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Researching Real- World Problems. Chapter One. ‘We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems… Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.’ - Richard Feynman. The Challenge.

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‘We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems… Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.’

- Richard Feynman

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 1.

the challenge
The Challenge
  • We may live in a world riddled with problems, but we also live in a world full of problem solvers in a world dedicated to learning, changing, improving and evolving

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 1.

the potential of research
The Potential of Research
  • Research can be the key to informed decision-making related to problem solving
  • It can be instrumental in gathering data related to
    • understanding problems
    • finding solutions
    • implementing change
    • evaluating success

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 1.

the potential of research5
The Potential of Research
  • Researching real-world problems is about research that is local, grounded, practical and responsive to everyday needs
  • Local or national government, non-government organizations, aid agencies, communities, corporations, and workplaces in general, can all benefit from problem-based research

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 1.

levels of change
Levels of Change
  • Research into real-world problems can open up possibilities for change at the level of
    • professional development
    • practice
    • programmes
    • policy
    • organizational culture

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 1.

problems and complexity
Problems and Complexity
  • Real-world problems, and the contexts in which they sit, tend to be messy, complex, and multifaceted - posing a number of challenges to the reflective researcher

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 1.

problems and complexity8
Problems and Complexity

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 1.

challenges in conducting real world problem research
Challenges in conducting real-world problem research
  • Researchers of real-world problems need to consider
    • the challenge of conducting research in the field
    • how to define a research team
    • whether they are working on, for, or with others
    • challenges they will face if conducting research in their own organization

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 1.

the research process
The Research Process
  • As well as an ability to think strategically, preparing to research real-world problems requires
    • solid foundations
    • being prepared to delve into problem situations
    • being prepared to do what it takes to make a real difference

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 1.