Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research

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Managing Power Relations in Doctoral Education through Research Mentoring

Ofojebe Wenceslaus, Eyiuche Ifeoma Olibie


Research is central to doctoral education in universities around the globe. The ability of a student to successfully complete the doctoral research is largely dependent on the power relations between the student and the supervisor. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how power relations could be managed through research mentoring. Drawing mainly on the power theory of Foucault, this paper examines the power relations existing in research supervision. It explores the importance of mentoring as a key to managing such power relations. Mentoring is an empowering process of nurturing students with sufficient tools for research. The conditions for managing power relations in research mentoring as discussed in the paper include supervisors’ knowledge, skills and experience, leadership, communication, and student responsibility.

Keyword: Doctoral Research, Power Relation, Mentoring, Leadership, Communication

LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 9(3), 28-40, 2012

AJOL African Journals Online