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Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research THE RESEARCH PROCESS Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research THE RESEARCH PROCESS Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright, Invitation to Research THE RESEARCH PROCESS Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong Visiting Fellow, Australian National University /60-Process.ppt ebs, January 2003

2 Copyright, The Conventional (Idealised?) Scientific Research Process

3 Copyright, Agenda The 3-Year Model The Foundations – Literature Review Apply Gap Analysis The Proposal, and perhaps Preliminary Defence The Formulation of Research Questions The Design of a Research Method The Ethics of Research Supervision Examination

4 Copyright, The 3-Year Model

5 Copyright, The Foundations Read! Read widely! Write Literature Reviews to provide raw materials for the dissertation when it later becomes apparent what your thesis actually is to develop the skill of writing to develop the habit of writing

6 Copyright, The Importance of Careful and Comprehensive Literature Review Stand on the shoulders of others Participate in normal science – Fix the world later, not in your PhD Contribute to the cumulative tradition Avoid accidental re-invention (although conscious replication is tenable) If you steal from one author, its plagiarism; if you steal from many, its research Attrib. Wilson Mizner ( )

7 Copyright, Gap Analysis Gaps Discovered While Reading The Literature The Research Domain Theories Research Techniques The Literature Ways of Plugging Gaps Supervisors and Advisors Colleagues Units of Study Original Work

8 Copyright, The Proposal – The Title The General, and the Particular: The Dissertation Proposal: Guidance for New Research Degree Candidates The Research Domain, and the Method: A Field Study of the Effect of Drought on the Pyrrenean Marigold A Critical Theory Perspective on the 2002 Round of Wage Negotiations in the Liechtenstein Leather Goods Industry

9 Copyright, The Proposal – Structure Title Page Introduction Literature Research Annotated Bibliography Literature Review The Research Question(s) The Research Method Anticipated Outcomes Their Significance Project Plan Reference List Bibliography

10 Copyright, The Formulation of Research Questions Draw on your Literature Review Ask dumb questions Ask better questions Start asking good questions Not too general, not too specific "What constitutes sexual harassment?" "What constitutes sexual harassment in a German university? "How culturally-specific is the definition of sexual harassment?

11 Copyright, Factors in Research Method Design Phase Theory Building, Testing, Theory Extension Purpose Exploration, Description, Explanation, Prediction, Hypothesis Testing Unit of Analysis Individual, Dyad, Group, Organisational Unit, Industry Segment / Sector, Community, Society Definition Population Sampling Frame Sample Time Horizon Snapshot, XSectional, Longitudinal, Retrospective Study Setting Natural, Contrived Researcher Influence

12 Copyright, Assessment Criteria for Research Methods Design 1 of 2 Is appropriate to the domain and the phenomena being studied (to contribute to rigour) Reflects the state of knowledge at commencement, both of the domain, and of research methodology (to advance knowledge) Combines research techniques in such a manner that the weaknesses of each are complemented by the strengths of the others (to contribute to rigour) Is practicable (to avoid wastage of resources)

13 Copyright, Assessment Criteria for Research Methods Design 1 of 2 Produces data that: reflect the phenomena under study can be subjected to validation testing can have powerful techniques applied to them to tease out the relationships among the variables Is likely to produce results relevant to the world (to satisfy readers and funders) Is ambitious and interesting (for progress in the discipline) Is likely to be publishable (to satisfy the researcher)

14 Copyright, Supervision Induction Context (e.g. Colleagues, other Social Networks) Research Domain Topic ? Preparation: Theories Techniques Resources Interaction Review Publication Examination or Examiners

15 Copyright, Examination Written Oral / viva (voce) Defence Brief Presentation Challenge Discussion

16 Copyright, A Reminder: The Multiple Tensions Within Research Pure vs. Applied vs. Instrumentalist Scientific vs. Interpretivist vs. Critical Quantitative vs. Qualitative Causality vs. Complex Behaviour Relevance vs. Rigour Dominant Paradigm vs. Anomaly-Munching Rebels

17 Copyright, A Warning: Rationality of Product, but not of Process In seeking a path to the top of the mountain, I took what seemed like a sensible path. But it turned out to be tortuous and exhausting, with many dead ends. I eventually emerged at the top, tired and hungry, and scratched from head to toe. I then saw a right royal road from the valley to the summit of the mountain. I avoided telling my colleagues how I did the climb, instead helping them to find that right, royal road. After Poincaré


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