Inside the Minds of Doctoral Students: Investigating Challenges in Theory and Practice

Adeola Bamgboje, Michelle Ye, Helen Almond, Songlak Sakulwichitsintu
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 11  •  2016  •  pp. 243-267
This is a report on a qualitative investigation into the challenges and solutions for Information Systems PhD candidature in Australia by conducting a three-phase research process. Information Systems doctoral theses approved within the past 10 years in Australia were identified in three areas of research, using structured evidence-based search and review methods. This was followed by two focus groups. The first focus group provided a forum where participants engaged and contributed by sharing and reflecting on experiences during their candidature. The data generated was thematically analyzed. The second focus group provided a forum to compare, contrast, and combine findings from the first focus group and the theses review. This was then conceptually organized into a SWOT framework for discussion. The findings imply that there is a need, not only for an inclusive candidature research pathway now provided by most Australian universities, but also an integrated research and personal support pathway. The investigation resulted in defining a conceptual framework of value in Australia and internationally, which acknowledges and bridges the academic-practice gap, offering a considerable step for future PhD candidature investment.
PhD candidature, doctoral students, research pathway, information systems, SWOT analysis
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