Keyword Groups: Research Issues


The study of the meaning of place, or a place, in the lived experience of the inhabitants; as a blend of human geography with critical theory, the term has its origins in radical counter-culture thought  (see for example the Wikipedia entry on the subject), but is open to further re-appropriation….

management studies

The perspective of a business school, which – contrary to popular assumptions – can often include critical theory accounts of business models and economics.


Used in its broadest sense, history here is an account of past events, told not solely from personal reflection but from observation and carefully assessed sources. See also ‘personal reflection’, ‘idiographic account’, ‘narrative analysis’.

action research

Work contributing to wider understanding of any phenomenon through exploratory development of practice, whether kept within one organisation, or shared ( see ‘ evidence generating practice’)

participatory research

Participatory research uses members of the community or client group as equal colleagues in devising and then running the research exercise, and formulating any conclusions. (See also Experts by Experience)

participant observation

In sociology, participant observation describes a method of study in which a researcher joins in living, working or otherwise hanging out with the people whose lifestyle and thinking he or she is studying, in order to get an in-depth, insider’s view of what the world means to those s/he is studying. For non-academics, we can […]


Folksonomy is an approach to categorisation, for research or other systematic purposes, in which a community of interest contributes to the development of the categories to be used, simply by using whatever keywords they see fit. (See discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of fully open categorisation in ‘New Developments’)