Desperately seeking fixedness: practitioners accounts of 'becoming doctoral researchers

Hay, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-2629-230X and Samra-Fredericks, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-4686-0669, 2016. Desperately seeking fixedness: practitioners accounts of 'becoming doctoral researchers. Management Learning, 47 (4), pp. 407-423. ISSN 1350-5076

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We draw upon the concept of liminality to explore the experiences of practitioners enrolled on a UK Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme. We analyse twenty practitioners’ reflective journals to detail how the DBA liminal space was negotiated. More specifically, we describe how practitioners deal with their struggles of identity incoherence or ‘monsters of doubt’ which are amplified in the DBA context owing to the complex nature of the separation phase of liminality. We identify three broad methods deployed in this endeavour: ‘scaffolding’; ‘putting the past to work’ and ‘bracketing’- which evidence practitioners ‘desperately seeking fixedness’. We make three contributions – first, we provide empirical insights into the experiences of the increasingly significant, but still under researched, DBA student. Second, we develop our understandings of monsters of doubt through illustrating how these are negotiated for learning to progress. Finally, we contribute to wider discussions of ‘becoming’ to demonstrate the simultaneous and paradoxical importance of movement and fixedness in order to learn and become.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Management Learning
Creators: Hay, A. and Samra-Fredericks, D.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date: 1 September 2016
Volume: 47
Number: 4
ISSN: 1350-5076
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 29 Apr 2016 14:00
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2017 11:06

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