A new semester

September is preparing to yield to October. My calendar says the first day of Fall recently occurred, so Spring just arrived for our southern hemisphere readers, too. All this means a new semester is well underway for most of us.

Now that I’m in my fifth and final year of doctoral studies this semester is quite different for me. Last Friday I started the semester with a bank: I successfully defended my dissertation proposal! 🙂

One of the students toward the end of her coursework asked me how long it took to write. My first answer was, four years. Of course, that’s not really true.

Many of the almost 20,000 words didn’t get put down on paper until the final weeks before the manuscript was submitted to the committee. The ideas themselves, though, did indeed come from the first four years of my doctoral studies.

When I applied for and entered this program, my best guess was I would research an area closer to the work I had down during my professional career–perhaps something related to the management of IT, software development or the software industry. Instead, around the end of the first semester I began to give serious thought to studying online groups. Multiple class papers and conference presentations on the related topics definitely informed my dissertation proposal: “Impact of Leadership on Continued Participation in Online Groups”.

I’ll be spending this semester diligently executing the plan I agreed to with my committee to complete my dissertation research. What new challenges and opportunities does this semester bring for you?

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2 Responses

  1. Congratulations on defending your proposal, Steven. That is great news.

    For myself, I just passed my comprehensive exams (both written and oral). Now that I am officially ABD, I have formally started working on my dissertation. Like Steven, a number of class papers and research projects inform my dissertation idea. My basic research question is, How does information technology facilitate customer agility? By customer agility I am referring to the co-opting of customers in the exploration and exploitation of opportunities for innovation and competitive activity. By lowering connectivity barriers, the Internet provides a channel through which firms can get closer to their customers. As a result, many firms are taking advantage of customer as a resource in new product development. I better stop here before I ramble for an hour or two…

    Does anyone have advice on how to handle the transition from pre-comps to post-comps life? hmmm.. that might call for a new post…

  2. Congratulations Steven and Nick for your respective successes.

    Nick, I thought ABD is used by those who have defended dissertation proposal… Thus, Steven would be called ABD and as far as I know, if you clear your comps then you are known as PhD Candidate (graduated from PhD Student)… but I may be wrong because these designation system may vary from place to place and school to school…

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