• 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 ...

Applying the Problematization Methodology in Practice
Applying the problematization methodology in practice

In Chapter 5, we proposed and elaborated on problematization as a methodology for generating more interesting and innovative research questions by identifying and challenging the assumptions underlying existing literature. We first outlined a typology that specified which types of assumptions are open to problematization. Thereafter we developed a set of principles for identifying and challenging assumptions and, based on that, constructing novel research questions that potentially can lead to high-impact studies.

The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate concretely how the problematization methodology can be used to generate research questions from a specific body of literature. In order to provide a rich and detailed illustration of how it can be used in practice we ...

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