Loughborough University
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Analyzing PhD supervision using the competing values framework

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posted on 2013-06-24, 09:29 authored by Xin Wang
This thesis provides an analysis of supervisory interactions between PhD supervisors and their students within social science disciplines, using the Competing Values Framework (CVF). Traditionally, such work has been conducted using a supervisor-centred perspective, and this thesis adds to the literature by adopting a student-centred view to look at supervisor's behaviours during the interaction, from a role performance perspective in light of the CVF. Drawing primarily on semi-structured interpersonal process recall interview data, the thesis considers a number of interlinking analytical themes. These can be divided into three broad groups. The first focuses on investigating the CVF roles that are adopted by the supervisor during the interaction and recognized by the students as important component parts of the most helpful supervisory moments. In line with the previous literature, I note that the most effective supervisory behaviours reflect the performance of all the eight CVF roles with the producer and the director occupying the dominant position. The second group is closely linked with the first and investigates CVF managerial roles represented by the least helpful supervision moments selected by the student. I note how PhD supervisors inadequate use, including both overuse and underuse of the CVF roles are related to the least effective supervisory moments. The director and the producer are again the most represented ones which are reported as being mostly underused. The third group analyses students advice on further improvements . In conclusion, I relate my analysis to existing literature and examined the contributions of the thesis to three main areas of research. This research finds that instances of positive and negative supervisee feedback reflect an increased influence of marketorientation and manageralism on research students and correspondingly inadequate use of managerial roles by supervisors.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


© Xin Wang

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en