Lines-of-inquiry and sources of evidence in work-based research

Fergusson, Lee and Harmes, Marcus and Hayes, Fiona and Rahmann, Chris (2019) Lines-of-inquiry and sources of evidence in work-based research. Work-Based Learning eJournal International, 8 (2). pp. 85-104.

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There is synergy between the investigative practices of police detectives and social scientists, including work-based researchers. They both develop lines-of-inquiry and draw on multiple sources of evidence in order to make inferences about people, trends and phenomena. However, the principles associated with lines-of-inquiry and sources of evidence have not so far been examined in relation to work-based research methods, which are often unexplored or ill-defined in the published literature. We explore this gap by examining the various direct and indirect lines-of-inquiry and the main sources of primary and secondary evidence used in work-based research, which is especially relevant because some work-based researchers are also police detectives. Clearer understanding of these intersections will be useful in emerging professional contexts where the work-based researcher, the detective, and the social scientist cohere in the one person and their research project. The case we examined was a Professional Studies programme at a university in Australia, which has many police detectives doing work-based research, and from their experience we conclude there is synergy between work-based research and lines of enquiry.
Specifically, in the context of research methods, we identify seven sources of evidence: 1) creative, unstructured, and semi-structured interviews; 2) structured interviews; 3) consensus group methods; 4) surveys; 5) documentation and archives; 6) direct observations and participant observations; and 7) physical or cultural artefacts, and show their methodological features related to data and method type, reliability, validity, and types of analysis, along with their respective advantages and disadvantages. This study thereby unpacks and isolates those characteristics of work-based research which are relevant to a growing body of literature related to the messy, co-produced and wicked problems of private companies, government agencies, and non-government organisations and the research methods used to investigate them.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright Each manuscript must be accompanied by a statement that it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with theDOAJdefinition of open access.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2020 05:27
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2020 06:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: line-of-inquiry, evidence, research methods, police detectives, work-based research
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society

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