Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



At United States online doctoral institutions, many doctoral candidates focus their dissertation research on study problems that emerge from professional practice, which may serve as a vital first experience and preparation for continued practitioner or practice-based research. Although there have been many definitions offered as to what constitutes workplace research, this scholarly reflection explores three essential considerations for duality (dual roles), positionality, and stance in a doctoral dissertation research problem originating from a doctoral candidate’s workplace setting or professional practice. As a doctoral scholar with a dual role as a workplace professional and doctoral candidate, the doctoral candidate must often shift perspective and negotiate the concurrent dual or multiple identities of workplace professional, doctoral learner, scholar, and independent researcher. When accomplished, workplace dissertation research may also serve to evolve the candidate’s enhanced perspectives, thereby preparing the candidate for continued practice-based research within the discipline that, in turn, may also expand the candidate’s views and solutions to post-doc workplace problems. For this scholarly reflection, we defined dual roles, positionality, and stance within the practitioner and practice-based research literature, and further describe our reflections of the experiences as two recent doctoral graduates and our dissertation committee chair. We used Moustakas’ critical self-analysis as a scholarly reflective mechanism in context with a critical review of the current literature to consider preparation for practice-based research through workplace dissertation research, and purport that these constructs need further exploration to better prepare doctoral candidates for practice-based research and to generate new knowledge during and following doctoral degree attainment.