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Archive for May, 2010

Mike Grills

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Here is a look into our lives that you don’t normally see on thinkPhD….This is my first movie and YouTube video upload. I giggled the whole time I was making the video! You will meet Husband, Tucker, and Charlie. Enjoy “Mike Grills” !!!!


Additional work on assignment 2

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

I continued to work today on my revision to assignment 2 in RSH910B. I think I am closer with this latest revision; you will recall that Dr. T rejected my first submission. I have done a better job of tighter writing. I hope to turn in the paper tomorrow. In the meantime, I continue to work on the other papers due in this class.

Today, I sent an email to Dr. Craig R. Carter at the University of Nevada, Reno, requesting use of a survey/questionnaire he designed and used in several studies. I hope that I included the right mix of professionalism and begging!! I have never asked anyone if I could use a survey instrument and so I just was not sure about the protocol. Dr. Carter outlined the questionnaire scales in several papers, so one can deduce the questions; however, I would like to use the same PSR survey if possible because it is validated and I will be replicating it with another sample.

You know, its funny how much time my mind churns on my topic. I seem to be constantly thinking about it. I wonder if it is normal to go to bed thinking about it and waking up with it, too?

Tonight I made waffles and bacon; can you believe that I actually cooked something? My husband usually makes supper because I work (and he does not) and with no children at home, we are pretty easy to please regarding what to eat for dinner. I do enjoy a good wheat waffle and bacon; I guess I just needed some “comfort food”!

Abridged Literature Review

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

The syllabus states that the abridged literature review should be divided up into themes or sub-topics for organization into a “coherent narrative discussion” with 7 to 10 of the most important works or studies. Oh my, only 7 to 10? I have many more than that! I will of course have more but right now I have LOTS more but will shave it down later.

Here’s a basic outline of my themes:

Sustainable Development
Sustainable Supply Chain Management (or perhaps The Supply Chain Becomes the Value Chain)
Corporate Social Responsibility
Purchasing Social Responsibility and Sustainable Procurement

I am starting with the history of how sustainability and sustainable development entered the scene, transforming supply chain management; then I will cover how CSR led to PSR/SP. I am not sure if I will reference the foundational study of Carter and Jennings but I might close with that (the C&J study outlines PSR drivers that I will be using in my study; I’ve already mentioned them in assignment 2).

It’s Sunday and I’ve been working on my lit review off and on; let’s see what else I did today…I planted tomatoes, made guacamole, read some of “The Girl Who Played With Fire” by Stieg Larsson, ate some Mother’s Day candy my sweet Husband gave me this morning, talked to my children and Mom on the phone, checked my email, posted something on eBay, trimmed some out-of-control bushes in the front yard, planted three yellow Leopard’s Bane flowers in the front flower bed, read some Black (“Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences”), and paid some bills.

I am so NOT looking forward to going back to work tomorrow – it’s way too much fun at HOME!

Disappointed, to say the least

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

I received my RSH9104B second assignment back from Dr. T: REJECTED. I am disappointed, to say the least. He made very few comments but the ones he did make chilled me. He indicated that I have SERIOUS PROBLEMS with the research problem, purpose, questions, and hypotheses.

I was not expecting this at all. I had expected comments to help define and clarify my topic, but this is major.

And so as soon as I got the paper back this morning, I began a re-write, changing my dissertation method from applying a questionnaire about purchasing social responsibility to a group, to using two groups and analyzing if there would be difference between the groups when taking the same questionnaire. I thought that in my rejected paper I had clearly written what the problem and purpose were, but in this re-write I am developing those parts in depth. I keep asking myself, is the “why” I see the need to do this study obvious?

I also changed my research questions because Dr. T indicated that at least one was a qualitative question, not quantitative. I started the question with “What are…” and so I can see how that will be qualitative based on the distinction in Creswell on page 133. I changed my question to start with “Does….”. I also had used the word “examine” which was judged not sufficient and not a power verb. When I wrote the paper originally, I looked up other quantitative dissertations and almost all of them use the word “examine.” So, using a suggestion from Creswell, I used the words “compare” and “relationship” and hope that these are more sufficient and powerful.

I had hoped to work on the fourth assignment (lit review) today, but instead I have re-read relevant Creswell and Black sections regarding problem, purpose, questions, and hypotheses. Then I re-wrote much of the paper. I am still not sure about the format because the assignment says “topic paper” but Dr. T said to use the “concept paper” template, which has sections that are not included in the required sections as noted in the syllabus. For example, both have a lit review but that is not listed in the required sections for the assignment. The CP uses the term “Purpose of the Study” and the TP use the term “Purpose Statement.”

Nonetheless, I am disappointed but not deterred. I can do this.

Critical and Unique Terms

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Assignment 3 of RSH9104B is to define terms that are critical and unique to my dissertation topic. The information in the syllabus includes an example of a definition of “combat verteran” in a hypothetical concept paper (CP) of “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Iraq War Combat Veterans”:

Example: Combat Veteran. A combat veteran is defined as a person who experienced “any level of hostility resulting from offensive, defensive or friendly fire military action involving a real or perceived enemy in any pre- or post-designated theater of combat (war) operations” (American War Library, 1988, p. 3).

The CP template shows the section “Definition of Key Terms” before “Brief Review of Literature.” Here is the format, which is APA third-level heading (indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period):

Term 1. Definition (APA citation).

So far, I have a list of 16 words to define as “critical and unique terms”:

corporate social responsibility (CSR)
corporate sustainability
human rights
purchasing social responsibility (PSR)
stakeholder theory
supply chain management
supply management
sustainable development
sustainable procurement
sustainable supply chain management (SSCM)
sustainable supply management

This assignment is due no later than the end of week 2 and should be up to 4 pages. I am working on this assignment today and should finish it.

I’ve been struggling with motivation this week as I have waited since last Sunday to get assignment 2 back, which is the topic paper revision. That paper is the first time my chair gets to see my topic. I am so nervous to find out if he thinks it is a good topic and do-able. If he comes back to me and says the topic stinks, that means that I would have to modify it. Mentors are allowed 5 days to grade the assignments and today is Day 5. I really want to stay on schedule in this class and so if I get it back today that will help my motivation! If he had turned it back to me earlier in the week, I am sure that I would have already completed this critical and unique terms assignment.

RSH9104B Concept Paper Timeline

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

RSH9104B has nine assignments and comes with a suggested timeline. My start date was Saturday May 1 and ends Saturday July 24. Even though the class is 12 weeks long, all the preliminary papers and the first submittal of the Concept Paper (CP) must be completed by the beginning of Week 7, which is June 13. The rest of the course is dedicated to the Chair and Committee Review, updating the CP, then the University Review.

Each cycle of Chair and Committee Review and University Review are up to 14 days in length, meaning that the course only allows for two reviews if they take the maximum of 14 days. Plus, for all the regular standard assignments (#1-7), mentors have up to 5 days to grade and return papers. It sounds like this schedule is going to be VERY VERY TIGHT!

Many students end up having to take RSH9104 courses more than once or get an extension if the hold up is caused by the reviewers. The CP is worth 40 points in this class, which precludes the student from getting extensions if he does not turn in the papers per the recommended timeline. I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to keep up this tight schedule! And I am hoping that Dr. T and the committee are free enough to tackle my CP when the time comes!!

My May and June are already filling up with things: we close on a sale of rental property in Alabama, Husband is going to a Racing School at RIR (a birthday gift from me), plus work sapping my brain cells, and I am trying to start back dancing as a fitness/health thing. I did schedule some Schoolwork vacation days for May 6 & 7 in addition to the weekends that I normally use for writing and research.

Here is the schedule that I designed for the class (click on the link and it opens as an image):

RSH9104B Schedule

If you would like to have the RSH9104B Schedule as an Excel file that you can modify for your own path through RSH9104B, just email me (thinkPhD at yahoo dot com) or comment below and I will send it to you.

Now back to writing a Letter of Recommendation for a student planning to work on her MBA and then more work on Assignment #3: Define Critical and Unique Terms.

LOA ended: RSH9104B started

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

My leave of absence (LOA) ended on May 1 and RSH9104B started the same day. This is the last of four RSH courses; the next class is the comprehensive examination course and then the DIS (dissertation) classes after that. My plan for the month of April was to get a head start on the assignments for this class. I only partially fulfilled that desire. I didn’t get as far along as I had hoped. My April turned out to be very busy but I did complete the first two assignments, and have started on #3 and #4.

Assignment #2 is “Revision of Topic Paper,” which refers back to the topic paper from RSH9101B. You may recall that I had what I believed to be a pretty good topic and then as I worked through the next two courses, it became clear that I would not have access to the data/information that I would need, namely a list of all of the participants in the Wal-Mart Packaging Scorecard. This information has not been released to the public so I could not send a questionnaire to participants.

So I have completely revised my topic, while still maintaining the sustainability or “green” piece. The new topic is related to purchasing social responsibility (PSR). Green business is an interest of mine, as reflected in my education and career: I have a BS in Environmental Science and an MBA, and I work for a paper company selling the non-primary products (damaged, rejected, obsolete, scrap, recyclables, etc.).

The mentor for RSH9104 classes is always the dissertation chair; in my case, it is Dr. T. I turned in the first assignment yesterday, which consisted of submitting the names, contact information, and a short bio highlighting their potential relevance to my topic. I have completed the next assignment but am not sure if he wants the full topic paper template with table of contents (TOC) or not. I am going to send him a note to se if he wants the paper formatted using a TOC or not.

The third assignment is “Define Unique and Critical Terms.” I have a list of terms but I plan to let Husband read my topic paper and let him identify terms that I may have missed. Right now, I have 14 terms but am not sure how many is the “right” number.