n South African Journal of Higher Education - Negotiating the emotions of change : research, restructuring and the doctoral student

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article is a reflective account of the emotions generated by the research journey, and the challenges these pose for doctoral students, particularly when researching organisations and topics close to their interests and background. By reflecting on my experience, and engaging with the literature to explore other novice researchers' reflective accounts of their research journey, I identify a host of emotions that are generated by the ideological, political and methodological facets of the research. I argue that doctoral students are ill-prepared to deal with the emotions of their research and are often attempted to ignore or control these emotions. This reduces the researchers' ability to engage fully with the process, it limits the data that could be collected, and results in unresolved emotional dilemmas. The article proposes that doctoral students may be better prepared to manage their emotions if they would be exposed to researchers' accounts (such as this one) on the role of emotions in research.

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