December 11, 2015

Brief reflection of the past year

It’s that time of the year where I begin to wind down and begin to reflect upon what I have achieved, and I think I can safely say, in conjunction with the meeting I have just had with my supervisor, that the past year, indeed ever since I started the Ph.D. has been a success. Of course there will be many issues to tackle as I intensify thinking about the Philosophical, Ontological, and Methodological aspects and issues of the research, and there are issues that I have discussed on here and documented elsewhere, but it’s brilliant that these have been identified early in the research process.

Despite ongoing battles with Ontological and Philosophical thinking in terms of the way that qualitative and quantitative data can be properly integrated within a Grounded Theory context, the Methodological and Methods aspects have been sorted. The methodological context shall deal with both qualitative and quantitative data, with qualitative data being dealt with by Grounded Theory and its inherent coding analysis techniques (the use of some of which are debatable: need to explore this further next year), whilst the questionnaire shall deal with both qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative data within the questionnaire shall be analysed using coding analysis (possibly line by line coding as used within Constructivist Grounded Theory) and quantitative data shall be dealt with using descriptive statistical analysis and analytical methods that are used to explore correlations and links among various variables. The problem here at the moment is that it’s quite difficult to ascertain which analytical methods to use without viewing the actual data, according to a Professor that I spoke to a couple of years ago. The deciding of the specific context also depends on the context e.g., the use of ANOVA requires the comparison of multiple contexts within the research. It is unknown at this time precisely whether or not there is a need to compare any contexts, but ideas about this are forming and should be finalised before next Easter. But either way, I feel that my understanding of all this has definitely improved since beginning the Ph.D. and obviously there will always be room to learn more!

Having decided upon the methodology very recently the other key aspect has been developing the structure and ordering the content of the literature review. Back earlier this year I did decide upon a type of literature review approach known as a “Critical Interpretive Analysis,” but because I have decided to use Grounded Theory as the overall methodology this was no longer an option. This is because Critical Interpretive Analysis generates a theoretical model of investigation built from the literature and experimented with the data but this is something that is not really compatible with a Grounded Theory approach. Therefore I reverted to my original literature review structure and content ordering developed during the previous year, and placed it within the context of a Grounded Theory study. I think this will work: a lot of effort, but I think this will work.

The other key success this year has been the conference: a really enjoyable, fascinating experience presenting my research poster and discussing it, and to be told from people a couple of years into their Ph.Ds. that it actually inspired them. It’s moments like that that itself inspire you to continue with what you are doing, and to know that what you are doing is not a waste of time or effort. You wonder sometimes if anything you do really is worth all that effort, but it’s moments like at the conference that really inspire you into continuing and pursuing what it is you really want to do. That really was a key moment very early into the Ph.D. and it has encouraged me to present again at next year’s conference, but to push towards presenting a conference paper about a certain aspect of my methodology.

I could say so much more, but I don’t need to. The key successes of this past year have been the conference, the deciding upon the methodology, and the deciding upon the structure and content ordering of the literature review. Much still to do with regards to these aspects particularly fully developing an understanding of the methodology, the methods, compatibility issues, methodological issues and so on, but these will be dealt with and detailed appropriately in the thesis. It all takes time and the key thing to remember on any learning journey is if you do not understand something immediately then never give up. I never gave up understanding the purpose and role of the literature review within a Grounded Theory context and yes that was a challenge, but I did it.

And yes, it will be a challenge to understand and deal with the Philosophical and Methodological problems of combining or integrating qualitative and quantitative data, but I shall do it, and I will work it all out. It will just take time, and probably some head banging against the keyboard, but it will all be worked out.

‘till next time, try not to bang your head too hard on the keyboard!

- No comments Not publicly viewable

Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

December 2015

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Nov |  Today  | Jan
   1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31         

Search this blog



Most recent comments

  • Thank you :) by Alex Darracott on this entry
  • Keep going! You can make it! by Ya Lei on this entry
  • Thank you for your comment and for your feedback and you are right about the student perspective of … by Alex Darracott on this entry
  • I think that 'objectivism' (like positivism) is over–rated in social sciences (and of course, you wi… by Liviu Damsa on this entry
  • Cider consumption shall come into it when chanting mumble jumble no longer helps :P ;) by Alex Darracott on this entry

Blog archive

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder