Day 64: Asking the Right Research Question

Last week I discussed how a train is the perfect metaphor for organizing research projects - and ultimately, what led me to complete my dissertation proposal. This week, I discuss the engine or the research question. My husband explained it best: In the train metaphor, the first car is the engine which represents the research …

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Day 63: The Train: A framework to organize research

Somehow, I managed to achieve one of my biggest goals of this year in June: I defended my dissertation proposal. I spent almost three years working towards this point. I thought I would never reach this milestone. I had nightmares about being kicked out because I was taking too long. I thought that living in …

Day 62: This is not a Drill

My dissertation committee chair has finally - FINALLY - approved my draft. That means that I will be defending my dissertation proposal on June 15. I started the 100 day challenge rather naively. I thought that if I just worked hard enough - pushed hard enough - I would be able to make things happen. …

I cry when I work

Doing a dissertation is an emotionally draining process. It is known.  I have many different ways to cope, but I sometimes find myself crying. I am not alone in this, my sister was told at the beginning of her PhD Journey that if she did not cry at least twice in her first quarter, then there …

Day 58: Academic Entrepreneur-ing

I am the daughter of entrepreneurs and small business owners. That is not what I wanted to do with my life, and after much searching I decided to pursue an academic career. Four years into my training (yep - still a PhD student), I realized that I am becoming an entrepreneur anyway. LOL. Academic Entrepreneurship When …

Day 57: Making the Dissertation Mine

A few weeks ago, in the process of writing my dissertation proposal, I felt that my progress was out of my control. And that my dissertation was not mine, but that of my advisors. I was wrong. This dissertation is MINE. And remembering that has helped me keep pushing. Why did I change my dissertation strategy? …

Day 56: Measuring Progress

Getting to write this post took longer than expected. I kept trying to wait to post about advances towards my dissertation proposal. Unfortunately, I thought that I had nothing to report. However, I have recently realized that I have been measuring (and thinking about) my progress all wrong. Measuring Brute Force Efforts When I began the 100 Day …

Not a Marathon, Not a Sprint

When I first started my PhD I was told over and over (and over and over and over) again that this was "a marathon, not a sprint." After spending more than 3 years as a student, I can confidently say that all those people are WRONG. This is not a marathon. And thinking that it …

Day 55: 100 Day Challenge Redefined

This is the Year to Conquer. And as such, I have been PUSHING to finish my proposal during the first quarter of the year. Spoiler Alert: It did not happen. But all is not lost! Well, not anymore. Back in January, my chair said my proposal (and what I had been working on for 8 …

Pre-Proposal is Hell

A while back I wrote about the three stages of earning a PhD. But I was wrong. There are in fact, FOUR stages: Coursework, PRE-PROPOSAL, Proposal, and Dissertation. After talking with a lot of other PhD students, I have concluded that it is the most challenging stage in the process by far. Pre-proposal, in one word, is hell. What …

Day 51: A Roadmap

Now that I have met with my mentors, it is time to update my dissertation roadmap and get it approved by my dissertation chair. My dissertation roadmap is a 10-15 page document that has the general outline of my three papers in order to make sure that the course of study is cohesive. As it …

Day 42: Finding a Research Question

A few days ago, I talked about how to find a topic to study management. But the question that I should have been answering is: how do you find a research question? Coming up with questions is easy. Coming up with a GOOD research question - well, that is HARD. A good research question: Is falsifiable. Addresses …

Day 41: Perseverance

The road to a PhD is long. Not because it takes forever (which it feels like it does). But because research is unpredictable. We are all familiar with the scientific process: Each step leads to the next. Each steps helps you gain enough knowledge to move forward. But that is not how it really works. You …

What is a good contemporary and relevant management topic for a PhD?

I recently answered this question in Quora. Every student wants to make sure their dissertation is relevant. And most of us would appreciate someone telling us what the best topic to pursue. Unfortunately - actually, FORTUNATELY, that is not how it works. A dissertation topic is found when you find the intersection between what your …

Day 5: Milestone 1

It has been 5 workdays. Time for a reckoning. What were my goals?  I did not really specify them. My bad. Shameful, really. Well, what did I do? I wrote 2,256 words. I completed the first section of my literature review. I re-worked the hypotheses for my second paper. I got a new idea started …

Day 4: The Right Tools

Today was a very frustrating day because DYSLEXIA. All I wanted to do was read. The problem was that I just wanted to read a book. A print book. (cue dramatic music). Writing may be the bane of my existence, but reading is just as hard. I often scan what I need to read, run it …

Day 3: Juggling Priorities

Today was going to be a writing day. But it turned out into a meeting-and-getting-new-projects-started-day instead. It is only the second day, and I am already behind. I am behind, by one set of metrics: number of words written. By other metrics, I am doing just fine. So why is there disconnect? Priorities. In grad …

Day 2: A Rough Start

Overestimation. That is a problem. Today, I had hoped to read two different papers and write one page (about 1,000 words). Alas, I did about half. I have mentioned before in my post about how to survive grad school with Dyslexia, that my general rule of thumb is to work twice as hard for twice …

Day 1: The 100 Day Challenge

I passed my Comprehensive Exams on September 23, 2014. It has been over a year and I am STILL NOT a candidate. Sigh. There are plenty of excuses as to why: First, I had to recover. The comps process was very hard on my body and mind. I needed to get those back up before using …

100 Day Challenge Tracking

This is a chronological list of every 100 Day Challenge post. Join Me! Just go to Day 1. This is day one of your challenge. Come back to this page every day, select the day of your challenge, and leave a note describing your progress on that day! It is OK if you make no progress (just …

5-Year Project: THE END

With a little more time since I finished reading all those abstracts and papers, I have had the space and time to reflect on what I have learned. But first, some fun facts: I read 2,142 abstracts This is roughly 291,024 words I looked at 227 articles more closely As it can be expected, at …

5-Year Project: 2014/In Press Review

Here I am at last: 2014 (and In Press). There were 588 articles total. YIKES! And yes. They all ran together near the end. I will have more thoughts later. When I get to think about the 5 years as a whole. Almandoz, J. 2014. Founding Teams as Carriers of Competing Logics When Institutional Forces …

5-Year Project: 2013 Review

Another year in review. There were 343 articles. YAY! And by that I mean eeks! It somehow just hit me. Each year there are about 345 spots in the A journals in my field. How am I supposed to publish in these places - seriously. And it is not just me. It is everyone on …

5-Year Project: 2012 Review

In 2012, I looked at 325 articles. I must be getting better at figuring out what I like, because there are only 26 articles in the short list! I am trying to be careful about what I read. And think carefully about each article on the short list. It is hard though, at this point …

5-Year Project: 2011 Review

This year, I reviewed 327 articles. I liked 54 of them. That is more than usual, but during this year there were some pretty awesome meta-analyses and other articles describing the process of theory-building. Which, in my book, is the equivalent of finding gold at the end of the rainbow. Only better. Because what would …

5-Year Project: 2010 Review

Another year, and more confirmation of my preferences. I am not surprised that I am paying close attention to institutional theory, institutional logics, and change processes. I began to look at those topics as a first year for my Year One Summer Paper Proposal. For this year, I looked at 295 articles in the top …

Exploring the Institutional Logics Literature

I am overdue with an idea paper. On October 24, I wrote about Top Management Teams. I should have had an update on October 31. No excuses. I missed the deadline. So, even if it is late, this is my latest research idea. BRIEF LITERATURE OVERVIEW Friedland and Alford’s seminal essay paved the way for …

5-Year Project: 2009 Review

If I did not know I was a researcher focused on organizations, this year certainly would have cleared it up. Since the management department at my school is divided between organizational behavior and strategy, it is good to see evidence (in the form of a word cloud) of my preferences. I originally chose strategy because …

Exploring the Top Management Literature

I spent today trying to create a brief overview of the Top Management literature - well beyond my review for comps. This is but a small step in my quest to identify an area to make a theoretical contribution. BRIEF LITERATURE REVIEW In their 1984 paper, Hambrick and Mason (Hambrick & Mason, 1984) lay the …

Step One

The third year in most management doctoral programs has the potential to be wasted. This is the year that marks the beginning of the transition from knowledge consumer to knowledge producer. Making that transition is the key to successfully completing a doctoral program. The first two years of my doctoral education consisted on exposure to …

Transition

It has been a few weeks since I took the much-dreaded comprehensive exams. While the final results have not yet been released, I am working to transition into the Proposal Stage. This led me to evaluate the usefulness of this blog. The vast majority of posts have been written with the purpose of studying for …