The paper considers doctoral supervision between a candidate grounded in practice and a practice sensitive supervisor. The paper presents five autoethnographies to embellish a. conceptual argument. The contribution made lies at the nexus between three literatures; doctoral supervision, engaged scholarship and performativity. The paper contributes to the performativity literature by adding a principle of performative co-creation to frameworks which consider the emergence of performativity after theory formation. A core contention is that by considering engaged scholarship, the potential for performative outcomes in doctoral programs can be enhanced. The paper enters the black box of the emergence of performative theory and asks whether the formation of a theory can affect its eventual performative effects. Taking the doctoral supervision process as a performance, a series of tensions in the supervision process are identified and four acts are proposed to unlock the potential of performative outcomes. It is suggested that doctoral candidates engaged in practice are more likely to identify practice based on anomalies and experiment with the subsequent theory in a professional context due to their ongoing embeddedness in communities of practice. The authors suggest that this has particular relevance to industrial marketing scholars due to high levels of embeddedness in practice.