A phenomenographic study of what it means to supervise doctoral students

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Journal Article

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Wright, A., Murray, J. P & Geale, P. (2007). A phenomenographic study of what it means to supervise doctoral students. Academy of management learning and education, 6(4), 458-474.

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© Copyright Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2007


We utilize the research methodology of phenomenography in this study to explore what doctoral supervisors understand supervision to be and how they enact this understanding in the practice of supervising students. Twenty interviews were undertaken with supervisors at three Australian universities to uncover “lived” experiences of doctoral research supervision. Five qualitatively different ways of conceiving supervisors’ roles emerged through phenomenographic analysis of the transcripts. Our findings suggest that while supervisors undertake similar tasks when supervising, they approach these tasks differently because of their qualitatively different understandings of what supervision is.

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This document has been peer reviewed.