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Theory and the contribution of qualitative research to construction management research

Schweber, L. ORCID: and Chow, V. (2023) Theory and the contribution of qualitative research to construction management research. In: Leiringer, R. and Dainty, A. (eds.) A Research Agenda for Construction Management. Elgar Research Agendas. Elgar, pp. 67-92. ISBN 9781800375444

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Qualitative research has a great deal to offer Construction Management Research, most notably in the way in which the judicious use of theory moves research beyond common sense and introduces new and interesting ways of thinking about recognized problems. However, this contribution is often compromised by a positivist use of the interpretivist approach. This chapter develops this argument by reviewing the defining features of qualitative research and making a case for the centrality of theory. Drawing on Sandberg and Alvesson’s (2021) typology, it contrasts the positivist ‘representationalist’ use of theory with five other types common in qualitative research and exemplifies them with CMR papers. The five types include: explaining, ordering, comprehending, enacting and provoking. The discussion reflects on the use of each type and highlights their contribution to academic research and practical industry concerns. The chapter concludes with lessons for doctoral students, early career researchers and established scholars.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering
ID Code:109641

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