Saturday, 11 July 2009

PhD Thesis & Originality

I spent the whole day re-structuring my thesis outline. Here is a taste of the result:

I was told that writing up process is tough, but I have a really ambitious deadline and am still confident in achieving it. I felt very lucky that I have friends to discuss different views and progress about writing up ‘the big book’. The other day, Lauren and I talked about the originality of a PhD in our email exchanges. To be honest, I have never really seriously think of ‘protecting’ my thinking or my PhD progress – tell me that I am wrong and maybe I am! But I do consciously select things that I would like to tell in this blog, simply because I don’t want to cause misunderstanding due to the immaturity in my thinking. Originality in a topic like Service Design seems to be easier, compared with working in a well-established knowledge, as the theoretical models and concepts are relatively underdeveloped, and most importantly people are more open to new suggestions and research approaches. My understanding of originality is that if you can *prove* that your thesis is original then it is fine. I mean we all know that our research question and its landscape changes, especially in a project lasted for 2-3 years it’s almost impossible that no other individual in the world, at certain point, had a similar idea to what we are doing. But our literature review suggests our originality of the inquires, our empirical studies ensure the originality of our findings. Nobody knows my research better than me. Even if there are others out there doing similar research, there is always something original about all these works. We just need to be confident enough to claim it and work hard enough to prove it. After all, PhD is a learning process as well as a research process, we are not working towards Nobel Prize level breaking throughs…

Well, I don’t really know what I am saying here is right or wrong… if you have done a PhD already, maybe it would be great to hear what you say about this matter.