I'm finishing a really messed up dissertation. Maybe decent in some sense, but all the PhD has been done without following any of the supposed methodology and criteria. Since I'm in a sort of arm wrestling with the supervisor from years and since I didn't miss the chance of exposing some soft versions of my PhD nightmare, I think that my supervisor might act in the following ways:
- Helping to actually finish successfully the PhD so that all the issues will be silenced and hidden under a carpet. This might imply inviting examiners that are under his influence and pretending that everything is alright.
- Otherwise, he might bring me to the viva knowing that the research cannot be accepted and exposing all its shortcomings.
This last one would open to two possibilities:
- Asking the changes that he expected from the beginning of my research (independently from their actual value)
- Making me failed so that I can take all the blame without having any chance to expose his responsibilities and delegitimize any possible retaliation I can do
I have the feeling that the only thing he wants to avoid is that I leave the PhD, because in that case he is powerless over me and I can actually expose the problems that occurred and ruin his reputation.
For this reason I'm trying to understand what is on the stake for the supervisor if I succeed, if I fail or if I abandon. I would like to know how this might affect his reputation and/or his role in the institution, or if any of these options would not change much (in positive or negative) for him.
I'm asking this, also for another reason: in any case and at any moment, I never perceived that my supervisor expected or had any interest in having me doing a great job. I have the feeling that this doesn't really matter to him. The only thing that matters is the utility that this research can have for his personal, social, institutional purposes.