So you want to be a (celebrated) doctor?

….then once you have completed your doctorate (successfully!) why not enter a competition to get your thesis celebrated as a true contribution to knowledge?

Emerald Publishing have a nice competition at the moment… See

And there is one which is specifically for HRM students at the HRIC conference in Sydney in February  2016….

Apart from the kudos there are cash prizes.



E. B. White on the Role and Responsibility of the Writer

Who am I writing for

My reading today has been this article on about E.B. White’s view on the role and responsibilities of the writer.

As academic writers this is an important aspect of our work, whether we are writing a thesis, a journal article, a blog or Tweeting. This 1969 quote from E.G. White is informative for all of us in the web age:

‘A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his [her] fancy, stirs his [her] heart, and unlimbers his [her] typewriter.

I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He [She] should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.

A question to ask ourselves are have I REALLY considered who I am writing for and why?

Psychologist Barry Schwartz on What Motivates Us to Work, Why Incentives Fail, and How Our Ideas About Human Nature Shape Who We Become | Brain Pickings

Sent from my iPad

Acclimatising to Australian bats…

I have just got a handle on the jet lag, thank goodness, so sleep deprivation is now reduced to being woken at 5.30 a.m. by our kookaburra alarm clock.   Our ‘studio in the garden’ is bordered by a creek lined with eucalyptus trees full of bats. At dusk they take off and fly very fast in a hoard across the property with a ‘whooshing’ noise. I remember on a visit here once being in the swimming pool floating on my back when this happened.  What a sight!  When they had passed the dark night sky came back into view to display the Milky Way.  All of this certainly demonstrates God’s marvellous natural creation.  

The road trip to emigrating to Mullumbimby

We have finally reached our destination as British emigrants to Mullumbimby in New South Wales, Australia.  Our first sighting of the road to Mullumbimby on this major life-changing trip.

Chinny’ is mentioned in just about every house advert as a way of getting a higher house price ‘And finally, this home has the best views of the iconic Mount Chincogan’.  Any house seller unfortunate enough not to be able to see Chinny from any window has to drop their house price dreams by $100,000 😱

On our way from Melbourne to Mullumbimby we passed through several interesting places, including Coffs Harbour.  After Melbourne’s extensive cafe lifestyle we found substantial grub quite difficult to source so we became quite experienced at seeking out the local Soldiers, Sailors and Airforce, RSLs or Bowling Clubs.  The winner for the best one was the Catholic Club (‘The King of Clubs’) in Campbelltown. The worst was Coffs Harbour. Their breaded calamari needed to be tasted to be believed. Still it was tea time on a Sunday evening and we did win a couple of games of Keno to balance things out 😃

Having to justify the value of using case studies in research gets quite wearing….

As an interpretivist researcher I invariably feel I have to justify the case study approach as a lesser way of accessing knowledge.  I was therefore pleased to see Oxford University’s Professor  Bent Flyvbjerg’s LinkedIn posting on this topic, ‘Misunderstanding No. 1 about Case Studies’ .

This statement presents the crux of his argument:

Common to all experts, however, is that they operate on the basis of intimate knowledge of several thousand concrete cases in their areas of expertise. Context-dependent knowledge and experience are at the very heart of expert activity. Such knowledge and expertise also lie at the center of the case study as a research and teaching method; or to put it more generally, still: as a method of learning. Phenomenological studies of the learning process therefore emphasize the importance of this and similar methods: it is only because of experience with cases that one can at all move from being a beginner to being an expert. If people were exclusively trained in context-independent knowledge and rules, that is, the kind of knowledge which forms the basis of textbooks, they would remain at the beginner’s level in the learning process. This is the limitation of analytical rationality: it is inadequate for the best results in the exercise of a profession, as student, researcher, or practitioner.’

He says much more. Read it and see for yourself.


Have a productive day,


Happy New (writing) year….

Yesterday I did the unthinkable and tidied out my side of the study. All those journal articles I printed out last year to read and never did (all those trees!). Memorabilia from conferences attended last year. Old pens. Uncountable new, unused folders and files. In the black bag and put into the bin. Try not to think about the waste. Just think about the writing production line.

First thing this morning I read Joanna Penn’s automatic email on her highly productive 2014 and goals for 2015. She left management consultancy to become a dystopia novel writer and has branched into non-fiction, motivational speaking and training. Her productivity is impressive but her blogs are more so. Thank you, Joanna, for caring about others’ needs. I know you do this partly for marketing your ‘products’ from your writing but you must also care about others otherwise you wouldn’t do it. Find her here.

Next Steps
Joanna talks about her next steps:

‘Essentially, the model is: trust emergence and continue to feed the muse in order to write (which for me involves travel and research), turn those ideas into books, turn that one book into multiple products, distribute globally and reach readers through marketing, and then repeat.’

Talk about a simple but effective set of goals set up in one statement. Masterly.

As ever, my goals can’t be constructed without setting up a digital tool to accommodate the preparation process. Today’s download is the Microsoft Excel app to construct the writing plan for 2015. Let’s see how it turns out.