The book offers guidance on the issues which are specific to insider research in universities as particular types of organizations. Its audience is newcomers to insider research within universities considering doing such a project for professional reasons, for a PhD, or as part of a funded research project.
The book points the reader to key issues they need to consider and to the best literature resources to explore these further, where they need to. It covers areas such as: good research design; avoiding potential problems; taking best advantage of insider research designs; guaranteeing robustness and value; and dealing with especially problematic issues in insider research, such as ethical and political ones. There is a chapter based on the author’s own research work which suggests fruitful theoretical approaches and related insider research agendas. The final chapter suggests further resources for insider research.
Paul Trowler is uniquely qualified to write on this topic. He is Professor of Higher Education at Lancaster University, UK. His PhD thesis was an insider study of a university. He has supervised many ‘insider’ PhD theses to successful completion. Paul has previously written 19 books, 21 articles, 20 chapters (all in conventional, physical, format). He has BA, MA, Cert. Ed. and PhD degrees and is an elected Fellow of the Society for Research into Higher Education.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Overview
What is ‘insider’ research?
Challenges & opportunities
Chapter 2: Researching universities
Universities as organizations
Researching professional knowledge
Chapter 3: Research design
Questions and answers
Single & multi-site studies
Theory & insider research
An example of research design
Chapter 4: Value & robustness
Beyond the particular
Questions for the insider researcher
Chapter 5: Ethical & political issues
Chapter 6: Social practice theory applied
Researching social practices
Ontological & epistemological implications
Research design & topics
Chapter 7: Resources for insider research
About the author