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Peter J. Jordan

Many research students and junior staff claim ‘they’re over it’. This is a common refrain and the author asks those who are ‘over it’ to think deeply about what it is that you are over. This is a career riddled with frustrations. If you are over it early, maybe research is not the career for you.

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Polly Black

Pilot studies are valuable bellwethers. They test the instruments and method of data collection, helping to uncover potential weaknesses or flaws that, if left unaddressed, could result in wasted time and money, and even render the data worthless. This vignette captures three lessons learned from doing a pilot study

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Keith Townsend and Rebecca Loudoun

Events can be interpreted many ways, and sometimes we don’t always like the ways things are interpreted. This chapter tells of an attempt to design a longitudinal research project with qualitative data when the authors experimented in the quantifying of qualitative data – specifically, the use of key words, in an attempt to find a baseline for measuring differences in employee experiences at a multi-site organisation.

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Jillian Cavanagh, Hannah Meacham and Timothy Bartram

This article presents purposeful reflections of two PhD supervisors and one recent graduate to highlight some of the key issues for higher degree research supervisors and PhD students. In the first instance, supervisors need to recruit students who have a shared focus around a particular area of research and a similar work ethic. Students need to select supervisors who have a proven record in publications and in the successful completion of candidatures. The PhD thesis has to make an original and substantial contribution to knowledge and the literature. After extensive research and reading of contemporary literature the student has to identify a gap in the literature and develop research questions that will help them make a contribution. It is essential that students write and engage with programs and processes that will add to the quality of their thesis. Every PhD student can learn and enhance his/her higher degree research journey and to do that they need to be well planned, passionate about their research topic and ready for hard work.

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Rohit Talwar

Coffee is essential to the research process and to keep up with deadlines. While inspiring, it must stay at a safe distance from the computer or you may have to deal with significant consequences. The only lesson from this, the author finds, is to remember to back up one’s work regularly.

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Céline Rojon

In this chapter, I reflect on my experience of undertaking literature reviews, focusing in particular on systematic review methodology, which is getting more and more traction in Business and Management research. Aside from outlining the main principles of systematic review methodology, I also explain perceived advantages and disadvantages.

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Marian Baird

This chapter provides an account of doing organisational-based research as engaged scholars and feminists. It covers two phases, a decade apart, of research in the one organisation; an organisation with a highly masculine culture and work processes. Lessons learnt include recognising the significance of context, the need to scope projects well and to provide timely and useful feedback to the client. Although sometimes difficult, especially if results challenge the organisation culture and management expectations, building and maintaining a relationship with the client is critical – but takes time and a sense of humour.

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Wojciech Marek Kwiatkowski

On a research project concerned with depth of understanding rather than theory-building, I sought to collect all data from a single organisation. This vignette tells the story of access granted, access ignored, access declined, before access finally begins.

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Hugh T.J. Bainbridge

Take a breath. This vignette describes the painful process of forgetting to take a breath before sending an email to colleagues but hitting the ‘reply all’ button. Hence, the conference organiser now knows my views. Take a breath. Don’t reply immediately.

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Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Julia Carins and Christiane Stock

Most research projects require a plan which establishes expectations for colleagues working in the project to ensure that reports on milestones and deliverables are clearly communicated to all research stakeholders. So what happens when plans fail? We all know that the very best plans can and do fail, and this chapter shares some of our stories of failure but rolling with the punches to keep moving forward.