Met up with my supervisor yesterday. It wasn't a brainstorm like our previous meetings but it did help me to get a few ideas on how to proceed with my PhD now that I've finished my Confirmation of Candidature. I've been feeling a bit adrift and unmotivated since completing the COC document and presenting it to the panel of academics. It's such a weird thing, doing a PhD. In some ways, you would think there would be very clear procedures to follow given how many have come before you and yet, while there are some guidelines to follow, it is still a very open and organic process that must be re-invented from scratch each time, shaped by the particular research and person undertaking it. It is one of the least prescribed activities I can think of, yet paradoxically replete with many antiquated conventions, making it wondruous, exasperating and a constant act of discovery.
I booked the ticket to Stockholm yesterday and my departure date is October 8th. I still have to sort out my accommodation and some other details. I've been thinking of some ideas for a paper to work on in Sweden but I want whatever I work on to be directly relevant to my PhD. My supervisor put forward a helpful suggestion to undertake an inquiry into the research methodology for my project to try to work through some of the issues that remain unresolved. I like this idea because it does have a wider application as well - studying the social dimensions of ICT use in organisations is still relatively new and many researchers working in this area have experimented with methodologies to try to address questions that are not so easily gathered through traditional means. It would be helpful to examine the approaches taken, why they have been taken and consider some of the issues that researchers have had in grappling with how you research people and technology in action.