Research Methods

Creswell and O’Leary Chapter one, both books

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Relevance

and Need for research that grapples with real-world problems  Problems abound but so do problem solvers and problem solving  What is the role of research in problem solving?

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Research

is the process of gathering data in order to answer a particular question and the questions asked generally relate to a need for knowledge that can facilitate decision-making, aiding problem resolution.  Research is a key tool in informed decision making

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Applied

Research: findings, results and conclusions, can lead to practical recommendations, genuine change, great opportunities, and real problem solving.

O’Leary: Chapter One
Polic y Programs Culture Practice

Professional Development

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Pyramid

advocates that the process of conducting research is a learning journey that impacts researcher through professional development  Second, research can impact practice by allowing individuals, organizations or communities to reflect on and refine what it is they do.

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Third,

research constitutes a more systemic attempt to change projects, procedures, plans and strategies used within organizations and communities  Fourth, research can make a contribution to broader guiding principles, by setting new directions, policies.

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Professional
 Engage

development

in problem based learning a) learn about problem, b)learn how to tackle problem  Engage in action learning a) engagement in real experiences (concrete experiementation, b) thoughtful review and consideration (reflexive observation), c) broader theorizing (abstract conceptualization), d) attempts to improve action (active experimentation)

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Professional
 Enhance

Development continued…

communication skills: engaging with people in interviews, observations, focus groups, asking questions…  Develop research skills: real learning comes from the doing  Produce new knowledge: make a contribution. Tell us something we don’t know  Engage in, or facilitate evidence-based decision making  Attain recognition

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Practice:

research to modify, refine and improve what it is you/your organization do or make recommendations that can influece practices of others within a particular setting
 Assess

a problem situation: (conduct needs assessment)  Assess/trial/evaluation new practices

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Programs:

more planned, organized, structured, defined approaches to operations, projects, strategies used within an organization. Research targeted at systemic change
 Needs

assessment  Assessing potential programs  Program evaluation/review

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Policy:

Plan/course of action intended to influence and determine decisions, actions and other matters. Research that attempts to produce knowledge that can impact an organization’s strategic plans, aims and objectives, and/or mission statement.

O’Leary: Chapter One
 As

you move up the hierarchy of change, your ability to make change happen through research— to have findings that lead to action —becomes ever more challenging.

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Culture:

research aimed at any level of the hierarchy has the potential to influence an organization’s culture
 Research

can suggest downside of current culture and/or benefits of an alternative culture  Conduct of research particularly when conducted by organization’s practitioners, can herald and facilitate a cultural shift towards values that include listening, learning, empowerment and dedication to change.

O’Leary: Chapter One
Economic

Personal

Biophysical

The Problem

Social

Cultural

Political

O’Leary Chapter One
 Real

world problems mean there often is no controlled environment and even “controlled environments” in social research are not like pure science.  Must be flexible, patient, mindful, creative, resourceful and adaptable

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Research

Teams:

 Research

can be conducted by practitioners themselves, professional/social or applied science researchers, students, a team that combines all categories  Research can be conducted by insiders/outsiders of an organization, some combination as well.  Examples pp. 13-15

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Working

on, for, or with others

 Research

“on” others: objective, scientific, Census  Research “for” others: undertaken for a client i.e., commissioned research, conducted for the good of the researched. Important to consider whether research agenda arises from, is assigned to, or imposed on the researched.

O’Leary: Chapter One
 Research

with others: collaborative research by, for and with a range of stakeholders, Conduct of research is not seen as the domain of the expert. Distinction between researched and researcher is minimized; local knowledge, empowerment, ownership emphasized  See Table 1.1 for more info.

Creswell: Chapter One
 Ironically,
 What

we must return to Crotty  Framework:
epistemology—theory of knowledge embedded in a theoretical perspective— informs the research?  What theoretical perspective—philosophical stance—lies behind the methodology in questions?  What methodology—strategy or plan of action that links methods to outcomes— governs our choice and use of methods?  What methods—techniques and procedures —do we propose to use?

Creswell: Chapter One
 Creswell
 What

adjusts Crotty to read:

knowledge claims are being made by the researcher? (Combine epistemology and theory)  What strategies of inquiry will inform the procedures?  What methods of data collection and analysis will be used?  See figure 1.1 p. 5

Creswell: Chapter One
Elements of Inquiry Approaches to Research
Alternative knowledge claims Qualitative Strategies of Inquiry Quantitative Mixed Methods Methods Conceptualized by the researcher Translated into Practice

Design Process of Research
Questions Theoretical Lens Data Collection Data Analysis Write-Up Validation

Creswell: Chapter One
 Preliminary
 Assess

steps in designing a research proposal
the knowledge claims brought to the study  Consider the strategy of inquiry that will be used  Identify specific methods.

Creswell: Chapter One
 Knowledge

claim: researchers start a project with certain assumptions about how they will learn and what they will learn during their inquiry  These claims might be called paradigms, philosophical assumptions, epistemologies, and ontologies, broadly conceived research methodologies

Creswell: Chapter One
 Philosophically,
 What

researchers makes claims about:
is knowledge (ontology)  How we know it (epistemology)  What values go into it (axiology)  How we write about it (rhetoric/discourse)  Processes of studying it (methodology)

Creswell: Chapter One
 Four

Schools of thought about knowledge claims
 Post-positivism

p. 6, 7, 8  Constructivism p. 8, 9  Advocacy/participatory p. 9, 10, 11  Pragmatism p. 11, 12
 Review

from Crotty

Creswell: Chapter One
 Strategies

of Inquiry

 Quantitative

Approach: invoke postpositivist perspectives; true experiments/quasi-experiments of social science, correlational studies, singlesubject experiments, multi-variate analysis
 Experiments:

true experiment-random assignment of subjects to treatment conditions, quasi-experiment-non-random design and singlesubject design  Surveys: cross-sectional/longitudinal studies using questionnaires, structured interviews; to generalize from a sample to a population.

Creswell: Chapter One
 Strategies

of Inquiry

 Qualitative

Approach: ethnographies (within that is participant observation), grounded theory-constant comparison, emerging categories, theorizing directly from the data, case studies-explore one specific subject in depth through an example, phenomenological research-lived experiences of participants, narrative research-criticism and analysis of stories and their relationship to identity and culture and practices

Creswell: Chapter One
 Strategies
 Mixed

of Inquiry

Methods: combining observations and interviews with traditional surveys, triangulating data sources—a means for seeking convergence across qualitative and quantitative methods, sequential procedures-qualitative and quantitative phases, concurrent procedures-qualitative and quantitative data collection at the same time, transformative proceduresoverarching theoretical lens

Creswell: Chapter One
 Research

Methods
pre-designed vs.

 Pre-determined,

emerging  Close-ended vs. open-ended  Numeric/statistical  Textual/symbolic data

Creswell: Chapter One
 Definitions  Chart

of three methods p. 18

p. 19  Figure 1.2 p. 20
 Given

these three approaches, what factors affect the choice of one approach over another for a design of a proposal?

Creswell: Chapter One
 The

Research Problem, the personal experiences of the researcher, and the audience for whom the report will be written all play a role in deciding on an approach…  I always say, let the question drive the method, not the other way around.

Creswell: Chapter One
 Match

between problem and approach

 Certain

types of problems call for certain types of approaches  Identifying factors that influence an outcome, utility of an intervention, best predictors of outcomes, test theory or explanation = quantitative  Concept/phenomenon with little understanding=qualitative  When researcher wants to both generalize findings and understand a phenomenon in depth=mixed

Creswell: Chapter One
 Personal
 Training  Personality  Topics

Experiences

of personal interest

Creswell: Chapter One
 Audience
 Who

is the research for? Who will evaluate the research? Who has a stake in the research? Question #2 p. 24

 Assignment:  Chart

it out.

O’Leary: Chapter One

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