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Innovation in Qualitative Research Methods: Possibilities and Challenges Chris Taylor and Amanda Coffey Cardiff University.

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Presentation on theme: "Innovation in Qualitative Research Methods: Possibilities and Challenges Chris Taylor and Amanda Coffey Cardiff University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovation in Qualitative Research Methods: Possibilities and Challenges Chris Taylor and Amanda Coffey Cardiff University

2 Innovation mission of the NCRM To provide a strategic focal point for the identification, development and delivery of an integrated national research, training and capacity building programme aimed at: promoting a step change in the quality and range of methodological skills and techniques used by the UK social science community; and providing support for, and dissemination of, methodological innovation and excellence within the UK (ESRC 2005b: 63).

3 Innovation in social research Science and Innovation Investment Framework (HM Treasury and OST) A desirable and necessary part of ensuring the sustainability of UK social science within global knowledge economies HEFCE Strategic Plan (2005:5) Those who produce leading-edge research, and work to disseminate and apply its findings, should expect to receive recognition and support Innovation referred to 15 times in ESRC 2005 Delivery Plan; 27 times in ESRC Annual Report

4 Innovation in social research - ESRC A necessary condition for responding to the growing and rich data that are now being collected A matter of survival – not only in the production of new knowledge, but also in the capacity of future generations of the academic labour market to produce this knowledge Training and capacity-building are seen as essential to the development of innovative research tools and techniques

5 Defining innovation DTI Innovation Report (2003) –New designs, concepts and ways of doing things –Successful adoption and subsequent diffusion –(Benefits and beneficiaries)

6 Innovation in Qualitative Research (New ideas) New designs New ways of collecting or generating data New analytical techniques New representations of qualitative research Methodological concepts Generating new ways of thinking about research Developing new methodological concepts New ways of doing research Working with new participants or new groups Combining methods and methodologies Cross disciplinary research Responding to a changing research landscape

7 Innovation in Qualitative Research (adoption and diffusion) 1.Diffusion of the new idea or potential innovation (primary innovation claim) 2.Utilisation of new idea or innovation by early adopters 3.Utilisation of new idea or innovation by second adopters –providing a critical mass for wide acceptance of the new idea or innovation 4.General consumption of new idea or innovation

8 Innovation in Qualitative Research (Benefits and beneficiaries) For example… Greater or different data Researching new settings or populations Greater efficiency Greater impact Better understanding Improved / different knowledge(s) Better or enhanced research relationships Improved ethical practice

9 Challenges for Methodological Innovation Repair and maintenance (the routinisation of innovation) The problem of methodological failure Taking risks (trial and error) Consumption (readers and users) Interdisciplinarity Transparency and clarity

10 Innovation and research capacity building A support culture in which experimentation and creativity are both welcomed and critically appraised The communication and dissemination of both good ideas and innovations that fail Creating opportunities for working at and across conventional disciplinary boundaries The development of frameworks and protocols to facilitate methodological transparency Accumulating and disseminating a critical mass of exemplary work Collaboration with research users and consumers Opportunities for gaining, absorbing and exploiting new methodological practices and knowledges


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