Following on from the previous blog on this topic: my supervisor referred me to the book "Change management - a guide to effective implementation" by Robert A. Paton and James McCalman. It seems that my supervisor was a colleague of at least one of these authors and has published joint papers with one or the other. I was lucky to find a PDF scan of the book on the Internet - I converted it to a form which the Kindle can handle, but this was fairly incomprehensible - so I read the PDF. This was an extremely interesting document and it seemed that almost on every page I could find something to include in my thesis. I think that I got up to about page 70 and found so much that I had to stop! There are about eight references to this book scattered around the thesis.
After this, I turned my attention to the final chapters: the data collected in the research and my conclusions from them. The external reviewer pointed out that this material was extremely thin and needed more work. When I looked at the case studies report chapter, I was shocked at how little I had written here, so the comment by the external reviewer is correct.
The first thing which I did was to move the few conclusions which I had written from one central section to each question (i.e. the conclusions regarding question 1 were placed after question 1, etc). Then I started work on enhancing these conclusions. Maybe at first this went quite slowly but after a while I discovered that I was adding quite a lot of new material. I would work on this one day, adding material, then look at the chapter the next day, editing what I had written before and adding even more material.
This process has gone on for two weeks and whilst the chapter has not doubled in size, it is certainly much much larger. I added to the case studies another enhancement which had been developed recently in my company; there were some interesting insights to be gleaned from this case. Of course, it didn't hurt that another enhancement added more material to the chapter.
The subject of pilot studies caught my attention: some of the interviewees mentioned that they had carried out a pilot study but the data weren't necessarily representative of data found 'in the wild'. This topic occupied me for a few days: I was hoping to find some academic literature on how to choose data for testing, but I didn't look very hard and couldn't find anything. A day or two later, I could write that sometimes a 'proof of concept' is developed that inadvertently becomes the final procedure; a proof of concept will naturally work on data which is known to be good and deliberately is not tested on 'pathological' data. I think that this is good material.
This morning I was working on the thesis again, this time (once again) writing about user resistance. At first I wrote something about user ambivalence, but then the old topic of knowledge hoarding came to mind. This is one of the ten most read blog entries of mine and it is very suitable for the thesis, so I included part of it, rewritten to the thesis style.
Let's see what my supervisor says about this version. There is one area which is still weak - the philosophical basis of the research. This part seems so unnecessary to me: after all, the research committee knows this material much better than I, but I understand that they want to see that I understand it too.