With its unique modelling and mapping of social processes, investigative research offers an alternative approach to social research. This book guides you through the theoretical grounding and rules you need to effectively combine the evidence-based explanations of social behaviour and distinctive strategies of data collection associated with investigative research. It helps you answer key investigative questions like: • How are models and maps of social reality crucial to the formulation of research problems and questions? • What are the main phases, challenges, and theories of investigative research? • How does investigative research compare with other research approaches, like surveys, case studies, grounded theory, and mixed methods? • How can you control the quality and validity of your investigative research? With its clear focus on investigative research exploration, description, and explanation, this book gives you the solid building blocks needed to manage and integrate the theoretical and practical issues in your work.

Theory in Investigative Research

Many approaches to social research regard theory as an add-on extra, or purely optional choice. By contrast, IR centralizes the importance of theory as being crucial for research design and data collection, as well as adding to the robustness of its findings and explanatory conclusions. Without theory, the aspirations of empirical research and its potential explanatory yield are limited. However, theory construction must proceed strictly in accordance with empirical evidence as a scientific guarantee of its validity claims. In other words, ‘theory’ in the form of ‘abstract story-telling’ undermines evidence-based explanations because truly explanatory concepts and theory can only properly develop as an outcome or as an input of empirical research.

This chapter divides into two distinct but related emphases. ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles