Anindita Banerjee

Country of origin: India

Teaching Fellow, University of York

My route to doctoral studies began at the Centre of Economic Studies and Planning at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, in Economics a couple of decades earlier.

Subsequently, I defected to the field of Management Studies, and worked as an Instructional Assistant at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for four years. Afterwards, following a hiatus from formal education, I studied on the MRes ITMOC programme at Lancaster University Management School with the hope of undertaking doctoral research thereafter.

The MRes programme at Lancaster taught me how to look at the worlds of technology and organisation in a less technical light, different from my earlier learning and beliefs gathered from popular management textbooks. The course modules were interesting and challenging, and the faculty who taught on the courses gave us ample opportunity to begin thinking about topics covered with a more research-focused bend of mind. More than anything else, the research modules provided me with an opportunity to get acquainted with essential steps for doing research in the field of management and organisation studies. I got an opportunity to choose and be allocated an extremely interesting topic for my MRes dissertation. I further developed it during my PhD years.

My research is interdisciplinary and it looks at the development of management theories though an historical lens. For my doctoral studies my focus was on Sociotechnical Systems theory, a post-World War II British contribution to management and organisation studies, with empirical roots in India’s post-Independence years. The Department of Organisation, Work and Technology at Lancaster was my obvious choice because it provided the best research environment for the research I wanted to do. The topic was already there for me and my academic supervisors, Professor Brian Bloomfield and Professor Bill Cooke, provided for me the best opportunities to learn sensitively. They have also been infinitely understanding of my other binding commitments. Several faculty members, students and staff in the department have contributed to my development in innumerable ways, particularly by providing invaluable insights for teaching, research and PhD survival in general. The library is excellent and the staff members are extremely helpful. I have also been able to talk to faculty and students from other departments at Lancaster and get help when I have needed it.

My PhD journey was one of the best in my life. It gave me the opportunities to learn, teach, think, attend weekly departmental research seminars, attend conferences and workshops and organise conferences too. It also provided me with opportunities to go out and enjoy spending time with colleagues, faculty, guest speakers and other academics.

Like all PhD work, mine was very special to me, and also like all others it was never without its challenges.  But, staunchly following Constantine Cavafy’s famous poem ‘Ithaka’, I always kept the PhD in my mind. Now when I look back I cannot agree more with him--the PhD gave me the marvellous journey; I would never have set out otherwise.