The purpose of this qualitative study was to find out how PhD faculty mentors
guide their doctoral researcher mentees during the dissertation-writing journey;
specifically, how they help mentees to develop their conceptual and theoretical
framework, research literature and write their chapter 2 literature reviews. Discussions
that take place during the initial phases of planning for research questions, and the
process of reviewing and selecting of relevant literature were highlighted by participants
in their responses to 3 email interview questionnaires. While chapter 4 discussed how
data coding and initial analysis tasks were made by hand at the first-level (Janesick,
2011; Saldana, 2013; Schreier, 2012), and included organizing of theme categories and
properties (or subtopic themes) (Miles & Huberman, 2009), this chapter will report on
findings from a second level of coding and analysis done with Dedoose (2015). Further,
theme categories and properties were created utilizing concepts from phenomenological
methods of Moustakas (1995), Husserl (1931) and others. The findings were visualized
using figures and tables, and triangulated with journal notes from the researcher’s
experience during the work. Next, analysis of the findings was expanded by working
with previously reviewed literature from chapter 2’s literature review, and focused upon
theoretical and conceptual topics which were part of the study’s framework for
interpretive strategy. Finally, this chapter discussed limitations identified in this study,
some possible implications for professional practice, and concluded with some
recommendations for future research.

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Summary of the Findings

At various places in previous chapters qualitative coding and analysis steps have
been discussed relating to first-level organizing of codes and themes that emerged from
close-reading of participant interview text data. Moustakas (1995) recommended that
participant insights should be initially considered without interpretation, allowing for
meaning to emerge from the data, and rather organized for themes through identifying
with Husserl’s (1913) essence of lifeworld, and inter-subjectivity; or, studying of a
phenomena or person with an un-reflected position of inference. This also relates to
considering the relationship between the real objects of the world of intentionality and the
perceivers’ essence of consciousness, known as noema, noematic core, and noesis
(Husserl, 1913). Inferring meaning from participant interview text data was done by
creating overarching themed categories and capturing supporting details in properties. As
stated in chapter 2, transcendental phenomenological reduction was described as the
researcher’s work of viewing the phenomena with fresh eyes, in an open way, in its
totality, with essential variations, constituent parts, colors, and feelings (Husserl, 1931).
Essential variations as a construct was noted by creation of the properties.

Moustakas (1995) adapted those thinking phases along with imaginative
variation, which was part of the researcher’s reflective thinking on describing other
possible cognitions about a phenomenon; and thus, offering a structure of conceptual
frames for varying descriptions (Husserl, 1931). First-level coding and analysis was noted
by Saldana (2013) as an “analytic pathway [that] should feel as if you are grasping
specificity and complexity- not complication” (p. 66). Together with phenomenological
thinking, the categories and properties were initially created.

Second-level coding with software and analytic memoing was utilized to
‘transcend data’ (Saldana, 2013; Moustakas, 1995; Mezirow, 1994), or go beyond
apparent concepts or constructs to arrive at further meaning construction. Miles and
Huberman (1994) described second-level coding and analysis (sometimes called ‘secondcycle
methods’), through pattern coding: “explanatory or inferential codes, ones that
identify an emergent theme, configuration or explanation. They pull together a lot of
material into a more meaningful and parsimonious unit of analysis” (p. 69). In second-level
analysis, Saldana (2013) discussed how theoretical coding (sometimes called
conceptual coding) can ‘integrate’ and ‘synthesize’ previously created categories and
properties into an overarching central or core themed category (p. 225). Miles and
Huberman (1994) suggested that those forms of analysis could be presented through
“illustrative charts, matrices, diagrams” (as cited in Saldana, 2013, p. 228).

Illustrative findings for software-aided analysis will be presented as visual constructs in the
following sections, in an attempt to pull together theoretical and conceptual constructs
from the previous literature reviewed in chapter 2. Constructs and context for research as
modeled by Knight and Cross (2012) are also utilized as part of the analysis.