Methods I intend to use when researching an developing this report
Culture, leadership and organisational structures are still perceived very differently by people of different ages and locations in the world. I want to listen to personal insights from individuals, get a deeper understanding from professionals, and collaborate in workshops, based on emancipatory social theory, designed to democratise the research process (Lingard, 2008). I need to use methods that allow me to view what I am looking for, both objectively and subjectively, to demystify the assumptions in our socially constructed worlds.
Analysis will be based in an epistemological framework (Easterby-Smith et al, 2002), testing the hypothesis through the philosophical lens of both:
Positivism - often characterised by objective hypothesis testing, and from a social lens of Phenomenology - characterised by subjective constructed interpretation (Easterby-Smith et al, 2002).
Organisational research from a social sciences perspective aims to understand intentional phenomena by interpreting meaning (Fay, 1996), and focusses on:
1) the need to think processually, not subjectively (time is a fundamental element in assessing evolution and change)
2) recognise that agents are agents only because they are situated within systems that empower and limit them
3) expect more light from whatever human act or product you are trying to understand (meaning itself will change over time)
4) to think dialectically
My approach to will be using grounded theory, mixed methods, ethnographic, and action research across a range of surveys, interviews and workshops. I will be talking to CEO's, leaders, managers, specialists and younger employees. As well as using professionals and fellow students in collaborative design workshops to test my hypothesis. For many workshops I will use design thinking tools (Stickdorn, 2011) within the double diamond conceptual framework (Stickdorn, 2011).
Double Diamond Framework - this version by Dan Nessler (Nessler, 2016)
Theory and Professional Reading
A range of academic and professional literature sourced online, offline and events.
I will interview a range of people from specialist areas including: creative design, service design, organisational design, industry leaders, consultants and advisors, CEOs, and HR managers.
Most interviews will be online via Skype and last approximately one hour. I will record the interviews using iPhone's Voice Memo software, this works fine as I have quiet studio space at home to work form.
I will host two types of workshops. I intend to run some initial workshops remotely using Mural website, a remote collaborative tool popular with designers. I will host and facilitate two workshops of roughly two hours each in length, testing my two main questions through a design thinking conceptual framework, carefully selecting appropriate tools for each phase. This will be carried out with fellow students and design professionals.
The second workshop will take place as part of the solution phase of this project - where we can test our ideas further and develop new insights. I see this a larger project and may be something that continues beyond the current timeframe.
I will create questionnaires and surveys using Typeform software and then send out on Facebook, linked and email to selected people. I intend to use these early on in the project to quickly gauge opinion and give me a sense of direction with my thinking.
All participants in surveys will remain anonymous. All interviews with professionals will be clearly introduced to the aims of the project and asked if they are OK with recording a skype interview, any participant wishing to remain anonymous will be obliged. Everyone involved in research is a professional and working in a similar or related creative industry to myself.