philosophy of Social Research, London, Longman. Phillips, E. M. and Pugh, D. S. (2005), How to get a PhD, 4th Edition, Maidenhead, Open University Press. Remenyi, D., Williams, B., Money, A. and Swartz, E. (1998), Doing Research in Business and Management, London, Sage Publications. Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2007), Research Methods for Business Students, 4th Edition, Harlow, FT Prentice Hall. References

11 Thank you

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