Textbooks and journal articles on research methods are rarely of help regarding what to do when your research project goes off track. This book addresses this important, and usually hidden, aspect of research by providing students and researchers with insider insights, advice and lessons about the difficulties in the research process. Written by experienced researchers, PhD supervisors and examiners, it should prepare the reader for all that can go wrong when researching a PhD or any large research project.
The starting point of each chapter is the acceptance that research projects do not always go smoothly. Researchers must find ways to jump through a myriad of invisible hoops and over a plethora of hurdles of unknown heights to guide their research, from conceptualisation of worthwhile projects to the completion and dissemination to a range of different audiences. The book is divided into four sections: ‘getting started’, ‘getting data’, ‘getting it together’, and ‘getting finished’. Each section comprises chapters followed by short vignettes – all of which offer insights into researchers facing real-world problems or not quite getting things right in the first instance.
This ground breaking book will give hope to the early-career researcher, the PhD or Masters student, and provide experienced academics with reinvigoration and new perspectives on the research process.
‘Stories of the conception, undertaking and writing of research projects can be as valuable as the books, theses and papers themselves. But we tend to suppress or side-line these stories, especially when projects deviate from planned, expected or approved paths. This richly detailed and entertaining book provides much-needed openness about the agonies of real-world research, such as failure to gain access to research sites, data being lost, unworkable ethical governance frameworks, breakdowns in professional relationships, inabilities to find the words, and those “what the hell just happened?” moments that can ambush even the most seasoned field researcher. This book is an indispensable guide to the twists and turns of the research journey, from the initial ideas scrawled on the back of a beer mat to the publishing of a major academic work.’
– Leo McCann, University of Manchester, UK
‘This is an accessibly written and multi-faceted edited collection which illustrates the myriad of experiences and challenges that researchers may have to face. It is an engaging book which invites the reader to consider the various issues entailed in “doing research” and, crucially, how to negotiate and enjoy the journey. It makes a fresh and important addition to the literature.’
– MariaLaura Di Domenico, University of Surrey, UK
‘This is a must-read for all PhD students, postgraduate supervisors and early- to mid-career researchers. The authors demonstrate the inevitable challenges that arise when conducting research and offer practical and insightful solutions. Read this book – and learn from the best.’
– Maura Sheehan, Edinburgh Napier University, UK
Contributors: H.T.J. Bainbridge, M. Baird, T. Bartram, P. Black, I. Bregoli, K. Cafferkey, J. Carins, J. Cavanagh, K.L. Daunt, D.C. Duke, A. Gatsinzi, J. Glover, D.E. Gray, C. Hughes, N. Isaeva, P.J. Jordan, A. Kellner, A. Kevill, C. Khoo-Lattimore, J. Kilroy, W.M. Kwiatkowski, A. Lee, B. Lee, Q.Y. Lee, R. Loudoun, A.M. McDermott, H. Meacham, S. Qaiyum, C. Rojon, S. Rundle-Thiele, M.N.K. Saunders, H. Short, C. Stock, R. Talwar, K. Townsend, K. Trehan, C.L. Wang, D. Yunga.
Edited by Keith Townsend, Associate Professor of Employment Relations, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Australia and Mark N.K. Saunders, Professor of Business Research Methods, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, UK.