Finding your feet

Welcome to the first post on the Family Business PhD Blog. I am a PhD student at the University of Salford in the UK, researching the fascinating and volatile area of family businesses.



It’s my first month, so I’m still thrashing around in the literature and occasionally coming up for air. Finding my research question will take a while, as I am easily distracted. So far, I’ve found the following tools invaluable:

  • EndNote: satisfies my hunter-gatherer instincts for amassing huge amounts of (unread) articles
  • Inspiration: a mind-mapping tool which is great for capturing links between theories
  • Excel: I have a dorky spreadsheet which has one row per journal article and one column for the following: Journal Title; Journal Author; Themes; Methodology; Link to Family Business; Link to other research questions; Strengths; Weaknesses

I’m also finding the chocolate vending machine one floor down from my desk quite a handy little tool.

What tools did you find useful in your first month? What fell by the wayside as you got into your PhD…




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