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.

Continuous Quality Control

This chapter outlines and discusses some IR tools which allow researchers to continuously monitor the quality of their research and ensure that checks and balances on quality are always at the forefront of strategic concerns. In this sense, ‘quality control’ is deeply embedded in IR and the data-gathering projects on which it depends. This chapter expands on some of the themes of Chapter 5, which portrayed a typical IR project as a six-phase cycle in which quality control issues are not restricted to particular phases. For the purposes of this chapter, the six phases can be reduced to three:

  • Preparatory phase ______ Data gathering phase ______ Analytical/explanatory phase
  • The preparatory phase includes: the formulation of research problem(s), topics and questions, the construction ...
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