Research methodologies are products of time, place and culture. Research methodologies are not items on a shelf which one takes down and uses as ready-made products.It can be more useful and in keeping with a systemic approach to think about research as a process of mutual shaping in which researchers and co-researchers are changed by each other and by the activities; in turn, the research methods and activities also evolve through the influence of researchers and co-researchers. By accepting the inevitable mutual shaping in practice and research relationships, by fostering space for new and unanticipated stories to emerge, we privilege the ethics of methodological openness and move away from a notion of choosing a research method to engaging with and shaping a research process.
Gail Simon, Ph.D.
Gail is a D. Professor of Systemic Practice at the Institute of Applied Social Research, University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Gail’s Associate page.
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