Today is the last day of the nine day Pesach (Passover)/Easter holiday. I had been looking forward to this week for some time as it would give me an opportunity to do some serious work on my doctoral thesis.
My first task was to go over the thesis and reduce the number of references to Priority, normally replacing them with 'ERP'. This was because the thesis review (last November) pointed out that some of the thesis read like a consultant's pitch for Priority. It was easy to replace most instances, but in some places I simply deleted the offending sentence.
I then addressed the reviewer's concern that I hadn't quoted the seminal paper about multiple case studies - Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989): "Building theories from case study research", Academy of management review, 14(4), 532-550. This paper currently has over 50,000 citations! I quoted this paper for two separate reasons: the first was about the technique of case studies, and the second was about the number of case studies. The paper suggests that four to ten studies is the appropriate number.
This number makes life easier for me as at the moment I have five separate case studies with ten documented examples. I still want a few more, but this shows that I am getting close.
After sending the current version of the thesis to my supervisor, I then concentrated on writing up some of the interviews. I discovered that I lacked the English translations of some of the interviews - these may have been on the hard disk of the broken computer - so I worked on this again, as well as finally writing up the first interview which was for the pilot study.
I have a few more companies in my sights - it looks like that these companies will have to be 'interviewed' by having them fill in a questionnaire, as finding a suitable date for an interview seems to be very hard. If I do get results from these companies, then the research will be approaching the upper limit set by Eisenhardt.
I still have to find an amenable company which is using SAP Business One. It's hard enough to find any company which uses this system - I found a few, but received no answer from them.
My supervisor has scheduled a discussion for 10 May, which leaves me stranded for two weeks. I am then going on holiday to Greece, so it looks like no progress will be made during May. But all of the above means that I am much more optimistic about finishing the doctorate, and it appears that I might well be very close to finishing by the end of August. Then will come the stage of polishing.