Method in the Madness

Method in the Madness

Research Stories You Won’t Read in Textbooks

1st Edition - June 29, 2009

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  • Editors: Keith Townsend, John Burgess
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780630120
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781843344933

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Method in the Madness is presented as a companion to researchers investigating the complex world of work. Rather than a ‘How to’ text on performing research, this book presents a record of experiences. Research so often evolves in the field or the planning stages and a successful researcher need to be aware of serendipitous opportunities as they arise and how to solve problems as they occur. The book comprises an introduction written by the editors followed by thirteen chapters written by different contributors. The introduction draws together the disparate experiences that follow and discusses the ways in which the contributors, all of whom are respected researchers, dealt with and learned from the research experience. In the following chapters, the contributors describe and reflect on the research process, the challenges they met during their research and the lessons learned. The style varies, but includes narratives, anecdotes and descriptions of individuals’ experiences as research was designed and carried out and the results generated.

Key Features

  • Presents twelve chapters of research experiences where the researcher learnt more about performing research whilst ‘in the field’ than they did from prescriptive texts
  • Represents a fresh and accessible look at research and research methods


Research students in business and social science programs

Table of Contents

  • Serendipity and flexibility in social science research: Meeting the unexpected. Part 1 Living the research: There are ways and then there are ways: Conducting research in social settings in Japan; ‘On the mop-floor’: Researching employment relations in the hidden world of commercial cleaning; Drinking with Dessie: Research, mines and life in the Pilbara. Part 2 Access for research: Combating information suspicion: Guinness, sports and glassblowing; What lies beneath: The pleasures, pain and possibilities of focus groups. Part 3 Interviews as a method: Looking through the haze of discontent: Smokers as a data source; Interviewing men: Reading more than the transcripts; Establishing rapport: Using quantitative and qualitative methods in tandem; Wrong way, go back! Negotiating access in industry-based research; A sporting chance: Workplace ethnographies, ethics protocols and playing by the rules. Part 4 Preparing and responding throughout the project: Sitting on a wall in Northumberland crying: Semi-structured interviews; Researching train-based working; A story about being engaged in research: Buzzing bees, small business and Australian unfair dismissal laws; Lessons learnt from this madness.

Product details

  • No. of pages: 242
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2009
  • Published: June 29, 2009
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780630120
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781843344933

About the Editors

Keith Townsend

Keith Townsend, Research Fellow, Centre for Work, Employment and Wellbeing, and the Department of Employment Relations, Griffith University, Australia.

Affiliations and Expertise

Griffith University

John Burgess

Professor John Burgess: Director, Employment Studies Centre, University of Newcastle, Australia.

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