Organization Design is a research-driven practice. Research provides the empirical foundation for creating new and innovative approaches to leading and managing the modern firm. As Kurt Lewin proposed, “there is nothing so practical as a good theory.”
For me, research is recreation. I simply enjoy the process. And I enjoy watching others enjoy the process. Research is often a challenging and frustrating experience. For many new researchers, their first solo research project is the first time they have been asked to come up with everything from the problem to the questions to the methods to answer those questions. This can be both liberating and scary at the same time.
I use terms like “canvas” and “design” because research requires analytical and creative knowledge, skills, and abilities. There is no best way to conduct research, and the answer to ALL research methods questions is, “it depends.” Of course, your next question is, “on what might it depend?” This short eBook helps frame that very question. The canvas is a research design framework that helps visualize and understand the critical linkages between key research design components.
All too often, new researchers will receive feedback on their research proposal, asking them to fix x, y, and z. They then proceed to make those changes and resubmit to their supervisor. The supervisor then sends feedback, asking them to fix a, b, and c. The reaction from the inexperienced researcher is, “Hey, why didn’t you tell me I needed to fix a, b, and c the last time you gave me feedback?” The answer, of course, is that the new researcher’s changes to remedy x, y, and z created new problems with a, b, and c.
The Research Canvas is a FREE ebook about the “art” and “science” of research design. It is a “how-to” guide for getting the “DNA” of your research study designed and aligned before writing more detailed descriptions of the methodology. This is not a research methods textbook but rather a textbook supplement. You will need to refer to your research methods texts and peer-reviewed papers on research methods to complete the details of your design.
I hope this work will help researchers identify, for themselves and in advance, the implications that change to one part of the research design have on other aspects of the design and, thus, preempt situations like the one above. The canvas is a flexible framework intended to be used like a “well-tailored suit” vs. a “straight jacket.” Work hard, be tenacious, stay curious, and enjoy the journey!
Download Free eBook
Latham, J. R. (2022). The research canvas: Framework for designing and aligning the “DNA” of your research study (4th ed.). Organization Design Studio® Ltd. https://www.drjohnlatham.com/books/the-research-canvas/