Pre-conceived research ideas

We all come to our research with previous knowledge and ideas. Sometimes our information is helpful for digging into the research and sometimes our pre-conceived ideas are mis-aligned or facts without all of the details.  I came across the latter this week as I got into a few articles on research method, specifically case study.

The specific reading that challenged my previous ideas on case study research from researcher Bent Flyvbjerg (2006).  Prior to my reading, I have to admit that I had a leaning towards qualitative research as a “more scientific” method of research. Built upon numbers and statistics, probability and scientific design, I thought that quantitative research would likely be the method for my own PhD research. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the right answers, and after reading Flyvbjerg’s article, my position has changed to a more open acceptability towards case study research.

Now having said that I am open to case study research, I feel that I need to qualify that statement by adding that case study research does need to include obvious rigor, falsification of the problem, clarity of narrative outcome and that the researcher has to re-examine preconceived notions (i.e. biases) and theories throughout study. For the next few posts I am going to go a bit more in depth on my findings for the method of case study research.

What pre-conceived research biases do you have as you begin your research study?

Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2), 219–245. doi:10.1177/1077800405284363
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