My DBA Journey: The Autumn – Things Are Moving on Slowly But Hopefully Surely

According to my study plan I should be much further with my writing than what the present situation is.

Riitta Lumme-Tuomala, 01.12.2014

But I guess this is how it will be until the final goal is reached. Presumably I should add “hopefully” to “reaching the goal”…

The hours in a day are as scarce as always, and I am still struggling with regularity and discipline. As to disciplines, the academic ones; one of them I have been totally apprehensive, almost agonized, about is quantitative research methods. As much as I was thrilled about the qualitative course reading articles using research methods including focus groups, discourse analysis to mention a couple, equally much I have feared the chi-squares, clusters, regression analysis etc.

During my sessions on Quantitative methods with professor Kajalo, in my books the real wizard of quantitative methods, I not only understood the basics of the methods, and where to use them, I also made a tentative decision to use one of the methods in one of my future articles. This, naturally, provided that I am able to get all the needed data. Based on accurate research questions carefully designed… The software, SPSS, will do the data crunching in no time; well I naturally need to be able to use it correctly. But with a little help from my supervisors, I will

Who would have believed, not me!  After my quantitative method lectures I have gone back to several quantitative articles and they really have opened to me in a totally different way. Conquering one of my academic fears, that of quantitative methods, is a small step to academia but a great leap to me! Especially when one of the two exams I flunked in my master studies back in the day, was the course on quantitative methods.

Academy of Management Conference, Philadelphia, August 2014

Before the start of a very busy autumn both in terms of work and studies, I attended the Academy of Management (AOM) conference in Philadelphia in August.

A week in the US brought a couple of superlatives and firsts about. It was my first ever academic conference and absolutely the biggest conference I have ever attended; with 10 000 participants from all over the world the feeling was almost overwhelming. I will not bore you with the arrangements, registrations looking for venues and understanding the system of papers, PDWs, caucuses…  I had experienced colleagues helping me out and giving me advice on how to move around in the academic jungle and how to make the most of it all. 

The sessions I attended, from 8.00 a.m. to 6 p.m., were interesting and educative to put it mildly. On the last day of the conference, the HR-track had a paper session on the topic of Talent Management, which finally gave me the courage to comment and challenge the authors. It also gave me confidence to try to get a paper to the next AOM conference in Vancouver. The schedule is more than challenging, the date for submissions is the 13th of January. The stress level is consequently high, but so is my ambition level, well so far at least.

I will not reveal the topic of my eventual submission. I will save that for later. Telling you all that I am planning to do it in the first place, most probably puts so much pressure on me that I at least submit something for review.

This is all for now. I want to wish you all a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and all the best for the New Year!

Yours, Riitta

Riitta Lumme-Tuomala is Head of Growth and Director, Russia and Talent Management at Aalto EE.
Aalto Executive DBA is a structured doctoral level program for individuals with considerable managerial experience who wish to make a significant contribution to the enhancement of professional practice. The program is organized by Aalto EE Helsinki.

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