November 11, 2016

Considering The Literature, Part B: Applying Considerations

Considering The Literature, Part B: Applying Considerations To My Research


In the previous blog post I briefly discussed what I think are the main considerations of the literature. In this blog post I shall apply these considerations to my own research as it currently stands.

The Research Design


Those who have been following my blog and research progress for a fair while will probably have observed the various changes of the research design. Now I have settled on a research design: an adaptation of the sequential exploratory mixed methods methodology using grounded theory and possibly a questionnaire, guided by critical realism. As the research design has changed, so to have the role of the literature, the types of literature, and the way in which literature shall be analysed and synthesised. Now that the design has been settled upon, I can start to really think about all the other considerations.

The Role and Purpose of the Literature


Whilst this is work in progress, in general the literature shall have the following roles: contextualise the research, to act as data, assist with developing concepts from the qualitative data, to develop further concepts to be explored in the later research phases, and to help verify and validate concepts and aspects of the emerging theory throughout all the research phases.


The exact details of the way in which each role shall be carried out are being worked out, though it is expected that different types of literature shall be used to satisfy each role, and possibly different types of literature shall be used across the different stages. There is expected to be, however, heavy use of literature during the qualitative grounded theory stage as this is where the literature shall carry the roles of acting as data, assist with developing concepts, to develop further concepts to be explored at later stages, and to verify and validate emerging concepts from the grounded theory analysis. In the literature review although again work in progress, it is likely that a role of the literature is to contextualise the research. The exact amount of literature required cannot be determined at this time as this is determined by continuous reading along with analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. Therefore, there is no actual fixed point where reading shall be completed; it’s not a case of simply writing the literature review then determine the reading as complete: this is an ongoing process throughout all stages of the research, and throughout the construction of each chapter of the thesis.

Types of literature to include

Straightforward: shall likely be using all the types of literature mentioned in the previous blog post.

Approach used to analyse and synthesis literature

This is also work in progress and has not been worked out fully. However, because there shall be various types of literature used in the research, it is likely that a mixed methods approach shall be used to analyse and synthesis the literature. Which exact type shall be decided soon.

In summary: The research design and the types of literature have been decided upon; the role of literature, the exact way in which literature shall be used to satisfy each role across the varying phases, and the approach to be used to analyse and synthesis the literature are all currently work in progress. This and the previous blog posts are just introductions to what I am considering, and as time moves on these considerations and perhaps more shall be explored further and more blog posts shall be written about them.


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