What question would you research?

by Lee Hopkins on September 25, 2006 · 16 comments

in miscellaneous

What question would YOU research?

I am seriously thinking of reading for a Doctorate in Communications at one of the three very fine universities here in Adelaide. If I am able to show that my research is relevant to PR as a profession, there is also the possibility of a grant to help with fees and to speed the process along (because I could then study full-time, rather than part-time).

Part of the application process involves writing a 4,500 word piece on a topic of my choice that would form part of my research focus. Were this to be a simple one-year course of study I would probably look at the implications and impact of social media on employee communications, however as the course is potentially of three years duration (full time) and more likely six years (part time), such a narrow focus would be foolish, as the internet has shown itself to be spectacularly adept at ‘moving on’ despite earnest researchers’ desires to slow it down while they measure it.

I’ve wandered through the IABC research area for ideas, but so far nothing has ‘grabbed’ me. But then again, I am not the world’s best strategic thinker — I am more a tactician than strategist when it comes to the ‘big issues’.

Therefore I turn to my colleagues-in-arms: what thoughts do you have around issues in business communication and what would you, given a free hand, like to research?


Technorati : , ,

  • http://www.author-izer.com/ Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with “s

    Will they let you do your PhD on New Media, Social Networking, and PR? Then you could hang out in Second Life and get doctored for doing what you’re already doing, ‘Professor’ Hopkins.

  • http://www.author-izer.com Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with “sketch”

    Will they let you do your PhD on New Media, Social Networking, and PR? Then you could hang out in Second Life and get doctored for doing what you’re already doing, ‘Professor’ Hopkins.

  • http://overtonecomm.blogspot.com/ Kami Huyse

    Don’t measure or study the tools, but more broadly look at open and closed communication systems in employee communication. What effects do each have and what is the most effective way to reach employees? Through one-way communication tools or a more interactive model. For instance, the great book “Leading Change” talks about incorporating change messages into everyday activities, like employee meetings with supervisors, to get out a change message. The author supposes this works better than,or at least should be used in concert with, “official” channels like newsletters, speeches, etc.

  • http://overtonecomm.blogspot.com/ Kami Huyse

    Don’t measure or study the tools, but more broadly look at open and closed communication systems in employee communication. What effects do each have and what is the most effective way to reach employees? Through one-way communication tools or a more interactive model. For instance, the great book “Leading Change” talks about incorporating change messages into everyday activities, like employee meetings with supervisors, to get out a change message. The author supposes this works better than,or at least should be used in concert with, “official” channels like newsletters, speeches, etc.

  • http://www.leehopkins.net/ Lee

    Thanks, team! Kami’s idea is a great one, especially if I am looking for someone to sponsor me and pick up some of the fees (they could get direct benefit from my research).

    However, Sallie’s idea just gets the hairs on the back of my neck tingling with excitement — I think I will change ‘Second Life’ for ‘Alternative Online Virtual Universes’ and shape something up along those lines. No one will help sponsor me, I’m sure, but by goodness it will be an exciting research. Mind you, my research will join the list of ‘Bizarre PhD Research Projects”, like “The ToeNail Clippings of Marie Antoinette and Their Implication in Her Demise” or something… :-)

  • http://www.leehopkins.net Lee

    Thanks, team! Kami’s idea is a great one, especially if I am looking for someone to sponsor me and pick up some of the fees (they could get direct benefit from my research).

    However, Sallie’s idea just gets the hairs on the back of my neck tingling with excitement — I think I will change ‘Second Life’ for ‘Alternative Online Virtual Universes’ and shape something up along those lines. No one will help sponsor me, I’m sure, but by goodness it will be an exciting research. Mind you, my research will join the list of ‘Bizarre PhD Research Projects”, like “The ToeNail Clippings of Marie Antoinette and Their Implication in Her Demise” or something… :-)

  • http://www.instituteforPR.com/ sean williams

    How about “Quantifying Employee Understanding and its effect on revenues” — ooh, wait, I want to study that one…

  • http://www.instituteforPR.com sean williams

    How about “Quantifying Employee Understanding and its effect on revenues” — ooh, wait, I want to study that one…

  • http://leehopkins.net/ Lee

    WOW – nice one, Sean!

  • http://leehopkins.net Lee

    WOW – nice one, Sean!

  • Patrick

    If I were to focus all my time on business communication, I would focus on the intercommunication of businesses. Though businesses have working communication, something gets lost in translation. For instance, the head-honcho, boss-man establishes a goal that is meant for continuous reaching. After about a month, the company slows down its progression toward that goal and retreats back to its original state of monotony. I would want to find out how a goal can be maintained and how staff or a team would keep trying for that goal. Companies are successful, I know this, but every company goes through something similar to what I’m talking about. This is just a thought from a young American.

  • Patrick

    If I were to focus all my time on business communication, I would focus on the intercommunication of businesses. Though businesses have working communication, something gets lost in translation. For instance, the head-honcho, boss-man establishes a goal that is meant for continuous reaching. After about a month, the company slows down its progression toward that goal and retreats back to its original state of monotony. I would want to find out how a goal can be maintained and how staff or a team would keep trying for that goal. Companies are successful, I know this, but every company goes through something similar to what I’m talking about. This is just a thought from a young American.

  • http://leehopkins.net/ Lee Hopkins

    Hi Patrick,

    Being young or even American [grin] doesn’t make a difference — your view is as valid as anyone else’s here, mate! Great question – thanks!

  • http://leehopkins.net Lee Hopkins

    Hi Patrick,

    Being young or even American [grin] doesn’t make a difference — your view is as valid as anyone else’s here, mate! Great question – thanks!

  • Pingback: CommsCafe.com » Chat #21: PhDs and Value-Based Fees - these are a few of our favourite things

  • Pingback: Lee Hopkins: Better Communication Results - business communication, online, blog and podcast consultant

Previous post:

Next post: