As part of my PhD, I am aiming to carry out two case studies of different organisations to explore the relationship between workplace learning and the development of innovative work behaviours. This involves asking employees about things in place to support their learning and how they (and other staff) learn.
I am happy to report that securing case study 1 was fairly easy but did not get off to a fab start. My data collection was delayed slightly, however, it picked up very quickly and I have progressed well. I have been able to organise 42 interviews and focus groups as part of case study 1 and I have 14 more left to carry out. Yes that means that 28 times I have explained my research and carried out interviews and focus groups galore and I am pleased it is going well. I’m hoping that in three weeks’ time I have all data collected for case study 1 and that I can begin analysing this ASAP. That is, if all of my plan actually go to plan! 🙂
Thank you to all of those people in case study 1 who have participated so far. Your interviews and focus groups have all been valuable and I appreciate every moment you took to respond!
Case study 2 has not been so easy to secure as this is taking a while to agree upon. I had an initial list or contacts who have all been contacted but very little response has come back.
This was a worry at first but it is something I prepared for as previous students have warned me of the problems they had. I have had some organisations and services interested in my research and I have some interest that I am definitely following up as these could lead to something fab! Now many organisations do not realise the benefits to them and some of these benefits are below:
(1) The organisation would receive the collated case study data combined and would be presented with the ‘framework’ or factors influencing the relationship between workplace learning and innovative work behaviour (not the raw data or interview transcripts!) – they would be able to understand the learnings from my PhD in a way suitable to them;
(2) The organisation would receive credit in the doctoral thesis (although this would be anonymised if published external to the PhD submission, unless otherwise requested);
(3) The organisation would benefit from being able to incorporate external knowledge into its own practice on how innovation work behaviours may be developed within organisation and be able to assess their own needs against the framework or PhD results given;
(4) The organisation would be able to incorporate knowledge form internationally collected data on innovation. This is because the data collection phases have had input form secondary data from across Europe (the initial PhD stages) which has helped to shape the interview and focus group questions asked to participants. This is also the case as the organisation would receive the learnings form my results (including a case study in Finland) – knowledge which often differs from that of the UK;
(5) The organisation would be seen to support international academic research and support of researcher development in obtaining a PhD. This helps to foster the relationship between research and practice and show support from the organisation in terms of helping a student collect data;
So I’m hoping that my present company contacts will lead me to some great case study organisations and that I can build up those working research relationships with companies that I hope for.
But wait, there is more…
I mentioned above that I was going to carry out two case studies. Well technically this is not true. Early this month I found out that I was successful in being awarded a John Campbell Trust Research Student Bursary and this is going to impact my research too. Receiving this bursary will now allow me to carry out a THIRD case study of an organisation in Finland, something I could not do without the funding.
This means that my research will have international value and I will have international data. It means I will be able to compare the UK and Europe in terms of case study organisations although not make generalisations about the two.
It means I am a very happy data collecting student right now! 🙂