Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives
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Handbook of Research Methods on the Quality of Working Lives

Edited by Daniel Wheatley

The growing diversity of contemporary paid work has provoked increased interest in understanding and evaluating the quality of working lives. This Handbook provides critical reflections on recent research in the field, including examining the inextricable links between working life and well-being.
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Chapter 2: Generating and measuring impact: insights from research on the quality of working lives

Carol Atkinson


There is a long-established tradition of research into the quality of working lives amongst academics which has, over recent years, seen an accompanying spike in interest amongst policy-makers and other key stakeholders. This has coincided, in the UK at least, with a government-led programme to ensure that research has ‘impact’, that is, affects, changes or benefits institutions beyond academia. The chapter provides a timely discussion of how to build impact into research, both quantitative, where policy-makers and funders are increasingly demanding methods such as randomised controlled trials in the social sciences, and qualitative, where scale of research can create challenges for achieving wider impacts. Use of electronic and traditional media and various stakeholder reports is discussed. Measurement of this slippery concept is also included, with consideration of the multiple stakeholders to quality of working life research and the extent to which impact can be quantified in complex world of work.

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