Volume 3 Issue 1 (2007): Students' Reflections on Doing Research
Main Articles

A Portrait of the Researcher as a Boundary Crosser

Jacob D. Vakkayil
Xavier Institute of Management
Published May 2, 2007
  • doctoral research,
  • boundary-crossing,
  • research choices


This article traces the roots of the author’s doctoral work to his pre-doctoral experiences in varied realms of professional practice. The research choices made are thus inevitably influenced by these experiences. These include the selection of an interdisciplinary domain to locate his doctoral work, the choice of a “boundary object” as the unit of analysis and the formulation of a methodological mix that reflected the multidimensionality of the research topic. These choices also reflect the researcher’s quest for personal meaningfulness and consequently, a certain degree of irrationality that is characteristic of any human endeavor. The idea of creative research as negotiating the boundary of acceptability is explored and the importance of freedom and tolerance for experimentation to aid this enterprise is highlighted.