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Journal Article

Never Smile at a Crocodile: A bad Viva Voce by the rule book  pp67-73

Dan Remenyi

© Jun 2019 Volume 17 Issue 2, Editor: Paul Griffiths, pp55 - 99

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Abstract

This is a narrative, the objective of which is to open a conversation about some aspects of how doctoral degrees are examined. The focus here is on a viva voce which was conducted for a mature candidate who had been registered for his doctorate for some 10 years and who came close to failing this examination. The narrative presented is a description of a viva voce examination which was conducted by the rule book and resulted in what is described here as an outcome which the degree candidate and his supervisors regarded as unfortunate. There was no misconduct on the part of anyone but some mistakes were made by the degree candidate during the examination in that the candidate did not answer well the questions put to him and the examiners did not attempt to correct him or assist him with his nervousness, which was quite apparent. As a result, the candidate’s examination performance was regarded by all to be poor. The problem which caused this unfortunate event, it is argued, lay in the lack of concentration on the part of the degree candidate and the absence of what John Maynard Keynes once referred to as the goodwill of the examiners, which was in short supply (Checkland, 1981). This narrative and the accompanying reflections reveal how delicate the viva voce process actually is and why in its current form it may need a thorough review. The paper concludes with the suggestion that the viva voce needs reform.

 

Keywords: Viva voce examinations, the Defence, examination goodwill, viva voce reform, examination bias, rewriting dissertations

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 17 Issue 2 / Jun 2019  pp55‑99

Editor: Paul Griffiths

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Keywords: Researcher, PhD, Academic, Career, Success, Challenges, Research uptake, Research quality, Viva voce examinations, the Defence, examination goodwill, viva voce reform, examination bias, rewriting dissertations, Research topic, significant research, publication, generation, initiation, Delphi Method; research method; information system; literature review; qualitative research

 

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