• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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 ...

The Context of Constructing and Formulating Research Questions
The context of constructing and formulating research questions

As we argued in Chapter 1, most standard textbooks on research methods in the social sciences do not discuss (Denzin and Lincoln, 2011; Freebody, 2003) or only barely discuss (Hesse-Biber and Leavy, 2011; Silverman, 2001) the actual ways of constructing and formulating research questions (a notable exception is White, 2009). Even less attention is given to how research questions are constructed from existing literature and practically nothing is written about how to construct innovative research questions that are likely to lead to the development of more interesting and influential theories.

In Chapters 3 and 4 we specifically investigate how researchers construct research questions from existing literature. This is followed up in ...

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