Research Design – Composition, Configuration and Interdependencies
In this essay I will present an integrative view on research design. I will introduce what I
take to be the skeleton components of any research design within the social sciences, i.e.
the elements of research question, philosophy of science, methodology, method and data.
With this as my point of departure I will go on to focus on a presentation, a discussion
and an evaluation of a new appreciation of the interdependencies of the elements in the
research design. An appreciation that favors a relational rather than an atomistic outlook
and which gives rise to an ecological conceptualization of research design. A research design,
in other words, which promotes plasticity and fluidity over adherence to static protocol.
And which, at the same time, does not relinquish control over project-relevant, multifaceted
decision-making processes – and their respective interdependencies – but which deliberates
each and every one of them. The aim of the paper is twofold. At a more abstract level, it
aims at paving the way for establishing a reflexive approach to research design which, in turn,
would be in tune with the tenets of the field of Organizational Knowledge Communication
(e.g. Kastberg, 2014). At a more concrete level, it aims at presenting an idea of research
design which would – hopefully – be an inspiration to (young) scholars.
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