I spent the last week (May 2- 8, 2010) as one of 20 PhD students from Denmark, Greece, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden and Germany in a former monastery called Magleås, not far from Copenhagen, Denmark. It was a summer school organized by the Danish Research School for Information Systems (DaRSIS).

The fact that we were too far from the city to leave our very nice place for a few hours made that week rather intense. Our program included lectures in the morning and group work afterwards. During these group sessions everybody’s project was discussed in detail. Additionally we could sign up for one-on-one discussions with the faculty members in the evening.

The two guests were Geoff Walsham (Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge) and Robin Williams (Research Centre for Social Sciences, The University of Edinburgh). Apart from their lectures (two each) they mixed with the rest of the faculty members, namely:

I managed to talk to most of the faculty members and the other students in detail. The feedback that I gained was quite enormous and I actually learned a lot during that time.

One of the core statements that followed us for the whole week was a question asked by Geoff Walsham on the first day: So what?!
Researchers should always be able to justify their choices and be able to point out their contributions. Based on these thoughts were we discussing about methods and theory. I gained a lot of insights from different perspectives. The whole course led to a rather long list of fascinating topics, many interesting contacts and conversations and, not to be forgotten, to the idea of this blog.

Now I will work my way through the notes I made through the last week and start reading…


Question 1 · May 11, 2010 at 9:15 am

It seems like you had a very fruitful meeting there.
Out of curiosity, could you tell us a little bit more in depth what you actually learned, from what to where your point of view or angle of attack on your PhD changed?

Karsten · May 11, 2010 at 10:23 am

I sure had. What I learned was that I have to focus stronger on the underlying theory and my research method than I did before. I also learned that I need to discuss these topics more with other students and I gained quite some contacts for that.

Additionally I got some quality feedback for my PhD, namely I should theorize what I did so far to emphasis the research in my Action Research approach.
Detailes about my progress and all that will soon be readable here, so stay tuned.

And by the way, I prefer talking to real people… Tell us who you are! 🙂

Engaged Scholarship « Open Minded · September 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm

[…] the summer school and the conference I recently attended, the topic was engaged scholarship. Since Van de Ven […]

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