Power, participation and partnership: methodological reflection on researching professional doctorate candidates' experiences of researching in the workplace

Weller, Gordon and Volante, Margaret and Garelick, Hemda (2011) Power, participation and partnership: methodological reflection on researching professional doctorate candidates' experiences of researching in the workplace. Work Based Learning e-Journal, 2 (1). pp. 155-174. ISSN 2044-7868

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Abstract

This study aimed to explore the candidate experience in order to understand more deeply aspects of the development in work based research. Delphi technique was chosen as an approach in order to capture a range of experience and data, to inform how we may best support candidates on practice based doctorates. Many such programmes include a stakeholder learning agreement between the candidate, the university and the employer organisation with the common aim to bring about transformational and sustainable change. Our research to date indicates a disparity within the agreement in the level of stakeholder participation. Where the organisation stakeholder is not fully engaged and involved in supporting the research, there is a potential threat to the effectiveness of any change outcome. Current practice based doctoral research participants were invited to relate to a range of temporal themes in their research project cycle, for example: setting up the project; implementing the project; changes/ contingency planning within the project; project completion and post completion. Of particular interest in relation to the above was the availability of resources and how they were used within the project life cycle. In this respect, resources are deemed to include, human, material, time, personal and organisational culture influence. The allocation, manipulation and distribution of such resources can be understood in terms of power relationships. The paper presents our experience and reflections from two iterative Delphi cycles and proposes a final stage of greater integration with existing academic resources within the professional doctorate programme. The study has enabled the researchers to gain a new understanding of how power may operate in a work based research project through the experience of undertaking the Delphi approach. Furthermore, by thinking about affordances of the project life cycle, it may help us to better understand needs and strategy for the curriculum in order to more effectively support candidates through their transformational learning experience. The consequences of such change might have implications for participation and power distribution within the management and leadership of doctoral work base research projects.

Item Type:Article
Keywords (uncontrolled):Delphi, professional doctorate, affordance, culture, participation, power
Research Areas:School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
ID Code:8830
Permissions granted by publisher:Work Based Learning e-Journal is an open access journal published by Middlesex University.
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Deposited On:29 Mar 2012 08:02
Last Modified:24 Oct 2014 15:20

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