Friday, October 08, 2010

Thesis Committee Meeting

I have my first Thesis Committee meeting this afternoon....it's the first time my whole committee will have met together, and I'll be challenged to defend the development of my research model and provide strong reasoning for the individual variables I'll be testing: Social capital, social norms, and personal financial capital -- all in the context of the formation of entrepreneurial intent.

Just yesterday during a meeting with the Chair of my committee we had a big breakthrough with some new (or rather newly evaluated) network theory research -- I'm so excited about the new direction we're headed. My topic and research interests are so broad that we've had trouble narrowing it down to a very specific research question, but now it's all coming together.  

I'll be looking at how the social networks of young entrepreneurs may predict entrepreneurial intent.  Views and opinions on entrepreneurial pursuits vary widely between my generation and that of the "old Russia;" this is largely a result of the communist ban on entrepreneurship and propaganda which condemned the pursuits of personal capital gain.  With this in mind, and considering that the people whom one value's and with whom one interacts the most, most influence his or her social norms, you can see how it would be interesting to find out what a young Russian entrepreneur's social network looks like.  To throw one more variable in there, I'm going to investigate a potential relationship between personal financial capital (monetary resources that the individual has sole authority over) and the presence of entrepreneurial intent, with regards to the entrepreneur's social network.  
This probably sounds confusing....it is. It's one of those things where sometimes I think I have a complete grasp of the picture, and then I lose it for a second, and then it's back.  I'm still in the process of solidifying the model. 

I'm also finding out, through this thesis-writing process, that I'm not very good at setting aside time to just sit and think.  In fact, I don't ever do that.  My focus is always on produce, produce, produce.....papers, presentations, powerpoints, applications to a plethora of scholarships and study abroad programs.  So now that I'm faced with an academic assignment for which the solution isn't obvious, I'm struggling to force myself to sit down, not DO anything, and just think. 
This process has been so much more demanding than I originally thought, and I can honestly say that I've never been pushed so hard academically.  It helps to have some truly encouraging faculty here.

All I'm hoping for this afternoon is that my whole prospectus isn't torn to shreds, and that a least one small bit of integrity will be found in my model. Wish me luck.

1 comments:

  1. I'm sitting at the desk right now, and I'm praying for you. Your prospectus sounds brilliant to me, and I'm sure the Thesis Committee will be appreciative. May God bless your endeavors. :) -CDA

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