jump to navigation

Archive for the ‘DIS9323B’ Category

Updating the DP – Creating the DM

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

This weekend, in addition to sending out more survey invitations, I also worked on updating my DP (dissertation proposal) to turn it into a DM (dissertation manuscript). One of the first things was to change tenses from future to past, as in “the survey will be sent” to “the survey was sent.” I also worked on the dreaded table of contents (TOC) to add Chapter 4: Findings (Results, Evaluation of Findings, Summary) and Chapter 5: Implications, Recommendations, and Conclusions (Implications, Recommendations, Conclusions). Of course, I do not have the information that I need yet to work on these chapters, but I like to build the skeleton and then fill in the rest. I try to stay organized in my writing and research (even though I can’t seem to keep an organized desk).

This afternoon, I was trying to get the DM wording right regarding the issues I am having with data collection – I am trying not to be negative or sound disappointed, but simply factual. I will keep at this until I get enough surveys!! My husband and the Post Office Lady are becoming best of friends. We have bought so many stamps, ink, and mailed so many letters and postcards! We have a rural post office so everything is sorted by hand. The Post Office Lady likes that we are upping her mail count because the government is threatening to close many rural post offices, but I am sure that she groans when she sees Husband come in with his bundle of mail.

Husband and I swam a little in the pool this afternoon, and he got lobster-red on his shoulders. Ouch! I also Skyped for the first time; Daughter #1 just got an iPhone. There is a delay with Skype so we actually talked over each other a couple of times, but I think we will get the hang of it. Later on, the Internet connection got slow and I had to call Hughesnet. The tech rep walked me through changing some settings and I am able to stay connected longer. Now you are all caught up on thinkPhD’s exciting life!


Monday, July 4th, 2011

I chose to use MANOVA (multivariate analysis of variance) for my dissertation study to find out if those firms engaging in public sustainability reporting have different purchasing social responsibility (PSR) strategies from those that do not publically report. MANOVA is a multivariate analysis tool used to analyze data that with one or more independent variables on two or more dependent variables. The independent variable I am using is participation in public sustainability reporting, and the dependent variables are the dimensions or constructs of PSR, which include concerns for diversity, the environment, human rights, philanthropy/community, and safety.

I have seen this example illustration of MANOVA several times: If we wanted to see if a new teaching style is better strategy to teach reading, we might want to look the values of reading scores, student satisfaction, grades in other classes, etc. These are the dependent variables, and teaching style is the independent variable. Rather than performing ANOVA multiple times, MANOVA allows hypothesis testing (Ha there is no change, and Ho there is a change) on all variables at one time. MANOVA will tell us if the new teaching style is making a difference in scores, student satisfaction, grades in other classes, etc.

Back to my dissertation….I have read articles that seem to indicate that firms reporting publically are somehow better at sustainable actions than those that do not report. So my hypothesis is that there is no difference in dimensions of PSR, and the alternate hypothesis is that there is a difference in dimensions of PSR. So essentially I am asking if those who talk about what they are doing are any different from those that do not!

Need more survey-takers!

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

I sound like a broken record! Here is the issue, I have sent out over 1,000 invitations, posted links in relevant places, and yet I do not have enough participation for adequate power…

An a priori power analysis was conducted using G*Power 3.1 software to determine the appropriate sample size for the study. Assuming a medium effect size f2 (V) of 0.25, a two-tailed test, an alpha significance level of 0.05, a power of 0.80, two groups, and 6 response variables, at least 62 surveys must be included in the study using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA).

…I need at LEAST 62 and I have about HALF that number of completed surveys. I am even offering a $100 Visa gift card! I have even written to various supply chain groups and asked if I could post on their websites or write a blog post but I do not have replies yet. I am beginning to wonder if people do not read their mail? A friend suggested that many companies have mail rooms and sometimes mail is presorted and thrown in the trash; I find that hard to believe, but what happened to all my postcards and letters?

So, if you are a purchasing manager in a publically traded firm, will you PLEASE take a few minutes and complete this online survey? THANK YOU!!

Invitation and chance to win: Sustainable Procurement Survey

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

You are invited to participate a dynamic new research project entitled “Dimensions of Purchasing Social Responsibility in Sustainable Supply Chain Organizations.”

I am a doctoral student at Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, AZ., and for my dissertation, I am reaching out to purchasing managers of publically traded firms located in the United States. The purpose of the study is to identify links between purchasing social responsibility (PSR) and public sustainability reporting.

If you are a purchasing, sourcing, or procurement manager, and your firm is publically traded, please take a few minutes to complete the “Sustainable Procurement Survey” at the link below. Answers to survey responses will be anonymous and confidential.

At the close of the survey, you will have an opportunity to enter a drawing for two books about sustainability. I will be happy to answer any questions and provide an Executive Summary upon request.

Thank you in advance for completing the survey and forwarding the link to your procurement colleagues, customers, and friends.

Please click the link below to access the Sustainable Procurement Survey.

Sustainable Procurement
The invitation above is what I posted on LinkedIn. I have seen a little bit better participation in the last few days, but I do not have a minimum (from G-Power) number of finished surveys. Please pass on the link to the survey to your friends in procurement!


Slow data collection

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Data collection is much slower than I thought it would be. In the past weeks, I sent out letters and postcards addressed to Purchasing Managers at 500 companies. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of those have taken the survey. I will mail out 200 more invitations on Monday. After consulting with my chair, I submitted my survey link to one of my groups on LinkedIn. Here is the link to my post on Procurement Professionals.

I don’t think the problem is the invitation itself. The invitation letters and postcards look very professional. I had several people to review them to make sure that they are worded correctly and attractive. I even signed every letter to personalize them.

I do not know why people do not respond to requests to take a survey for academic purposes. A friend suggested that there may be a general lack of respect for research…some do not understand it or see the need for it. In my daily work-world, I never hear anyone say anything about the “latest research” or journal article. I only hear this kind of talk when I am with my academic colleagues.

Over the years, I have filled out many survey requests for universities, dissertation students, and other research groups. I believe research enlightens us and makes our work more effective when we are on the right path.

I would like to hear from readers as to how you encouraged survey response for your quantitative dissertation. What did you do to make the invitation attractive? How did you increase the response level?

May 23 – My 5 Year Anniversary at NCU

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

May 23 (tomorrow) is not only my birthday – it’s also my 5 Year Anniversary at Northcentral University and my work to earn a PhD in Business Administration.

Reflecting back over this experience, I have learned so many things:

-How to apply statistics to real world situations
-Memorizing APA rules is a heck of a lot easier than using the new version 6.0 book
-How to mail merge using MS Word
-Paying in advance to lock in tuition is a smart thing to do, even though I had to borrow some money
-Paying off a student loan early feels marvelous
-I am more productive in the mornings, and so getting up early to work on papers is better than working on them in the evenings after work
-A 24″ monitor is an absolute necessity – and I wish I had bought it sooner.
-Using TWO monitors is even smarter
-RefWorks is not all its cracked up to be
-Old-fashioned printing journal articles and holding them in 3-ring binders works well
-Buy typing paper and ink on sale; also Staples gives credit for used ink cartridges
-An L-shaped desk is a great asset
-I am messy but organized
-My best reminder is “STAY ON TASK” written on a sticky note
-Be patient with myself
-Cultivate relationships with mentors and always be courteous
-Getting my feelings involved in owning my topic is worthless
-Do whatever your chair says to do
-Read everything about my topic that I can get my hands on
-Other people don’t care about my topic like I do
-My husband is understanding and supportive
-Save everything on the computer, in Dropbox, and on usb jump drives….computers die and suck everything with them
-Filing cabinets are a necessity
-I’ve learned to smile and not get so discouraged when friends and co-workers say, “You are going back to school for a PhD? Why?” I think the “face” they make after they say this is what hurts the most…
-Read the NCU forums, but engage only rarely
-Support and encourage everyone who contacts me through this blog
-I write better every year (I recently looked at some of my MBA papers – OUCH!)
-I can do what I put my mind to doing!

Data collection begins: Procurement Research Survey Invitation

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

I began sending out written invitations to purchasing managers by mail today. I figured out how to use mail merge in Word – and it is a lifesaver!! I ran out of stamps after addressing about 75 envelopes. I have 200 more letters ready to go and will send them after picking up more stamps on Monday.

Here is a copy of the Procurement Research Survey Invitation letter:


Purchasing Manager

Greetings [COMPANY NAME] Purchasing Manager,

You are invited to participate in a dynamic new research study entitled Dimensions of Purchasing Social Responsibility in Sustainable Supply Chain Organizations being conducted for a dissertation at Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, Arizona. The purpose of the study is to compare, analyze, and evaluate the dimensions of purchasing social responsibility (PSR) based on whether or not a firm identifies with voluntary public sustainability reporting.

The Sustainable Procurement Questionnaire will be available for a short period of time. To access the survey, please type this link into your Internet browser address bar:


The data collected in this study are confidential and anonymous, and shown only as aggregate data for analysis and interpretation.

As a thank you to research participants, at the close of the survey you may enter a drawing for two books about sustainability:

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins

Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

Your participation in this study will contribute to a growing body of knowledge about corporate purchasing policies related to sustainability. I am happy to answer any questions that may arise about the study.

Thank you for your time,

My signature

My Name

My Chair, Ph.D.
Dissertation Committee Chair

Northcentral University
Attention: Institutional Review Board
10000 E. University Drive
Prescott Valley, Arizona 86314

Progress Update

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

My pilot study went well and I received some great comments and suggestions. Thanks to everyone who helped out. My chair tells me that just a couple of paragraphs about the pilot study will be appropriate for the DM.

I’ve been very busy pulling together addresses of companies to which I will be sending the invitation letter. Since I was not able to find a list, I am looking up each company and copy/pasting to a spreadsheet, which I will merge into Word. I get bored quickly doing this so my progress has been slow.

On the personal side, this morning I added some books and things to eBay, see my listings here. Last night we went to the Ironhorse Restaurant in Ashland, VA, and had a great Mother’s Day dinner – just me and Husband. Of course, we miss the children, but we will be heading to Georgia/Alabama in June. So this Mother’s Day it’s just the two of us. In the morning yesterday, we did some houseclearning, so we were ready for a relaxing (and romantic!) meal at the Ironhorse Restaurant. Ashland is a beautiful town with train tracks (hence, “ironhorse”) right through the middle of town. I think we saw four trains while we ate dinner.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Pilot Study Participants Needed

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Here is what I posted on LinkedIn:

“I am conducting research as part of degree requirements at Northcentral University. I have a survey directed towards supply chain professionals who develop and carry out purchasing strategies. Answers collected in the Pilot Study will provide valuable feedback about the way questions are worded and how the online survey flows. This information will be used to edit and refine the survey before distributing to the focus group. If you would like to participate in the Pilot Study for the purposes of reviewing and commenting on the survey itself, please post your contact information and I will send you a link to the survey. Thank you so very much!”

I hope to find a few folks willing to help out with the Pilot Study. If you would also like to participate in the Pilot Study, contact me at thinkphd@yahoo.com