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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research project: Methodological Innovation in the Social Sciences (Nind) - Dormant - Dormant

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1 December 2010 – 30 June 2012

This project formed part of a programme of research on methodological innovation being undertaken by the NCRM Hub. Previous research undertaken between 2009-10 explored claims made for innovation in qualitative research through a narrative review of papers published between 2000-2009. That research provided only partial answers to issues of innovation and was limited in that it was based on a review of journal papers. However, it indicated that what is claimed as ‘innovative’ often relates to adaptations to existing methods or to the transfer and adaptation of methods from other disciplines. This raises issues about: the process of methodological developments; their originality; the ‘ownership’ and control developers have, and want to have, over their innovations; methods of diffusion; and the take up of innovations across disciplines. This latest project addressed these issues by focusing on 3 case studies in areas of qualitative research which have been identified as innovative (netnography, creative methods, and child-led research). The research involved in-depth interviews with key developers of the method and other champions of them alongside analysis of their usage. The research aims included:

  • To explore, from the perspective of key individuals associated with their development, why the method was developed (the origins, rationale, development and dissemination of these innovations).
  • To explore the views of key developers and champions of the methods about ownership, take-up and adaptations to the method.
  • To identify the take-up of these innovations across disciplines.

The research illuminated the processes by which methods become known as innovative and some of the drivers for innovation, including concerns with research ethics. See our paper Methodological Innovation and Research Ethics: Forces in tension or harmony?

Funding body: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods

Duration: 1 December 2010 – 30 June 2012

Related research groups

Centre for Research in Inclusion
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