Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research

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SAGE Publications, Feb 1, 2013 - Social Science - 152 pages
All researchers want to produce interesting and influential theories. A key step in all theory development is formulating innovative research questions that will result in interesting and significant research.

Traditional textbooks on research methods tend to ignore, or gloss over, actual ways of constructing research questions. In this text, Alvesson and Sandberg develop a problematization methodology for identifying and challenging the assumptions underlying existing theories and for generating research questions that can lead to more interesting and influential theories, using examples from across the social sciences. Established methods of generating research questions in the social sciences tend to focus on 'gap-spotting', which means that existing literature remains largely unchallenged. The authors show the dangers of conventional approaches, providing detailed ideas for how one can work through such problems and formulate novel research questions that challenge existing theories and produce more imaginative empirical studies.

Constructing Research Questions is essential reading for any researcher looking to formulate research questions that are interesting and novel.

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About the author (2013)

Mats Alvesson holds a chair in the Business Administration department at Lund University in Sweden and is also part-time professor at University of Queensland Business School. He has done extensive research and published widely in the areas of qualitative and reflexive methodology, critical theory, organizational culture, knowledge work, identity in organizations, gender, organizational change, management consultancy etc. He has published 20 books with leading publishers and hundreds of articles, many of which are widely cited and used on higher levels in university education.

Jörgen Sandberg nbsp;is Professor in Management and Organization in the UQ Business School, Australia, and Distinguished Research Environment Professor in Organization Studies at Warwick Business School, UK. He is Co-Lead of Practice and Process Studies, a multidisciplinary research group within UQ Business School. His main research interests include competence and learning in organizations; practice, process, sensemaking theory; theory development; philosophy of science; and research methodology. He has published extensively in top-tier journals, as well as several books includingnbsp; Skillful Performance: Enacting Capabilities, Knowledge, Competence and Expertise in Organizations nbsp;(with Rouleau, Langley and Tsoukas, Oxford University Press, 2017),nbsp; Constructing Research Questions: Doing Interesting Research nbsp;(with Alvesson, SAGE, 2013), andnbsp; Managing Understanding in Organizations nbsp;(with Targama, SAGE, 2007). He also serves on the editorial boards for several preeminent journals, such asnbsp; Academy of Management Review ,nbsp; Journal of Organizational Behavior nbsp;andnbsp; Organization Studies .

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