CTF at the 24th Annual Servsig Doctoral Consortium2017-07-04
Jenny Karlsson and Peter Samuelsson, both PhD students at CTF, Service Research Center at Karlstad University, Sweden, participated in the AMA Servsig doctoral consortium preceding the 2017 Frontiers in Service Conference held in June 21-22 at Fordham University, New York. We recently caught up with Jenny and Peter and asked them to tell us about the consortium.
In this year´s AMA Servsig doctoral consortium a record was broken. There were no less than 75 PhD students from 16 universities participating, which is all time high in number of participants! The consortium began with a welcome reception on Wednesday, June 21st, and continued with full day sessions on Thursday. After a humorous introduction by Yani Grégoire (HEC Montréal, Canada) the first session started with a panel discussion where Stacey Robinson, University of Alabama, Bart Larivière, Ghent University and Mike Brady, Florida State, discussed what it takes to get off to a successful start and to have a prosperous long-term academic career. The discussion continued circling how to choose topics for research articles, concluding that they should be interesting, relevant and exciting.
Some tricks mentioned to find topics for research were to let oneself be inspired by real life and experiences, e.g. from shopping, but make them larger than just what happens in the small context. Another tip was to look into the literature for gaps, but to be aware that “just” to study something existing in a new context might not be enough. It might be better to find inspiration from different sources and not to forget to collaborate with others. The work should also be enjoyable, which is also an area where other people can help. When looking for people to co-lab with, one should strive for finding partners with different expertise. You probably don’t need someone else like yourself, but try to bring in competences in the writing which will complement yours.
Another good remark is that you learn the craft as you go. Being engaged, and early in setting the expectations, is key in order to conduct fruitful teamwork with senior staff. Equally important is to identify potential stumbling blocks, and what to do to avoid them. The flexibility that is offered in this line of work may also result in too much work, and too much stress. One must learn to say no, and bear in mind that research takes time.
The discussion continued with “how to publish with different methodologies” where the best practices to publish with different methodologies in service research were explored by a set of senior researchers, all prominent in their respective fields. Tangible expertise experiments, field studies, meta-analyses, archival and how to access archival data, were presented and discussed out of a service research standpoint. Drawing upon the senior researchers’ publication journeys, the speakers reflected on the state-of-the art in their domain, the DO’s and DON’Ts, how to best position the work, how to deal with reviewer comments, and how to ensure that you are contributing to the field. We, as PhD students were also reminded that other competences in the academia may be equally important as writing.
After lunch, the sessions continued by exploring how to create an impact through teaching and service. The first presenter, Gaby Odekerken-Schröder gave some insights to how Maastricht University handles consulting work directed towards companies. They deliver a quick tangible outcome to the companies that often lead to gained access to interesting case data for research. Next, was Tom Baker from Alabama University who talked about administrative work and how it can impact ones’ carrier in different ways. Following Tom, the session continued with Martin Mende out of Florida State University who held an inspiring presentation. Martin talked about the importance of living what we learn, meaning that one should look upon teaching as a service that we provide to the students. And that many of the service research models, as SERVQUAL, that for long has served companies, also can function as smart tools for lecturers who want to improve themselves.
Last one to take the stand, it really was a stand since we were in Fordham’s Law practice venue, was Wolfgang Ulaga from Arizona State University. The topic Wolfgang talked about was “teaching with case-studies” and that case studies was a perfect opportunity for making contact with interesting businesses. Wolfgang also emphasized that there is a big continuum between bad and good case studies, and that one should pick and choose carefully in order to achieve good teaching and results.
After a short break, the participants were divided into smaller groups where the PhD students presented their work. Each PhD student had in advance sent in a draft of something they wanted to present and get feedback on. The groups were about 4 PhD students, and 2 senior researchers who had prepared feedback for the presentations. Each student was given 10 minutes for presenting and 20 minutes for feedback/discussion. This break-out session was also the last activity on the day’s agenda.
By promoting an intimate and collegial atmosphere, the consortium provided a wonderful opportunity for participants to interact with both the field’s leading service scholars and other doctoral students. A quote from a colleague sum the consortium up in a good way:
“The Frontiers doctorial consortium was highly relevant for taking my current research a step further in the right direction, and a great source of inspiration for my future research” Jasenko Arsenovic, PhD student at CTF Service Research Center at Karlstad University
Other PhD students from CTF that participated in the consortium were: Jasenko Arsenovic, Josina Vink, Marcus Olsson, Kotaibal Aal and Rolf Findsrud.
Jenny Karlsson and Peter Samuelsson
Ph D students, CTF, Service Research Center at Karlstad University Sweden
For more information : frontiers2017.com