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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Agenda (6)

Thomas does a good job here of defining his research agenda. Notice how it is very concrete and detailed: an exploration of the sense-making debate in Organizational Studies, as well as very broad in its implications: the epistemology of the social sciences.

In job interviews in academia there is always the "summarize your dissertation" question. Then the interviewers will typically ask about the next project beyond the dissertation. That is an opportunity to define your research agenda, because you will be able to make a connection between a specific dissertation topic and the larger agenda of which it forms part. If you can articulate the connection between a narrower topic and a broader agenda, you will be able to be very impressive.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

I'm glad you like it, Jonathan. I wrote a very unorthodox dissertation, so I sort of dread that question (...though it will be easy to answer plainly, actually—I'm going to take up the challenge in my next post, I just decided!).

In any case, I think it is important always to know what you are trying to do, separate from the question of whether you are doing it well. If you seem confused about your agenda, it's really hard to decide to hire you.