May 2015 round-up

A belated round up, as the last few days of May (and first ones in June) were very busy, including a couple of big pieces of work due around the same time. Murphy’s law!

Funnily enough, my #5pm pictures reflect exactly that: work features heavily in this month’s pictures, either directly (i.e., I was sitting at my desk, working), or indirectly (i.e., I was doing something else, like shuttling the kids to extra curricular classes, but I had taken work with me).


What did May bring you? My highlights are summarised below.


One survey piloted, and another almost ready to be piloted, meaning that June will be a month of data collection.

In addition, I had a really positive meeting with a company working in the customer service arena to discuss avenues for collaboration. We identified two streams of work that we could do together, including specific projects for the short and the medium terms.

I also had some discussions with colleagues in another university about developing a research grant application to work together on analysis of Twitter data. As you may remember, from my March 2015 round-up post, there is huge pressure on academics in England to attract research funding, which has some merits but is an extremely time consuming and frustrating exercise.

So, in terms of research pipeline, May was a very exciting, and very promising month.


Two papers submitted; and big revisions made to a third paper, followed by submission.

Whipped a fourth paper into shape, which is now with my co-authors for input; and contributed to a fifth one, where I am not the lead author.

DarkSideCover_zps9e4e743aAlso made final, minor corrections to the ‘Dark Side of CRM’ book, which is coming out in September. I am completely biased, of course, but I think that this is a really interesting book, and I cannot wait for it to hit the shelves. It is an edited book, which brings together the views from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) experts from academia and industry, to define and explore the dark side of CRM across the themes of customers, relationships and management. The book has lots of examples, and really brings to light how bad behaviours by both firms and customers impact on perceptions of trust and fairness, loyalty, endorsements and, ultimately, profitability.


No teaching this month, as I am still on sabbatical.


Quite a few learning opportunities, this month.

At the start of the month, I joined (virtually) in Google’s Education on Air event, and was delighted, entertained and, above, all inspired. You can catch some of the events here. I absolutely loved James Sanders’ session “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse” session, which was a seriously fun way to get people to work together, using tools such as Google Maps, and, my favourite, Check the video – I think that James’s ideas are applicable outside of the classroom, too. Maybe for your next meeting?


A few days later, I had some training about how to investigate and respond to student complaints, which was a great reminder of the benefits and importance of putting things in writing.

IMG_7235Then, on the following week, I went to London for a workshop on ‘Researching Digital’, where various scholars shared experiences about (you guessed it) researching digital phenomena. We heard from work in areas as diverse as crypto currencies to digital drugs.


At another level, I learned a lot about British History, from Boudica and the Iceni tribes, to rationing and wartime shelters, by helping child 2 prepare for his end of year exam.

And last, but not least, I learned a lot about myself and about my work. Three completely different and independent events required me to discuss with others the ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘so what’ of my work. And that, in turn, forced me to think very carefully about those same questions. It was a really great exercise to reflect on why I made certain choices at key points of my career, and what the consequences of those choices were; but, also, to define where I expect my path to take me. I am feeling reenergised by knowing / remembering where I am heading.

What were May’s highlights for you? Do you have a clear path ahead of you, or is it all looking a bit unclear at the moment?

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