One of my mentees and I will be presenting at conference this fall (more on that later). We began discussing their dissertation study and the issue of scope creeping. The problem statement is perhaps the most important concept to understand and acquire as a researcher. Learning how to avoid scope creep is part of that.
I first heard about scope creeping from Dr. Holly Rick at my first doctoral residency. She explained that too often students will try to address a problem too broadly - or rather, the problem they identify is too broad to effectively design a research study.
Picture it like an hourglass: the background of the study is broad (establishes the environment in which a problem exists). The research problem identified is specific, concise, and addresses one facet of a greater issue. The study that you conduct exists within the scope of the problem. However, once the study findings are disseminated, they can potentially be applied back to the larger phenomenon which exists. In fact, a thorough discussion of findings would include the implications of those findings on professionals, scholars, society, etc.
Scope creep can be identified through editing, reflection, peer review, and practice.
I am very excited to be part of the University of Phoenix alumni group. Before my alma mater (University of Arizona) was offering business school programs for the working adult, U of P had three separate options to choose from. I began taking night classes and eventually went virtual with U of P and I have not looked back.
Further cementing that I am a Phoenix, the university has selected me to participate in a workshop that will help secure publication opportunities for my articles. This first year of my postdoctoral life, I had planned to write a series of articles derivative of initial work from my study - so this workshop is an exciting chance to make that happen.
A book manuscript is in the early planning stages now, which will include research about Millennials and Generation Z. This project is longer-term, but just as thrilling to be part of.
My next study is being designed as we speak, and if I have not found a "home" university to work for, I will be seeking grant funding to independently conduct it. But more on that later...
The main purpose of my doctoral program was to propel me to a more academic career. I have enjoyed being a leader and practitioner in the business world, but I have learned that what I am truly passionate about is teaching others. The road ahead after finishing my doctoral program is exciting and potentially limitless! My research has been well received domestically and internationally, and I hope to return to Europe this fall to present at conference.
Since I am a firm believer in planning ahead, here are some steps I am taking on this new road: