Date of publication: 2017-09-05 11:40
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An entertaining and practical account of qualitative research methods in general, and qualitative evaluation in particular. Although somewhat polemical in tone, the book nevertheless presents a compelling defence of the use of qualitative data in some circumstances.
This is the most important reason for choosing action research: that the research situation demands responsiveness during the research project. If you don 696 t have to be responsive to the situation, I think you would be well advised to save yourself a lot of trouble. Use more conventional research methods.
It is worth reading this book for the material on "Mapping conflicts" alone. The integrated and systematic approach to conflict management described here is that of the Conflict Resolution Network. One of the most easily learned, and easily taught, packages on conflict management.
THE THINKING ABOUT IT STAGE The thinking about it stage is when you are finally faced with the reality of completing your degree. Usually the early phases of a graduate program proceed in clear and very structured ways. The beginning phases of a graduate program proceed in much the same manner as an undergraduate degree program. There are clear requirements and expectations, and the graduate student moves along, step by step, getting ever closer to the completion of the program. One day, however, the clear structure begins to diminish and now you're approaching the thesis/dissertation stage. This is a new and different time. These next steps are more and more defined by you and not your adviser, the program, or the department.
Following this structured presentation the committee begins to ask questions, but as can be expected the questions follow along with the wall charts and the whole discussion proceeds in an orderly manner. If guests are present at the defense, this form of presentation helps them also follow along and understand exactly what was accomplished through the research.
There is a complex theory (personal construct theory) and methodology (repertory grid) for investigating people 696 s perceptions. This is one of a number of books by these authors which discuss personal construct theory. Unlike most individual-centred techniques, it is reasonably well regarded in academic circles.
The final thesis won 696 t look all that much like a conventional thesis, so again you have to explain and justify what you have done. I suggest therefore that where APA or other appropriate conventions are relevant you follow them. Where they are not, explain what you have done.
It is typical for each cycle in soft systems methodology to take place several times. A better understanding develops through these iterations. If there is a mismatch between the two poles of a dialectic, this leads to a more in-depth examination of what you don 696 t understand. Continuing uncertainty or ambiguity at any stage may trigger a return to an earlier stage.
The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing. A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other. Include in your outline an INTRODUCTION, a BODY, and a CONCLUSION. Make the first outline tentative.
As I said a few paragraphs earlier, the trade-off can be described as one between local relevance and global relevance. (There are other trade-offs here too, which I won 696 t address.) You can be responsive to the local situation, and sacrifice global relevance if necessary. Alternatively you can pursue global relevance at all costs, even at the expense of denying opportunities for local change. You explain your choice in these terms, and do what you can to compensate for the disadvantages your choice contains.