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  • Series: Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series x
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Céline Rojon and Almuth McDowall

This chapter explicates systematic review methodology as an evidence-based approach for examining literature, drawing on the authors’ experience of conducting a systematic review as well as on the discussion of other existing systematic reviews. Introducing key tenets, the methodology is benchmarked against alternative reviewing approaches, discussing advantages and potential disadvantages, alongside practicalities and challenges.

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Dawn Langley

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the distinct offer of ethnographic research to HRD practices. In so doing, I will consider the issue of fieldwork and the building of rapport between researcher and participants, an integral element of ethnographic research that can both create and challenge the research relationship.

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Sally Sambrook

Written as an autoethnography, this chapter examines how an HRD researcher can consider his/her own role, bringing personal insight and understanding to wider cultural, sociological issues associated with the complex context of higher education. The aim is to demonstrate, disseminate and celebrate the value of this controversial qualitative methodology.

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Kate Black and Russell Warhurst

This chapter overviews the different approaches to using visual methods in HRD research, offering a ‘toolbox’ from which HRD-researchers might select according to their research needs. We explore the different traditions of visual research design and methods, with a specific focus upon their practical application within the HRD research context.

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Russell Warhurst and Kate Black

The chapter provides an overview of the, as yet, under-utilised tool of photo-elicitation interviewing. It examines the development of this method and its value to HRD research. A case of non-formal expansive workplace learning of public sector professionals is offered to illustrate the application of this approach in HRD-research practice.

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Rosalie Holian and David Coghlan

This chapter explores the theory and practice of action research and how it may be utilized in HRD research. Action research’s distinctive characteristics are that it addresses the twin tasks of bringing about change in organizations and in generating actionable knowledge, through focusing on real organizational problems or issues.

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Kiran Trehan and Clare Rigg

This chapter presents a conceptual and empirical synthesis of critical action learning research and contributes to debates on criticality in action learning research. The chapter augments the need for more grounded approaches to the evaluation of research initiatives directed at HRD.

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Mark N.K. Saunders, Paul Tosey, Claire Jones and Christine S. Williams

In this chapter we consider the use and practical value of STEP, the Service Template Extended Process, to support applied HRD research in collaboration with practitioners. Used through a process consultation framework, STEP can surface values and underlying assumptions, thereby enabling both single and double-loop learning.

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Peter Evans

This chapter explores how, using Actor Network Theory and Discourse Analysis, competing projections of power emerge and are ‘processed’ in a specific online environment to impact on community creation through the discursive practices of professional learning. It describes an investigation of the social practices and community-forming activities associated with professional development activities in social media environments, highlighting the usefulness and challenges of this research approach to the study of social media environments for learning.

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Paul Tosey

This chapter explores qualitative interviewing, drawing from a project that investigated managers’ metaphors of work–life balance, informed by a practice called ‘Clean Language’. The chapter highlights the function of questions in interviews and considers how to design and ask questions in order to elicit data of good quality.