Acknowledgements

I would like to take this opportunity to formally thank and acknowledge all those who participated within my professional doctorate.  Their contribution helped me to remain focused and retain momentum during turbulent times. My doctoral journey like most other journeys in the past 24 months has been delayed due to Covid-19.  However, I am extremely glad to have reached this significant milestone and received so much positive feedback from my findings.

The findings make a theoretical contribution by extending existing literature within the field of Psychological Contract Breach (PCB) and enlarging PCB into Repetitive PCB as a newly identified nascent domain highlighting a known underdeveloped area (time-related processes involved in psychological contract change).

There are several people without whom this thesis would not have been possible. I would like to acknowledge and to thank my expert supervisory team which consisted of Dr David McGuire, Dr Afroditi Dalakoura and Dr Sharon Jackson, a joint venture between the School of Business and Society and the School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University. Thank you for your absolute professionalism, your guidance, support and useful critique of my research subject. My thanks also go to Dr Keith Halcro, Dr Grace Poulter and Dr Brendon Geary who provided guidance and academic skills to deliver against the requirements of a doctoral thesis. I am also indebted to Dr Gerry O’Neill who provided me with my entrance reference onto the university’s Professional Doctorate programme. He is a splendid example of a wonderful human being whose entrepreneurial talents have inspired so many.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) retail bank participants who gave up their time to be interviewed for this study. This study would not have been possible without their personal reflections on a turbulent and challenging time. They offered a unique and fresh insight in support of a perspective which until now has been absent from the body of academic knowledge. I would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Media Department and in particular to Les Johnstone who facilitated to an excellent and professional standard the recordings of my interviews with the RBS participants.

My gratitude goes to my colleagues in the Cohort 10 WhatsApp “Peer Support” group whose messages late into the night encouraged us all when submission dates were looming. My thanks go especially to Lesley Martin and Pat Culhane who joined me in collectively establishing the GCU Professional Doctorate Society to offer peer support to students considering or undertaking a professional doctorate programme. The energy we created was truly inspiring, the outcome of which helped me to establish my own website (balanceandrisk.com) including regular blogs and podcasts. In October 2020, Pat Culhane launched the global platform for the Professional Doctorate Symposium and invited me to become the first guest speaker (Professional Doctorate Society – Inaugural Symposium – YouTube).

Undertaking this significant body of study required time out during the thesis process and my escape route was climbing the Scottish mountains, a much needed physical and psychological retreat. Thanks to Steven Fallon (www.stevenfallon.co.uk), Alan Rowan (munromoonwalker.com) and Brian O’Neil for sharing some of the best days and nights on the hills. A special mention goes to Brother Jim Vagan (a barefoot hiker) who continues to inspire me on every hike. Thanks to the Junior Mountaineering Club of Scotland (JMCS) Glasgow section (www.glasgowjmcs.org.uk), particularly Justine Carter who first suggested “I gave hillwalking a go” in 2010. Hiking up mountains taught me how to turn a single step into successful summits, shaping my physical and psychological resilience into the skills needed to produce this thesis and overcome the challenges presented along the way.  

My family and friends have played the most significant role in the development of my ability to hold my nerve during these challenging times. As one of eight children, there simply is not enough space on this page to thank all my brothers and sisters individually. However, there is strength in numbers and collectively we are capable of moving mountains, and often do. My heart-felt gratitude is extended to my mother-in-law, Harriett, who continues to be a role model not only for me but for my three children. The meaning of the name Eileen/Helen translates to light, the bright one. In life we find light in so many people, especially in our darkest moments. I wish to give special thanks to my three lights; these lights shone at different times in my life and for their love and guidance I will be forever grateful to Eileen McCormick Brooks (mum) and in loving memory of Eileen Margaret Brooks (auntie) and Helen Clark Adamson (neighbour and friend).

This professional doctorate would not have been possible without my own family. I am forever grateful to my three children, Toni, Connor and Sophie who have all been blessed with phenomenal tolerance. My children have grown up over the duration of my professional doctorate; their support is written into every line. The love, laugher and joy they bring to my life daily remind me of who I am at my core; it is an absolute privilege to be their mother. Finally, to my husband Brian, who has carried our family on his broad shoulders and walked at my side for over 30 years. His endless patience, strength and belief in me gave me the ability to progress along this path toward becoming

Dr Eileen O’Neil.

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