Nind, Melanie and Wiles, Rose and Bengry-Howell, Andrew and Crow, Graham (2013) RISK, CREATIVITY AND ETHICS: DIMENSIONS OF INNOVATION IN QUALITATIVE SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH METHODS. In: British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, 3-5 September 2013, University of Sussex. (Unpublished)

[thumbnail of Risk,_creativity_and_ethics_BERA_2013.docx.ppt] Microsoft PowerPoint

Download (1MB)
[thumbnail of Risk,_creativity_and_ethics_for_BERA+eprints.pdf]

Download (368kB) | Preview


This conference paper draws on research conducted within NCRM on the nature of methodological innovation in qualitative social science research methods, and in particular on three cases of innovation studied to explore the phenomenon in detail. The diverse cases are: netnography, child-led research and creative research. We examine the claim to a critical juncture in the emergence as innovative methods made by Robert Kozinets, Mary Kellett and David Gauntlett respectively. The research comprised a systematic search of the literature to explore the response of the academy community to publications by these authors, plus semi-structured interviews conducted with them and with individuals able to comment on developments, i.e for each case, an early career researcher applying or adapting the innovation, an experienced researcher in the area, a book reviewer of the innovator’s work, a knowledgeable researcher/user of the innovation from a different country and one from a different discipline. Thematic analysis of the interview data enabled exploration of the processes involved in the status of innovation being claimed or ascribed.

Together the cases shed light on the changing social contexts that demand new research questions and responses and that lead researchers to develop novel methodological approaches. Points of interest arising in this project of understanding methodological innovation in process include issues of ethical responsibility, democratisation of research, empowerment through research and the relationship between research and the academy. The paper addresses the nebulous nature of methodological innovation and the ways in which it is about reflexivity on techniques as well the novelty of the techniques themselves. We argue that, counter to what we may have expected, in the particular cases studied the innovators were: (i) managing risks as much as taking risks; (ii) codifying their work as much as being creative; and (iii) seeking to be ethical rather than being constrained by a culture in which procedural ethical regulation works to limit methodological development. These innovators were working to balance communicating the safe qualities alongside the innovative qualities of their approach. They were operating in what are often perceived to be ethically risky domains (the internet, children, and visual methods) and it is helpful to reflect on the perceived riskiness of educational research and the particular relevance for researchers in education.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Uncontrolled Keywords: innovation; research methods; education; ethics; risk
Subjects: 1. Frameworks for Research and Research Designs > 1.12 Case Study
8. Research Management and Impact > 8.1 Research and Project Management
8. Research Management and Impact > 8.3 Research Ethics
9. Research Skills, Communication and Dissemination > 9.7 Research Skills, Communication and Dissemination (other)
Depositing User: NCRM users
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2013 08:35
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 13:58
URI: https://eprints.ncrm.ac.uk/id/eprint/3173

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item