2.9.21

I sit to write at my table on the official second day of my PhD research.

I am still very excited about receiving the news from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) that my research proposal for the Doctoral Grant for Teachers has been approved for the next 5 years.

In Dutch the phrase for conducting a PhD is called a PhD promotie or promotieonderzoek (promotion research). From these local phrases of a PhD trajectory, I gather that I am promoted or to be promoted in 5 years from now to hold the title “dr.”. However, judging from the first day of my PhD research which I wastefully spent on being overly occupied with changing my various email signatures, motion or pro-motion was not one of the main focus points. Rather, a more paralyzing fear creeped up revolving around how to fill the knowledge void or knowledge gap that supposedly my PhD was to fill.

Once settled on an appropriate email signature I could devote some time to reflect on my initial research proposal that asks to better understand the role of embodiment (or “the body”/Lichaam in Dutch) in knowledge-based organizations. Checking in on how “our” bodies feel, while being part of a larger social order of other bodies, seemed like a good starting point at the time.

However, what creeped up in the first moments of conducting my pro-motie-onderzoek felt more like an anti-motie-onderzoek. Not being aware of the dynamic and unpredictable nature of any research, I tried to fixate my bodily and mental state in a static and disembodied digital signature. Now, on my second day of research, I realize that not knowing how this research will “come to life” is a good first move.

Also interested in questions about “The body in organizations”? Get in touch! o.benshimon@hhs.nl / LinkedIn.

Ohad Ben Shimon is a writer, researcher and educator with a background in cognitive sciences, psychology, cultural analysis and art. He is currently Senior Lecturer Critical Thinking/ Business Communication & Researcher of Change Management at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. His research focuses on how to affirmatively include, value, care for, and perform bodies in organizations.

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