Mining the Diamonds

Mining the Diamonds--Our top takeaways from the Diamonds in the Rough (DIR) PDW

By Kylie Rochford, Keimei Sugiyama, and Tiffany Schroeder, doctoral students at Weatherhead School of Management. 


With the encouragement of our fearless leader, JP Stephens, who has diligently encouraged our participation in the MOC Division we (Kylie Rochford, Keimei Sugiyama, and Tiffany Schroeder) applied to the DIR PDW. To our great delight, we were all accepted into the PDW giving us the opportunity to learn from the diamonds of our field--the amazing presenters and facilitators in the PDW. Our shared expectation going into the PDW was to gain some pragmatic advice for forming our scholarly identities and building our careers. DIR exceeded these expectations by offering a unique opportunity for personalized mini-mentoring sessions, expanding beyond the typical list of do’s and don’ts. DIR also provided a warm welcome into a diverse community of scholars eager to share a wealth of knowledge and experience. We are writing this blog to pay-it-forward and share our top takeaways from DIR.


Equifinality in the field of diamonds

As with all open systems, there are many pathways to polishing the diamond and many different diamonds to choose from. Those choices include breadth and depth in topic, method, and publication strategy. Any combination of decisions within each of these areas can support a meaningful career, depending of course, on what your ideal outcome looks like. Here’s some of the advice we heard at the PDW to inform our decision making:



– There are advantages and disadvantages to how widely or narrowly you choose to bound your research stream.  When your interests and topic choices are narrowly bound, you may find it easier to become ‘known’ in your field, your identity will be less ambiguous as you enter the job market, and it will be easier to show a coherent research stream. However, having broader research stream can help you make unique linkages between different research streams, keep you engaged through a long career, and can increase the number of publications, particularly if you are interested in niche areas.

– Regardless of how widely or narrowly you bound your research stream, you should have good explanation ready as to why you have interests in so many areas and link them together.



– Present yourself at job talks as the scholar you want to be, and don’t feel pressured to have a job talk using a method that may seem more mainstream--If you are a qualitative scholar, embrace it!

– Qualitative research is “exploding”!

– You can use collaborations as a way to expand you methods portfolio.


Publication Strategy

– Put yourself in a position to pick up speed as you go: Build up your research pipeline and get on an editorial review board as early advantages accumulate (e.g., lower teaching loads due to productivity create even more productivity and even more favorable teaching loads down the road).

– You get by with a little help from your friends: Ask for friendly reviews from scholars who have published more than once in your target journal.

– Submit to the board not the journal: When deciding on your target journal, make sure you understand who is on the editorial board and who might be friendly to your research.


Most importantly – make it yours, and set yourself up to do the work you love. This involves support, hard work, proactivity, and a willingness to ask for and hear others’ critiques and advice. We’re happy to have built on some of these elements here and hope that this advice will help others continue to build their momentum.