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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2023

Kudakwashe Chirambwi

It is assumed that fieldwork experiential learning on constraints of survey and ethnography research orientations in investigating armed conflict in Africa can contribute to the…

Abstract

Purpose

It is assumed that fieldwork experiential learning on constraints of survey and ethnography research orientations in investigating armed conflict in Africa can contribute to the body of knowledge and help practitioners as well as other researchers working in difficult situations, such as war zones. More importantly, this paper aims to understand significant problems in Southern Africa, further methodological debates and produce new frontiers of knowledge in Southern African research studies. This paper will help other researchers who will be planning to conduct research in ongoing war-torn zones to be flexible with mixed research methodologies and data collection techniques that can ensure not only reliability and validity of the data but also, and more importantly, greater generalizability of this study.

Design/methodology/approach

This research in Cabo was initially guided by survey and ethnographic approaches. After facing constraints in their use in investigating the complexity of new wars, the author developed and shifted to interpretivism methodology as an alternative. It is essential that researchers be sensitive to the tensions between survey and ethnography methodologies and how they can be a mismatch to the research purpose.

Findings

The fieldwork experiences, using standardised survey and ethnography research orientations in Gabo, show that there is no generally appropriate blueprint of how to conduct research in violent conflicts. The valorised survey and ethnographic research strategies were not closely matched to facilitate understanding of the complexity of hybrid armed actors, indiscriminate and targeted violence which combined to militate against data generation. In the face of these problems, the author developed a new methodology, interpretivism, which embedded the descriptive, explanatory and predictive approaches. In tumultuous contexts, the standardised methodologies prioritize data generation more than critical thinking.

Originality/value

It is essential to study the nature of African armed conflicts by combining creativity and flexibility in the selection of research strategies. The constraints on peace research in war-torn situations in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, have laid out the weaknesses of peacetime research methodologies, including survey research and ethnographic approaches. Now is the time to reassess fieldwork-based research particularly in violent settings.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 20 March 2023

Kudakwashe Chirambwi

This paper argues for the need to use multiple sources and methods that respond to research challenges presented by new forms of war. There are methodological constraints and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper argues for the need to use multiple sources and methods that respond to research challenges presented by new forms of war. There are methodological constraints and contention on the superiority given to positivist and interpretivist research designs when doing fieldwork in war situations, hence there is a need to use integrated data generation techniques. The combined effect of severe limitations of movement for both the researcher and researched fragmented data because of polarized views about the causes of the war and unpredictable events that make information hard to come by militate against systematic, organised and robust data generation. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to make fieldwork researchers understand significant research problems unique to war zones.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was guided by the postmodernist mode of thought which challenges standardised research traditions. Fieldwork experiences in Cabo suggest the need to use the composite strategies that rely on the theoretical foundation of integrative and creative collection of data when doing research in violent settings.

Findings

The fieldwork experiences showed that the standardised, conventional and valorised positivist and ethnographic research strategies may not sufficiently facilitate understanding of the dynamics of war. There should not be firm rules, guidelines or regulations governing the actions of the researcher in conflict. As such, doing research in violent settings require reflexivity, flexibility and creativity in research strategies that respond to rapid changes. Research experiences in Mozambique show the need to use blended methods that include even less structured methodologies.

Originality/value

Fieldwork experiences in Cabo challenges researchers who cling to standardised research traditions which often hamper awareness of new postmodernist mode of thought applicable to war settings. It is essential to study the nature of African armed conflicts by combining creativity and flexibility in the selection of research strategies.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Kudakwashe Chirambwi

The purpose of this paper is to draw lessons from the important contributions of appreciative inquiry leadership in shaping the future people aspects to police leadership. A…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to draw lessons from the important contributions of appreciative inquiry leadership in shaping the future people aspects to police leadership. A practice model of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Women Network (ZRP WN) illuminates how the future of policing in a context of mutually reinforcing confluence of increasing rate of crime, state decay, and economic decline is contingent upon shifting from the current preoccupation of “what works” to “what is important.”

Design/methodology/approach

Guided by the organising principles of the 4-D cycle involving discovery, dream, design and destiny/delivery, the appreciative inquiry leadership model illuminates a sustainable future-oriented policing.

Findings

The case study of ZRP WN reveals the resilience and adaptability of female police officers to policing challenges as they constantly designed people-oriented policing operations and activities.

Practical implications

Of importance is the exponential influence of communis and phronesis in rethinking and redesigning police roles in decades to come.

Originality/value

The ZRP WN, through its shared vision of values, gives us a leaf on how to respond to the ever-changing values of justice and police leadership altering contexts.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

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