T890: Research methods

Unit 4: Research methods

This unit looks at research methods pertinent to technology innovation research. It has not been possible to cover all methods that might be applied to problems in technology innovation research. Instead the unit sets out to introduce and interrogate the application of research methods germane to technology research. As with previous units, a selection of readings will drive the teaching, but in contrast to the first three units where the focus was on understanding technology policy and innovation, we now focus on research designs that facilitate exploration of technology policy and innovation.

A common distinction that is applied to research methods is between quantitative and qualitative methods, although not all researchers think it a consequential one. We have not employed this distinction, but instead chosen papers that explicitly demonstrate their research design and how it meets researcher’s knowledge needs. These papers invariably employ both quantitative and qualitative methods. The research methods chosen are; literature study, case study, structured survey, interview, focus group, participatory approaches, narrative analysis, cost-benefit analysis, scenario methodology and technology foresight.

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