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Archive for October, 2010

New Questions…

I have noticed an increase in the activity in the Research Philosophy discussion forum set up for the Strathclyde research cohort – and it has got me thinking.

 

With exabytes (1 billion gigabytes) of information “out there” in the social world wide web, it seems just impossible to sift through the relevant “valid” information – and yet I get a mild level of anxiety that I might miss a cool twitter link or must read blog entry if I don’t keep my finger on the digital pulse!

 

Perhaps in this overload and lack of control is the reason why the university sets up a forum, wiki and glossary on Moddle for the researchers to use for the Research Philosophy course.  I find myself asking, even within this microcosm how does one discern the good content from the confused?  I would go so far to suggest that the discussion forums seem an inefficient form of sharing knowledge, and would recommend all to use a long form blogs and share links to useful materials instead.  At least in the blog you can take the time to think about what you want to say – and say it, leaving a comments section for people to reply.  (Today’s blog will fall short of this ideal!)

 

My own challenge this past week or so is trying to find an equilibrium between the multiple roles in my life – husband, father, student, teacher, manager, subordinate, etc and activity overload…., and I am failing.  The trap I have fallen back into is one of too much activity spread too thinly, with little reflection. There was a moment to reflect over the weekend while running a business simulation game for new SBS MBA inductees.  The game involves 8 teams competing in a manufacturing business with four markets and three products.  Sounds simple yet the game itself is extremely complex.  The participants must make HR, Operation, Financial and Sales/Marketing decisions within a competitive environment while discerning the trends and macro-economics going on around them.

 

Some new questions arise from my reflection:

  • Do we sometimes in the Sustainability context over simplify the demands on businesses?  There was no sustainability angle in this game – but it was a reminder to me on how these tensions between functions in businesses, and the competitive environment that businesses operate creates so much complexity and pressure to perform.

 

  • Is there a need to be more understanding of these pressures and complexity faced by people in business so that Sustainability discourse carries some semblance of fairness and balance i.e. put yourself in the shoes of the CEO?

 

  • As individual’s in the multiple roles we live, just how can we be more sustainable?  The personal sustainable project (PSP) is one idea that I have been playing about with for a while now and if I struggle to get to grips with Sustainability in real terms when I am currently working in the Environmental Agency,

 

  • what does it say for the millions of people out there working around the world, doing their part within a company, in their homes and their lives who may not understand what sustainability even offers?

 

  • Can the “digital information loop” be useful to learn about sustainability in our lives?  I think so, however, exabytes of information might be as hard to deal with as confused microcisms of information, or none at all!  Can this technology offer material to large audiences, with limited barriers to entry (internet connection a given), and extract the power of the “digital information loop” for personal and organizational change?

 

  • Then there follows the question of distinction between or separation of the personal and the organizational.  Organisations are made up of people – and individual personal change may have an impact on the organizational level, surely.  Yet, businesses are politically oriented, with purposes, objectives, division of labour, controls, and the need to make money for the owners.  Just how can I expect the individual to have any impact in areas not in their mandate?

 

The essence of my proposed research will hopefully lead to addressing these questions through the experimentation of Web 2.0 technology (in particular the Massive Open Online Class, MOOC), through connectivist and constructionist learning, and through maximising the overall benefit of the digital information loop, and Habbermasian communicative participation.

 

You can see an in-flight MOOC running via #PLENK2010 on twitter and @ http://ple.elg.ca/plenk2010/

I do believe people can make a difference (with the mandate) as indicated in the following news item posted recently via web 2.0.  http://www.sustainabilityforum.com/blog/when-51-mba-students-took-sustainability-summer

 

Thanks for lasting this long reading my blog… you are my kind of person!  Feel free to reply to my blog post with more questions, answers or anything you would like to share!  Be part of the digital information loop!  Follow me on Twitter @kiwicito.

 

 

Philosophy 101

The mere size of the PhD cohort on Day 1 on of the Research Philosophy course was an unexpected surprise.  I expected to see half dozen to a dozen people when in fact there were over 30!  From my past two years on the Abu Dhabi MBA I have been accustomed to the level of part-time Masters students, and here in front of me were predominantly full-time PhD students and there was a noticeable difference in quality.

 

The two professors were Dr Viktor Dorfler (hereafter Viktor) and Dr Barbara Simpson (hereafter Barbara), with one supplementary class visit by Dr Paul Thompson (hereafter Paul).   I noticed that they brought amongst them many years of experience, much knowledge, large doses of humour, and a real sense of empathy and support for the new students before them.

 

Viktor made an impressive start enticing us in to the subject of philosophy with his straight talking manner, sense of humour, and quick thinking.  The course aims for students to become aware of the philosophical alternatives, to explore the implications of alternatives, and to debate the nature of social sciences and management research.  I was hooked, and excited as I had read plenty on the subject prior to arriving, resulting in me not having to grasp too many foreign concepts, nevertheless, I hung on every word he said, making new connections between the loosely connected ideas in my brain!

 

Viktor gave the impression he is a supporter of Kuhn and kind of painted Kuhnian ideas of normal science and revolutions as fact, but there are scholars that have challenged this by looking carefully at the boundaries i.e. where does normal science start and end, and how revolutionary is revolutionary science?  An example perhaps that fits Kuhn is Einsteinian Physics overthrew Newtonian Physics, but the discovery of the DNA or the Gnome hardly looks like either normal or revolution science yet these are AS big as other scientific discoveries.

 

Barbara my advisor from the MBA Project, followed suit with a visceral and down to earth account of 2500 years of thought in the west, leading into and following up on the concept of a scaffolding paradigm.  It was not until she went through Burrell and Morgan’s (1979) sociological perspective of research that that an ‘a-ha’ moment was coming.  This taxonomy as a set of four quadrants across the tensions of subjective-objective, and regulation-radical change.  Each quadrant is named: Radical Structuralist, Functionalist (dominant), Interpretivist, and Radical Humanist.  Something was coming together…I just did not know what.

 

We learned two pet hates of the teaching team on Day 1.

 

1. Methodology is largely misused in academia.  Methodology is the discipline of studying methods for the teaching team, and contrary to how most people use it to describe their approach to research and the methods used thereafter.

 

2. Quantitative does not equal Positivism nor does Qualitative not equal Subjectivism/Social Construction!   The latter blasphemy will result in an automatic fail…its tempting to use it as an opening rhetoric!

 

Moving to the second day, Vickor took us through the Positivist and Interpretivist paradigms, and the inherent problems of inductive and deductive reasoning.  This was the beginning of much discussion between the paradigms, mainly for broadening our knowledge of course, but personally, I think that the science wars that try to determine what is knowledge for all is mostly hot air and boils down to power ultimately.  Frankly, when I look at a apple tree – I believe it is real, out their, living, make up near 30% of planet, will make a sound when an apple drops (whether I am there or not) etc. in objective ways – yet I also see the subjective knowledge on how people interpret the tree as shade, a hiding place, adventure, love, and even a business if it is turned into paper or sell the apples!  Is it not ok to simply agree that there are different forms of knowledge, different ways to measure the quality of that knowledge, for different purposes?  Seems like a no-brainer to me – what am I missing?

After Viktor’s session, Paul unveiled his strong preference for Critical Realism arguing that Critical Realism separates ontological and methodological parts of the edifice and therefore was not a research philosophy at all but a meta-theory.  To be honest I have no idea what that means, but in post-positivisit, post-structuralist, and post-modern times I thought this neutral method thinking was par for the course for all paradigms even if they have their preferences!  Putting my criticism’s on Critical Realism to one-side – I did think his slide on the Subjective/Objective false choices researchers can make was really helpful.

 

I too was fascinated with his example of the glass-ceiling that face many working women.   I nervously suggested that this must be largely ‘subjective’ and in the minds of the executives and employees i.e. you can choose to see it or not, accept it or ignore it.  He replied quickly that if it had a causal effect on someone who hits it while not believing it, for the Critical Realist it is still very real.  This seems a valid argument, however, I find a so what coming.  This might be objectively real but I can’t see what the objective knowledge can add?  The glass-ceiling feels more dynamic and a moving thing shaped by the perceptions and attitudes of the actors involved – hence is it not more useful question to ask what increases or reduces its power, or how does one remove it from organizational life, or reduce its ill effects?  These just seem more interesting and move away from some objectivist to interpretivist analysis.

 

Later, Barbara unveiled her position on philosophy of Pragmatism hovering over the interpretivist and radical humanist quadrants of Burrell and Morgan’s (1979) sociological taxonomy.   There is not doubt that I had previously misunderstood the nature of pragmatism as I had associated with Functionalism – thinking this is a practical way of going about things!  While it has the spirit of getting on with the business of things, Barbara described it as being process oriented, interpretivist and seeking radical change!  AHA!  Insight time!  As Barbara shed more light on the concept of Pragmatism, it was like I just arrived home after a long trip, a welcoming, warm and supportive place awaiting, and even though people were speaking a language that I have never heard before now – it was one I understood from the very first moment :o)  There was a real sense I had arrived to a place where I could settle down, clearly refine my thinking on my research questions, research outcomes, and put my case for the philosophy that will underpin the research.

 

It is worth unpacking this insight a little – why does this radical call for change and ‘let’s get on with the job’ strike a chord with me?  Being action oriented, a co-creator of knowledge, an emergent thinker, and ‘bashing on the edges’ of the very dominant paradigm of Functionalism feels like the type of thing that I like to do!  Born in New Zealand, and from a young age the Kiwi culture instilled in me the pioneer spirit and always to support the under-dog.   When I moved to England at 23 I remember I struggled with the invisible but ‘real’ class system – it annoyed me – a different form of the glass-ceiling.  I also find myself motivated when someone says I can’t do something, and instead I find a way and do it anyway!  This has at times felt a little dangerous going up against whatever dominant paradigm (even came with a warning from the HR department once!) – but, I feel alive when I am doing it – it feels right, the right thing to do.  Something I later heard living in England is that Kiwis carry this ‘little country syndrome’ i.e. a form of insecurity when in the precence of the large country… you can imagine how I responded to that nonsense.

 

Ok, so back to the course – in the evening the debate was run with one Critical Theorist, one Critical Realist, and one ‘pretend’ Positivist :o).  I wrote about it in the class forum where I rudely suggested that post-modernism was under-represented, as the critical realist and positivist seeming more similar than different.  Apparently there are 12 schools of positivist thought and with methods becoming much philosophy neutral across the board, I think the difference between Critical Realist and the Positivist seemed exaggerated.   I did feel that the Pragmatist was missing from the debate!

 

One day three we broke into groups and had to prepare a 10 minute presentation on the research philosophy within the assigned literature given to each group.  The presentations were helpful especially during the questions and answer time.  In particular, I noticed more than one group using a term like Social Construction in different levels of the edifice which confused me.  Barbara highlighted the fact that these terms can and often are used in multiple ways.

– Ontology: Reality can be socially constructed

– Epistemology: How we know can be socially constructed

– Methodology: How we find out can be socially constructed

 

Viktor added, it is important as researchers to be clear how one is using these terms.

 

The big news sits with these new insights with respect to my research on Sustainability in Business!!!  It has some clear parallels with pragmatist way of viewing the world.  Sustainability is often regarded as a process not an end (realistically in my lifetime), it is up against the dominant functionalist and economic paradigms, and along with power and self interest they don’t play nice until something like the Financial Crash or BP Oil spill creates a dent in their armour. I have liked the interpretations of William James and John Dewey but before now had not sensed their contribution to radicalism.  It is time to find some core text.

 

Adult sustainability education is conspicuous by its absence in society, it seems largely left to sporadic universities, NGOs and social marketing.  The World Bank, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility programmes etc. are all examples of the business sensing change that they need to be better – but the institutional flaws within them make it hard to achieve (Chomsky, 2010).  Reporting on Sustainability and CSR is largely voluntary, hence, there is a lot of green-washing in my opinion.

 

Viktor described at one point in the course the process of thesis – antithesis – synthesis, which the synthesis becomes the new thesis and new anti-thesis is born… It has always been for me the place to be on the anti-thesis – stretching, critiquing, arguing etc.  Sustainability is the antithesis and ‘Business without Sustainability’ is the thesis…. frankly we need a new synthesis – the human race by the end of 21st century will depend on it.

 

But where will the revolution come from, where does it start?  Government, big business, small business, consumers??  Naturally a combination, yet I believe it will primarily come from grass roots realization that we need to change our ways AND protect our futures, economically, socially, and environmentally.  To do this we need solutions, we need innovation, we need collaboration, we need agency, we need conflict and creativity… all of these attributes point towards a pragmatist research philosophy.  A research project based in action and iterative.  Let’s test new learning and technological innovations and the ‘netocracy’ (Viktor’s term for democracy offered via the internet/web 2.0). My research is all about this education catalyst through Web 2.0 and Massive Open Online Classes providing learning materials and supporting connectivist learning.

The three days Research Philosophy programme was absolutely wonderful and enlightening, but did it achieve its goals, what does this weekend mean to me and my research direction?

 

Speaking for myself I more aware of the philosophical alternatives but I only go so far to say I have a light sense of the implications thereafter.  To describe my change in thinking I will use an analogy.  For the past 6 months it is like I have been trying to design a new vehicle which has one wing, train wheels, a sail, and a motorbike seat – all in all confusing and totally useless.  After the course, I can say with more certainly that I am trying to build a plane with two wings, fuselage, jet engine, cockpit etc. – clearer, less confusing and fit for purpose.  Later if someone says well why did you not build a motorbike – I can say that I wanted to carry 300 passengers large distances and a motorbike will not cut it!  Is that plane is pragmatism – OR – do I need to build a boat?  More reading required.

 

Absolutely fab three days with the Glasgow cohort and nice to meet you all!

Noam Chomsky

“As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, 

human science is at a loss.” Noam Chomsky 

 

Yesterday evening the Second Life group called Matanomics hosted Noam Chomsky from MIT to discuss issues of the day.  In one part of the interview he eloquently and profoundly describes the Sustainability issues that face the world, the opportunities, and the systemic obstacles to progress.  One of those obstacles that hit home for me – is the corporation.  The business whose (note the “business as a person” represented linguistically here) core mission in life is to make profit for its owners while at the same time they can and often ignore the true costs of externalities within the supply chain.  Part of this mission is the secondary goal to pay as little taxes as possible which can ultimately result in moving the choice away from people outside the business to people with power inside the business – on how much and where to invest these funds from their voluntary CSR programmes.  For Chomsky, there are many benefits that Capitalism brings us, but he considers this a major systemic and institutional flaw and obstacle to achieve sustainability!  One of the opportunities helping bring the costs of externalities into the corporation is by addressing these issues at the “grass roots” for consumers and employees via innovative educational research.  I believe that Noam Chomsky is both a thought provoking scholar, and one of the worlds greatest contemporaries on Sustainability.  I hope we get to hear from him repeatedly in the coming years.

 

Now moving down to my research dilemma.  Firstly, becoming a researcher feels a bit lonely in a very real sense.  Often you feel like nobody is really interested in what you are doing – and if you stopped nobody would care, nevertheless, I must acknowledge I have two marvelous people on my supervisory team and patient friends who chip in regularly to support me, not to forget the visionaries like Noam Chomsky who support by their example.

 

I left my last blog entry wide open on the whether Sustainability would be part of my research after being knocked off balance by the devil’s advocate, note how I am being kind here!  I have had little to write about, and I left my mind to wander all over the place looking for equilibrium!  So was the last 6 months a waste of time, do I change direction, do I change university or have I made progress, and am I exactly where I need to be?  What follows are my musings inspired from conversations with my team as I tried to answer these questions.

 

I will be well to learn that I don’t have to take all the problems on my own shoulders and, I need to allow the “team” into my consciousness.  One of the ways I can help my team help me – is to play the game a little better.  From that I mean it is a better strategy to start small, not trying to sound like I am trying to change the whole world, just taking an area of relevance and interest, keeping it tight, and bringing in the other areas of interest slowly into the programme!

 

Being passionate about the work, building a character ready to defend research is important on one hand, but one needs to “hold on to issues lightly” according to one of my supervisors.  Sometimes people on the team are not going to agree with decisions – that is the nature of teams and equally must not too easily derail your ideas.   This seems like a dichotomy with the previous point on being personally driven but flexible at the same time. :o)  Perhaps an analogy might help by thinking of fresh water running down from the mountains to the sea – it has its own considerable force removing sediment and carving out routes in the rocks along the way over the thousands of years, yet it turns frequently and moves with some agility.

 

According to one advisor, I do have another 6 months before the research question really needs to be nailed so that robust literature review and initial research preparation can begin.  That gives me space to keep looking and focus on learning the ropes so to speak on research methods and methodology.  The same person told me that research will to a certain extent always be problematic and uncertain even up to the very end – so hold on tight.

 

I have learned this week that domains and disciplines do have Kuhnian style dominant paradigms when it comes to research methodology, so I need to make some time to get to know what the Department of Management within SBS is! :o) I have also learned that there is a need for me to read and critique better – seems strange, at 41 saying I need to learn how to read but I must grow from reading as consuming to reading as researching.   There might have been times I read anything and everything I could get my hands on – but I have been more selective in recent times.  The reading though does help inform direction and I have moved the points around on the project DNA quite often (see the new one at the bottom of the page), but that has been getting less and less, nonetheless it moves again today.  10 days ago the focus was on Learning Theories, Sustainability and 3D Virtual Collaborative Spaces.

 

  •   Learning Theory is still in and fundamental to organizational change towards Sustainable practices but it will move from individualist to connectivist focus.
  •   Sustainability in business is still in – as sustainability for organizations is at the heart of this programme.  It is where the passion comes from, and it is the passion that is needed when going up against the dominant economic paradigm – and getting the research done!
  •   3D Virtual Collaborative Spaces will take some place in the research but with a greatly diminished role in the realization that finding innovations for organisations to embrace change needs both a scalability that current 3D virtual technology cannot provide, and a reduced learning curve to be used effectively in learning.  I believe innovations are better supported in conjunction with other Web 2.0 technology.

 

So where are the changes?  Well in one sense there are none – but in another sense I think there is a major shift towards research that brings organizational benefits as well as benefits for the cause called Sustainability.

 

Simply framed, if one could deliver education using the flexibility of Web 2.0 technology and the potential power of connectivist learning to your entire organization in one hit – this seems like an effective proposition for any organization that would like to work on subjects like values, leadership, strategy development, sustainability, innovation, knowledge management, and other interesting subjects.  It of course can even go much wider than one organisation by helping connect industry sectors or government agencies in forms of macro and micro level learning!

 

Learning about sustainability is at its core about individual living and working with a certain mindset, yet tackling education on individual one at a time seems inefficient, plus the fact that it is when people in groups can come up with wonderful new insights and solutions through the group participation and connectivism.  Take Strathclyde University as an example.  They have the David Livingstone Centre for Sustainability within the Civil Engineering School, and yet they still ranked 131 in the UK (see blog post http://web.me.com/kiwicito/Site/My_Blog/Entries/2010/7/30_Can_HE_contribute_to_the_Sustainability_Agenda.html ).  How much change has been effected so far from traditional change programmes like these?

 

Here I can see a special Web 2.0 connectivist learning programmes for example using a Massive Open Online Class (MOOC) that could reach a sample of thousands of employees and students all at once, in an asynchronous and synchronous manner that suits the preferences of time, effort and content to the participants whose output feedback into the learning environment from blogs, twitter, email etc. creates virtuous cycle of learning and content.  If you take HSBC with 100,000+ staff, or take the global aviation industry with even larger audiences, you may see just how can we leverage the collective social capital and spirit in a cost effective manner that brings about change – be it strategy, sustainability or otherwise…

 

Recently, I have been participating in a MOOC called #PLENK2010, and while I had a slow start working out what it all meant, when it clicked I immediately saw the value for this research.  There is a downside in that technology is still a barrier i.e. your skill in using it influences the results that come from it, hence, getting to know the Web 2.0 technologies will be an essential first start for participants but more on that in a later blog post.

 

For the first time since starting this programme I can see the real possibility of useful productive experimentation with an entire organization of some kind.  There is of course much work to do but potentially much less than trying to set up a full 3DVW university elective, and certainly less hoops to jump through – as by definition a MOOC is Open and Free.

 

So to end my post by answering my starting questions – I have not wasted my time, I am not changing direction violently, although I’ll admit I have broadened the technology front,  thankfully there is no need to change university, and I am exactly where I need to be!!!  

 

I am back!!!!

 

To finish, here is another great quote from Noam Chomsky –

Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; 

it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way.

Reference:

Chomsky Quotes from: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/n/noam_chomsky.html

 

 

6 months down the drain?

I missed my own deadline for completing my blog last week due to some work commitments that encroached on my weekend, and due to a meeting with a Professor and Associate Dean from the Strathclyde Business School.  A meeting necessary to proceed further with my PhD onto the research courses later this month.

 

Firstly, I introduced my area of research in terms of learning theory, adult sustainability education, and using 3D collaborative spaces to deliver this training.  The Professor’s feedback appeared harsh,  for one he suggested I sounded more like a journalist than an academic, and from that I assume he meant I was telling him a interesting story but it was lacking real academic perspective.

 

Secondly, he suggested if it is education I am interested in then perhaps the Education Faculty or another institution would be more appropriate, if  it is Sustainability of interest then he said “I can’t see how this might be of any relevance to a business school?”, and if it is how to effectively use “flight simulators” (using his words), then perhaps this might be of relevance to business in the effective or not use of such technology.

 

Feeling a little off step, I tried to convince him of the need to set up a Sustainability Elective for the university, when he immediately pushed me back suggesting that many a consultancy had approached the school for curriculum development in this area – subtly he was saying – who am I, or what credibility do I have to create such an elective?

 

Thirdly, he mentioned that in his many years of advising many PhD students – they always start out with a broad research topic which is in turn refined into a robust research question – and then they move on and get the job done, however, he said in my case he had never seen such a broad beginning?!

 

There is clear evidence in the literature that there are major short falls in Sustainability Education on MBA programmes worldwide, nonetheless, the Professor makes some valid points. What am I really going to focus on?  What experiments do I hope to create and robustly defend? Who in the business community really has any interest in this area of research?

 

I could, and I did for a few days take this to be a rather de-motivating experience, but at the same time through support of friends and family, I will admit he is not wrong either, albeit I can imagine it seemed like I was receiving the news from Simon Cowell that I would not be not proceeding to the next round of X-Factor!

 

Can I stand up tall and discern the messages?  Here is what might be required moving forward:

 

  1. Step back from the advocacy of Sustainability and 3D Virtual Worlds and ask some academic questions, and knuckle down to find some specifics.
  2. Tie my research to relevant business issues if I am to continue with the SBS Dept. of Management.
  3. Make independent from my research my grand idea of setting up a new elective on Sustainability for the MBA programme.

 

I have spent considerable investment this past six months thinking, reading and writing about my research ideas, looking at coaching, learning theories, virtual worlds, values, behaviour intentions, sustainability etc. only to walk out of that meeting thinking I might have no idea of what I am going to research, and why it would be of interest to anyone anyhow?  This sounds like a pessimistic interpretation, one which my colleague at the Environment Agency rebuked, paraphrasing –  “It is not time wasted, it can help later on in terms of defending decisions made and directions embarked, and in part is simply just part of the journey!!!”

 

So, I find myself trying to get my balance and make sense of things.  Two new ideas have come up in the past week, the first being on researching the power of collaboration in virtual worlds:

  • 3D collaborative spaces may offer businesses’ cost effective means of collaborating and innovating across domains and businesses – this is of interest.  There are exemplars around the world e.g. IBM who are actively using the technology.
  • 3D collaborative spaces may offer benefits such as fun, safety, and being able to create things and test ideas at low cost.
  • Eco businesses is a new industry in the making, and innovative ventures/products thereafter may be able make use of 3D collaboration, that may offer leveraging the social capital needed to find new solutions with global players across disparate disciplines.

 

The second idea that has come up is on researching economic behaviours in virtual worlds.

  • Experimental economists are finding that virtual world economic behaviour maps well to real life behaviour estimation.  This may offer the ability to run scenarios from ethics, corporate social responsibility or sustainability with employees using the same attributes that these technologies purport.

 

So I have some hard questions with few answers:

  1. Does Sustainability really matter to business, and do I have what it takes to set up valid experiments that are useful for business?
  2. Will I drop Adult Sustainable Education altogether or is this an over-reaction and all I need to do is get more specific in terms of interest and focus?
  3. Will I drop the focus on changing values, beliefs, attitudes, skills or many other constructs I was investigating?
  4. Where will my data come from?  Will I now create the environment or observe existing environments?  Just – “who am I” to think I can create these and pass the stringent tests of academics that one day will sit before me?
  5. Do I move to collaboration theories, behavioural economics or stick to the adult sustainability education focus?  These new ideas may be of interest in general but is this of any interest to me?

 

Why even write about the backward steps of my PhD journey?  In the spirit of Kuhn’s historical perspective of science, I want my diary to be an accurate reflection of the journey – and not one rewritten to show a story of heroism and success.

 

Should I be annoyed at what transposed from this meeting, reject a perceived indoctrination, and stubbornly continue with my previous train of thinking, – OR – should I recognize it might be more about my ego, and my perceptions of essentially a very useful discussion – and move towards a more modest end?  Importantly, perhaps I should be forever thankful that this particular Professor cared enough in his own way to prevent me from wasting many more months of effort, wandering about with little to show for investment?  My intuition is whispering the latter but the jury is still considering!

 

What do you think?  I’d love to hear from you – give me your vote to stay the current course on adult sustainability education, move to collaboration theories for eco businesses, or move to economic behavioural analysis in virtual worlds?