Reality bites


It’s funny isn’t it that you can write a lovely plan and completely forget that it’s you that’s going to have to do it.  The ethical approval process for the second stage of my data collection really highlighted how ambitious my plans had been.  And how expensive they would be to complete.  The more I was pushed to be specific, the more the reality of what I was proposing hit home.  So the search is on for some funds to do the travelling I promised I would do.  And fingers crossed for a supportive husband on the childcare front!

With my last supervision on 13th March – I had to move the next one (25th April 2017) – and the next available date turned out to be 17th May.  So it felt like a long time with Easter in the middle.  I got quite a lot done – used a call for Chapters to motivate me to write up the Delphi stage of my data collection, plus adapted that to prepare the 5000 report for my progression review (13th June 2017).  Newcastle Startup week ran May 15th  – 19th and I was scheduled to make a presentation of my findings to date.  I was weirdly nervous – I think because it was the first outing of my findings, and spent a lot of time worrying and preparing my 20 minute slot.  I also had another (unrelated) paper co-written with a colleague that needed submitting.

But the dust is settling a bit now and I need to crack on.

In this supervision I wanted feedback on the Chapter I had submitted (retrospective to submission it had to be said) and the Progress Review paper in readiness for the PG conference in Durham on June 13th.

Ray and Nicola highlighted the main purpose of the event which was one of quality assurance and peer feedback.

Have I concentrated on the right things?  Are the research questions clear?  Have I used the appropriate methodology?  Can I demonstrate work of appropriate quality and have I made acceptable progress?  Is my work appropriately theorized?

Ray suggested adding in a Risk Register – listing things that could potentially jeopardize my plans and how I plan to mitigate those risks.  He also suggested structuring the presentation (15m) around the key heading in the report and using the diagrams and tables as the essential content.

Nicola commented that I am adopting a somewhat defensive tone in my writing and encouraged me to be more assertive – without glossing over limitations I shouldn’t sound too much as if i was anticipating an attack!

We discussed potential destinations for a journal article based adapted from the Chapter I submitted.  Ray mentioned a special issue coming up edited by Helle Neergaard.

Nicola was slightly uncomfortable with the structure of the findings and I agree it’s a bit too repetitive to say:

This is the concept and

This is what they said about it…

for each concept.

Ray encouraged me to make recommendations regarding future research to include students, and say that this was is hand, so as I defend my territory.

I am missing a bit about explaining why these concepts are threshold concepts in the discussion on findings.  It would also be beneficial to explain how I got from my narratives to my concepts in a bit more detail.  I must also set out the limitations of self-reported data.

Ray suggested a section (for the thesis) about epistemology – what knowledge can and can’t do – my contribution is a TOOL to help people think about entrepreneurship education.

I could link each concept to the literature on entrepreneurship – like I started to do when I was preparing for the Newcastle Startup week presentation. Pointing to the next stage.

I feel a bit on hold at the moment.  I think it must be the impact of the forthcoming Progression Review.  I’m waiting for something but really I should be pushing on with the next stage.