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Constructing Research Questions


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Table of Contents

Research Questions: A Core Ingredient in Developing Interesting Theories The Context of Constructing and Formulating Research Questions Gap-Spotting: The Prevalent Way of Constructing Research Questions in Social Science A Critical Evaluation of Gap-Spotting Research: Does It Lead to Interesting Theories? Problematization as a Methodology for Generating Research Questions Applying the Problematization Methodology in Practice Why Does Gap-Spotting Dominate When It Reduces the Chance to Create Interesting Theories? Constructing Interesting Research Questions: Problematization and Beyond

About the Author

Mats Alvesson holds a chair in the Business Administration department at Lund University in Sweden and is also part-time professor at University of Queensland Business School. He has done extensive research and published widely in the areas of qualitative and reflexive methodology, critical theory, organizational culture, knowledge work, identity in organizations, gender, organizational change, management consultancy etc. He has published 20 books with leading publishers and hundreds of articles, many of which are widely cited and used on higher levels in university education.


Researchers usually puzzle about how to move from the scientific literature to a fruitful research topic. Alvesson and Sandberg address these puzzles in this sensible, practical book which deserves to become required reading for researchers.

Professor David Silverman
Goldsmiths' and King's College, University of London

This book is not for the faint hearted. It will appeal to those who already have some experience of research, or those at postgraduate level formulating their ideas for study. It will stimulate new ways of thinking about the design of research, something that is well overdue. Even if the problematization methodology and the frameworks the authors propose are not adopted wholesale, the book will encourage critical reflection at a level rarely seen in this area. -- Karen Laing, Newcastle University

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