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Book part

Fiona Hallett

The premise of this chapter is that methodological ‘tribes’ in higher education create ‘territories’ of research practice that do little to encourage those new to research…

Abstract

The premise of this chapter is that methodological ‘tribes’ in higher education create ‘territories’ of research practice that do little to encourage those new to research to reconceptualise methodology. This premise is based upon the perceived absence of dialogic space, beyond an expert academic community, that would allow open critique of the degree to which research methodologies make sense for those ‘on the ground’. As such, it is argued that practices of this nature signify methodological process over genuine debate around methodological theory, which can serve to encourage methodological idolatry. Phenomenography has been selected, and analysed, in this chapter as an example of a research methodology used in higher education, in order to reveal both the encoded messages of phenomenography and the layering of meaning that such messages convey. The chapter concludes by arguing for a repositioning of research methodologies as ontologically coherent heuristic devices that enable us to generate and test theory, rather than as processes of discovery that may lead us to unsubstantiated claims of knowledge generation.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research II
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-823-5

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Article

Sandra Regina da Rocha-Pinto, Leandro Schoemer Jardim, Samantha Luiza De Souza Broman, Maria Isabel Peixoto Guimaraes and Carlos Frederico Trevia

This paper aims to propose the phenomenography as an approach that may contribute to the organizational studies based on the practice perspective, considering that it…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose the phenomenography as an approach that may contribute to the organizational studies based on the practice perspective, considering that it analyzes the phenomenon through the practitioner’s view and experience.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a theoretical essay about phenomenography as a theoretical-methodological perspective, considering its concept, its relation with practice theories and how its theoretical-methodological approach is capable of bringing a new perspective over the organizations, in the practice perspective.

Findings

The phenomenographic method, together with the practice perspective, enables mapping, identifying, describing and relating all the different ways by which an organization, in each one of its structuring dimensions, is effectively experienced. It argues that aspects such as the phenomenographic interview, the second-order perspective, the collective conceptions stated in the outcome space and their relations, the complexity of hierarchy and the abductive theorization about the emerging concepts of collective perceptions form, all together, an alternative and promising theoretical approach to analyze the entanglement between action and the material dimension that constitutes the organizational practices.

Practical implications

The phenomenographic outcome space may become a catalyst of a theorization about practices, which is capable to modify them or modify the way they are understood.

Originality/value

It discusses the possibility of phenomenography to theorize from the agents’ collective consciousness.

Details

RAUSP Management Journal, vol. 54 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2531-0488

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Brandon Collier-Reed and Åke Ingerman

In this description of phenomenography, we take a functional view of the theoretical underpinnings that have traditionally been used to support its trustworthiness as a…

Abstract

In this description of phenomenography, we take a functional view of the theoretical underpinnings that have traditionally been used to support its trustworthiness as a qualitative research approach. The chapter has two objectives, first to serve as an introduction for those considering embarking on research with a phenomenographic framing, and second to enable the recognition of the quality and scope of the knowledge claim inherent in phenomenographic outcomes.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-682-8

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Article

Susie Andretta

The purpose of this paper is to explore the adoption of a phenomenographic conceptual framework to investigate learning from the perspective of the learner, with the aim…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the adoption of a phenomenographic conceptual framework to investigate learning from the perspective of the learner, with the aim of reflecting on the features that this approach shares with information literacy education in general, and with the relational model in particular.

Design/methodology/approach

The study offers an analysis of phenomenographic research on learning undertaken by Marton, which is further elaborated by examples of collaborative work by Marton and Booth, as well as by Fazey and Marton. The relationship between understanding and learning, promoted by this perspective, is explored in this paper to illustrate its impact on retention and transfer of the learning process. This is compared with the iterative and independent learning approaches promoted by information literacy education, and specific examples are used to illustrate the pedagogical overlap between phenomenography and information literacy. In addition, the paper examines the relational approach of information literacy promoted by the individual and collective works of Bruce, Lupton, and Edwards to demonstrate how the person‐world relation, advocated by phenomenography, is used to examine the learner‐information relationship promoted by the work of these authors.

Findings

The paper reflects on the potential impact that phenomenography and the relational perspectives have on pedagogical practices in Higher Education. In particular, it aims to demonstrate how the relational approach, together with the learn‐how‐to‐learn ethos of information literacy, is fundamental in promoting a framework for lifelong learning that leads to the empowering of the learner through an iterative cycle of reflection and practice, i.e. what phenomenography defines as variation in practice to foster the ownership of learning.

Originality/value

In line with the person‐world relation, the paper explores the relationship between learners and information by outlining its internal/subjective and external/objective dynamics. Claims that the learner's ability to reflect on these dynamics enhances his or her independent learning attitude are explored in the light of current phenomenographic and information literacy research.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 59 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article

Marc Forster

The workplace is a context of increasing interest in information literacy research, if not necessarily the most visible (Cheuk, 2017). Several studies have described…

Abstract

Purpose

The workplace is a context of increasing interest in information literacy research, if not necessarily the most visible (Cheuk, 2017). Several studies have described contextual, relationship-based experiences of this subjective, knowledge-development focussed phenomenon (Forster, 2017b). What research contexts and methods are likely to be most effective, especially in workplaces which contain professions of widely differing ontologies and epistemological realities? The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis and description of the value and validity of a “qualitative mixed methods” approach in which the thematic form of phenomenography is contextualised ethnographically.

Findings

This paper describes a new research design for investigation into information literacy in the workplace, and discusses key issues around sampling, data collection and analysis, suggesting solutions to predictable problems. Such an approach would be centred on thematic phenomenographic data from semi-structured interviews, contextualised by additional ethnographic methods of data collection. The latter’s findings are analysed in light of the interview data to contextualise that data and facilitate a workplace-wide analysis of information literacy and the information culture it creates.

Originality/value

Insights from recent research studies into information literacy in the workplace have suggested the possibility of an epistemologically justifiable, qualitative mixed methods design involving an ethnographic contextualisation of a thematic phenomenographic analysis of the information culture of an ontologically varied and complex workplace – with the potential for descriptive contextualisation, categorisation and generalisability.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Book part

Gerlese Åkerlind, Jo McKenzie and Mandy Lupton

This chapter describes an innovative method of curriculum design that is based on combining phenomenographic research, and the associated variation theory of learning…

Abstract

This chapter describes an innovative method of curriculum design that is based on combining phenomenographic research, and the associated variation theory of learning, with the notion of disciplinary threshold concepts to focus specialised design attention on the most significant and difficult parts of the curriculum. The method involves three primary stages: (i) identification of disciplinary concepts worthy of intensive curriculum design attention, using the criteria for threshold concepts; (ii) action research into variation in students’ understandings/misunderstandings of those concepts, using phenomenography as the research approach; (iii) design of learning activities to address the poorer understandings identified in the second stage, using variation theory as a guiding framework. The curriculum design method is inherently theory and evidence based. It was developed and trialed during a two-year project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, using physics and law disciplines as case studies. Disciplinary teachers’ perceptions of the impact of the method on their teaching and understanding of student learning were profound. Attempts to measure the impact on student learning were less conclusive; teachers often unintentionally deviated from the design when putting it into practice for the first time. Suggestions for improved implementation of the method are discussed.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research II
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-823-5

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Book part

Peter Gibbings, John Lidstone and Christine Bruce

This chapter extends the phenomenographical research method by arguing the merits of engineering the outcome space from these investigations to effectively communicate the…

Abstract

This chapter extends the phenomenographical research method by arguing the merits of engineering the outcome space from these investigations to effectively communicate the outcomes to an audience in technology-based discipline areas. Variations discovered from the phenomenographical study are blended with pre- and post-tests and a frequency distribution. Outcomes are then represented in a visual statistical manner to suit the specific target audience. This chapter provides useful insights that will be of interest to researchers wishing to present findings from qualitative research methods, and particularly the outcomes of phenomenographic investigations, to an audience in technology-based discipline areas.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-287-0

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Article

Ron Fisher, Mark Francis, Andrew Thomas, Kevin Burgess and Katherine Mutter

The purpose of this paper is to consider value as individual and experiential, based on the relationships between conceptions of value, rather than attempting to identify…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider value as individual and experiential, based on the relationships between conceptions of value, rather than attempting to identify a common factor. The authors use the term “family” to represent the relationships between conceptions of value and provide a philosophical basis that underpins this. The authors also propose an appropriate method for researching value as family resemblances.

Design/methodology/approach

In this conceptual paper, the authors propose a new approach to understanding the nature of value in terms of family resemblances. In many marketing studies, value is described as being phenomenologically based, with an increasing number also emphasizing its experiential nature. Attempts to conceptualize value phenomenologically lead to tension between the search for an essence and the qualitatively different ways in which value is experienced by individuals. The authors propose phenomenography as a research approach that accommodates value based on differences rather than essences.

Findings

Recognizing that there is no necessary condition or essence by which value may be defined resolves the tension that has arisen from the simultaneous search for a common feature and the assertion that value is experientially created by individuals. The research also highlights that the nature of value may differ between people, time and place or some aspects of it may be the same. Regarding value in terms of family resemblances accommodates actors’ different conceptions of value. Phenomenography is an appropriate approach to operationalize conceptions of value in terms of family membership.

Research limitations/implications

Understanding value as a family, and using phenomenography as method, provides methodological clarity to a long-standing research issue. Using the approaches outlined in this study will enable empirical studies of the nature of value in any context to be conducted soundly and relatively quickly. It will also provide a more inclusive and holistic set of values based on the experiences of individuals.

Practical implications

The research provides important insights for practitioners through clearer conceptions of value. These include the ability to plan and deliver business outcomes that are more closely aligned with customer values. Understanding the conceptions of value experienced by actors in marketing, as determined through family resemblances, has clear implications for researchers and practitioners.

Originality/value

Understanding actors’ conceptions of value through the lens of family resemblances resolves a long-standing research issue. Using phenomenography as method is an approach seldom used in marketing that addresses the need for increased use of qualitative research in marketing.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Book part

Clarence Maybee

This chapter discusses using phenomenography to study information experience. Phenomenographers aim to investigate people’s experiences of the world around them, which is…

Abstract

This chapter discusses using phenomenography to study information experience. Phenomenographers aim to investigate people’s experiences of the world around them, which is comprised of the interrelationship between an individual and a phenomenon they are focusing on. Phenomenography has been identified as a research approach suited to the study of information experience. Phenomenographic research investigating experiences of using information in different contexts has led to the development of informed learning, which is an approach to information literacy that emphasizes learning as an outcome of using information. Recent research focusing on information experience has been referred to as informed learning research. The preliminary findings from a current informed learning study illustrate the educative benefits of researching information experience. This study investigates a classroom lesson, in which a teacher outlines an assignment that requires the students to understand a language and gender topic by investigating the evolution of research on the topic. The lesson is experienced in multiple ways by the students and the analysis suggests a way of enhancing the lesson to enable more students to experience it in the way intended by the teacher.

Details

Information Experience: Approaches to Theory and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-815-0

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Book part

Hilary Hughes

This chapter highlights the varied scope of research in the emerging information experience domain. First, I share my perspective as educator-researcher on information

Abstract

This chapter highlights the varied scope of research in the emerging information experience domain. First, I share my perspective as educator-researcher on information experience and its association with informed learning. Then, in six methodological snapshots I present a selection of qualitative approaches which are suited to investigating information experience. The snapshots feature: action research, constructivist grounded theory, ethnomethodology, expanded critical incident approach, phenomenography and qualitative case study. By way of illustration, six researchers explain how and why they use one of these methods. Finally, I review the key characteristics of the six methods and their respective benefits for information experience research.

Details

Information Experience: Approaches to Theory and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-815-0

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