I recently got approved by the thesis committee at college to do some research in financial services, and leadership styles. The paper would have revolved around particular styles of leadership required of PMs. This type of research would have been new in both the area (financial services), as well as in Ireland in general.

However, today I got an email, from the leading academic in the field, saying that the research questionnaire is no longer available, as the author has retired. Further, they suggested that there is no questionnaires, now available, that deal with this topic in any meaningful way.

I'm now left with the prospect either finding a new topic, or ...... I'm not sure what?

I'm currently in a bit of a tailspin, as it is still early Monday morning, and not the way I hoped to start the week. Obviously, I'm not the first person to have this happen. I realise that I need to contact my supervisor ASAP, but I'm wondering what else I can, or should, be doing?

closed as unclear what you're asking by aparente001, scaaahu, RoboKaren, user3209815, Wrzlprmft Mar 15 '17 at 8:18

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    Have you tried contacting the retired author of the questionnaire? Have you thought about how you might go about creating an appropriate questionnaire for the research questions you were interested in? – aparente001 Mar 14 '17 at 14:20
  • @aparente001 I've done some research on the author, but it looks like he has closed down the company he was associated with, and the academic email addresses bounce back. I'll be meeting with my supervisor tomorrow, to discuss this, but it looks like I may have to amend the research because of it. With regards to creating the questions myself, it is an interesting thought, but I may need to consider the time factors involved. – Clauric Mar 14 '17 at 14:25
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    Well, I'm really not sure what rabbit you expected us to pull out our hat. – aparente001 Mar 14 '17 at 17:47
  • I was more wondering what others had done in this situation. E.g. did they go back to the drawing board, or did they simply highlight the issue as a limitation or obstacle and continue. – Clauric Mar 14 '17 at 17:49
  • I guess if I were in this situation I would spend some time on each possible branch, so as to be prepared to meet with my advisor. // Are you sure that you've done your due diligence in terms of attempting to contact someone in the guy's former department, or a former collaborator? What about an online phone directory, a telegram, an expressmail letter? Try to focus on persistence and problem solving, avoiding panic as much as possible. – aparente001 Mar 14 '17 at 17:56

To avoid such problems many datasets are given to depositories, e.g. the ICPSR, GESIS, or DANS. Have you looked there?

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I had a look on the databases, but there does not seem to be anything close to the questionnaire. I'll keep on looking through others I found. – Clauric Mar 13 '17 at 9:21

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