Presentation on theme: "Professor Ruth Boaden Manchester Business School"— Presentation transcript:
1 Professor Ruth Boaden Manchester Business School Ruth.Boaden@mbs.ac.uk What is research?Professor Ruth BoadenManchester Business School
2 “Research is about illumination “Research is about illumination. If a person reads something and doesn’t feel any wiser, then why was it done?Richardson et al, 1990, p75
3 useful? What is research? A process of inquiry and investigation … QuestionsSystematic and methodical… so methods matterIncreases knowledge… illumination?
4 Do you need research? Intelligence-gathering - the ‘what’ questions Gathering informationAuditEvaluation (might be research)Research - the ‘why’ questionsResearch looks for explanations, relationships, comparisons, predictions, generalizations and theories. It may need to gather information in order to do this, but the emphasis is on "why".
5 Your view of the world matters … Tools and techniques (methods)Data/evidence
6 Morgan G (1986) “Images of Organisations” Views of the world …Morgan G (1986) “Images of Organisations”
7 Views of the world … and research approaches The facts are definitely out thereTruth depends on your viewpointScientificfocus on measurement:look for general patterns to turn into theories or “laws”typically interested in physical or macro systems rather than people or micro systemsEthnographicfocus on culture:Uncover differences in how people see the world and see what shapes these different perceptionstypically interested in people, groups or organisations
8 The questions, the method and the data Answer WHAT? and HOW MUCH? questionsTools include SURVEYS and EXPERIMENTSData is mainly NUMBERSFindings are about MEASUREAnswer WHY? and HOW? questionsTools include OBSERVATION and INTERVIEWSData is mainly WORDSFindings are about MEANING
9 Not all research is “good” … what you find out depends on ContextMethods usedHow data have been analysed and interpreted
10 Be careful if you (the researcher) are involved … They tell you what they think you want to knowTrustBiasEthicsPoliticsAsking the same things to everyone, in the same wayConfidentiality?Where is the power?Are you trying to change the organisation in some way as part of the research?This is ACTION RESEARCH – be careful not to go “native”
11 Qualities of a good researcher communication skillsintellectual skillsindependenceperseverancemotivationIT skillsorganisational skills
12 So does research matter? Is there a question to be answered?Is there a way to answer it?Is there data that can be collected?Are there ways it can be analysed?Will the findings be useful to others?Can you do it?If people feel that research illuminates their understanding and gets into their thinking, then it’s of use