Had I not been a part-time student, this book would never have been written. My original (full-time) qualifications were in History of Art. However, my present career as a writer and an academic has developed as a consequence of gaining, from Lancaster University (where I now teach), an MBA and a PhD, both on a part-time basis. So the thanks below are due not only to those who have been with me through the process of writing this book, but also those who supported me during my previous years of part-time study.
First and foremost I would like to thank Tony and my parents Pam and Max for all their support while I undertook my MBA and my PhD. A very special thanks is owed to Tony, who lived through the PhD experience and was encouraging throughout. And thanks are due to my parents, both of whom, among other things, drove me quite long distances to research interviews when I was expecting Anna and Emma respectively.
I would like to thank those who offered academic guidance during my parttime study days – to David Brown, who supervised me during some major life changes – a wedding, an MBA, two babies and a PhD. Also to Rosemary Deem, for her wise counsel and for her continued support.
Thanks are due to many of my colleagues from past years – David Allen and Sue Brimelow who first sparked off my interest in Management Studies, and Richard Crail who encouraged me to embark on my MBA.
In my present role, I would like to thank my friends and colleagues who have supported me both in my role at Lancaster and in the writing of this book, especially John Mackness and Sally Watson. A very special thank you to Sarah Baines and Sarah Patterson (and thank you, Sarah P., for reading and commenting on drafts).
A debt is owed to my good friend Tony Watson for his ongoing mentorship and support in terms of both my own writing, and in relation more generally to the issues associated with part-time degree programmes.
Thanks go to all at Open University Press whose input to this book has been invaluable, and also to the reviewers for their helpful comments on the proposal which have helped to shape the book.
I would like to thank Rowena Murray for her friendship and for sharing her knowledge of writing practices which has been of personal benefit to me. Also thank you to those who took part in the 2005 Scottish Writers' Retreat, which definitely spurred me on through the mid-term blues when I was halfway through the book!