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Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research NON-EMPIRICAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research NON-EMPIRICAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright, Invitation to Research NON-EMPIRICAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong Visiting Fellow, Australian National University /51-NonEmp.ppt ebs, January 2003

2 Copyright, Possible Interpretations of Non-Empirical Not based on evidence from the real world Not based on new evidence from the real world (primary data), but on data previously gathered, possibly for another, quite distinct purpose (secondary data) Often associated in peoples minds with the humanities and natural philosophy Actually prevalent in many sciences as well Risks being detached, ivory-tower thinking, and producing results irrelevant to the real world

3 Copyright, Non-Empirical Research Techniques A Taxonomy (8) Review of Existing Literature Scholarship Conceptual Research (Contemplative, Armchair) Futurism, especially Delphi Rounds Scenario-Building Game-Playing or Role-Playing Analytical and Simulation Modelling

4 Copyright, Review of Existing Literature (aka Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, Meta-Triangulation) Disciplined examination of published research Requires prior knowledge, wide reading, deep immersion, an open mind, iterative re-organisation The purpose may be to: identify commonalities and differences in domain-definition, method and/or content classify works within a pre-determined taxonomy abstract a new taxonomy More than just an Annotated Bibliography !

5 Copyright, The Literature Text-Books Refereed Journals Refereed Conference Papers Research Books and Collections Dissertations Parliamentary and Government Reports Industry and Professional Publications The Web – ?

6 Copyright, Taxonomy / Ontology Classification Scheme The Logical Structure of Knowledge within a Particular Domain Possible Taxonomical Bases History / Chronology Theory Domain Research Hypothesis Method

7 Copyright, Scholarship Varying Interpretations The application of systematic approaches to the acquisition of knowledge through intellectual inquiry The comprehensive and careful consolidation of available information within a domain The reinterpretation of consolidated information within a new framework, or in a new context Rarely publishable, except in Surveys

8 Copyright, Conceptual Research (Contemplative, Armchair Research) Reflection based on available information Original thinking, propositions for theory Critical to paradigm shifts But the vast majority has low value Widely denigrated as not being research Rarely publishable in refereed journals, although acceptable in invited papers For greybeards, not serious researchers

9 Copyright, Futurism Gazing into the crystal ball Delphi Method: Select Experts Send Them Questions Summarise the Responses Send Them the Summary and Seek Reactions Repeat Until Bored Justifiable on Relevance, but on Rigour??

10 Copyright, Scenario-Building A reaction against Futurism A process for: discovering alternative future environments articulating their implications devising alternative strategies evaluating alternative strategies

11 Copyright, The Decision Matrix Environmental Variables, combining into Environments (columns) Strategic Variables, combining into Strategies (rows) Leading to (estimated) Outcomes (cells) How to Select a Strategy? Depends on the Outcomes, processed against the Decision-Makers Risk-Profile

12 Copyright, Scenario Development Identify focal issue or decision Identify key forces Postulate driving forces Decide on the most important factors Use systemic logic to tell stories Keep an eye on the important factors Submit to critical consideration

13 Copyright, Game-Playing, Role-Playing Individuals interact, suspending their normal roles and adopting other roles, in order to generate new ideas or insights Specific examples include: Devils Advocacy Brain-Storming Practice Interviews

14 Copyright, Analytical and Simulation Modelling Build a Model (based on what?) Feed it Data (acquired how?) Vary the Model (how, and why?) Further examined Later


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