This case summarizes a personal experience in the choice of methods for a doctoral study. The author studied strategic configurations in nongovernmental organizations in Uganda. He highlights the practical challenges he faced in conceptualization and philosophical design. He had all the thoughts of what best fitted his choice of concepts and the theoretical framework. Along the way, however, the author finds several decision points that required thinking to and between the concepts, the methods, and the context. The case gives real-life practical incidences of making decisions regarding doctoral study. In the case, the researcher was confronted with preconceived assumptions of what it would take to complete the study and had chosen what he calls quick fix methods, namely, a quantitative survey design. This would enable him to reach out to the nongovernmental organizations, identify three top executives per organization, and receive their responses to run analyses to determine the fit of the model. He was later to discover that a deeper synthesis of the literature proposed a wider application of techniques. This stretched him into considering secondary data, but importantly later to choose and actually apply mixed methods for the entire project. The case highlights personal insights in making these critical decisions and the satisfaction that came with it much later. The case proposes lessons for graduate students as they embark on their dissertations
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