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ERIC Number: EJ977117
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-2046-9012
Power and Emotion in Doctoral Supervision: Implications for HRD
Doloriert, Clair; Sambrook, Sally; Stewart, Jim
European Journal of Training and Development, v36 n7 p732-750 2012
Purpose: In this paper the authors seek to argue that doctoral supervision is one type of human resource development relationship in higher education (HE), and that this relationship may be close or distanced, and involve technical and social support. The paper aims to highlight the seldom-discussed aspects of power and emotion within doctoral supervision, with specific focus on the feedback process, suggesting that students and supervisors may not be adequately developed for their roles. Design/methdolology/approach: The authors conducted two small cumulative studies in the UK, involving a small focus group and a national survey of students and supervisors. The focus of the first study is to elucidate potentially influential variables in the supervisory relationship. The second study builds on emergent themes relating to forms of supervision (dimensions, structure and support) with specific focus on manifestations of power and emotion. Findings: The focus group findings exemplify the power and emotion that pervades doctoral research. Key survey findings relating to power within the doctoral relationship suggest that students perceived their supervisors as having less power than themselves. With respect to emotion, the findings suggest a low level of emotion management on the part of students, who are unaware of displaying or even experiencing their emotions. As the most frequent reason for meeting, students and supervisors need to see feedback as being positive for self-development, but also need to be aware of the power and emotion dimensions of this sensitive aspect of doctoral supervision. Research limitations/implications: Although both studies were small, the authors' findings do contribute to developing a more sophisticated understanding of the forms, power and emotion of doctoral supervision. However, further research is required to identify whether these issues are pertinent to UK students and supervisors alone, or whether they transcend national cultures and higher education systems. Practical implications: The research finds that supervisors appear to learn about supervision through reflecting upon how they were supervised as students. This raises important issues for HRD in higher education for staff development. It also brings into focus how both students and supervisors are developed in recognising and dealing with their emotions, identifying and controlling shifting power dynamics, giving and receiving feedback and managing their evolving relationship. Originality/value: Few studies have explored the power and emotion of doctoral supervision, yet dealing with these requires academic staff and student development. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom