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Paper 121: Innovation in Qualitative Research Methods: Possibilities and Challenges

Chris Taylor and Amanda Coffey

Methodological innovation is seen as a significant feature of UK social science research. This is also seen as a desirable and necessary part of ensuring the sustainability of UK social science within the contexts of global economic competition and an expanding knowledge economy. Furthermore, attention to methodological innovation is increasingly being made by the various funding agencies in the UK higher education system. This paper attempts to consider the role of innovation in social research and methodological practice in more detail. A key focus of this paper is on innovation of qualitative research methods, based largely on the authors’ own experiences of the development of new methodological practices in qualitative research and related research capacity building activities. We offer a framework for how we might identify and define methodological innovation in qualitative research before considering the main challenges of innovative developments and/or practice, including the routinisation of methodological innovation, risk-taking, and, finally, research capacity building

Innovation in Qualitative Research Methods: Possibilities and Challenges, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, 25, Series Working Paper Series, December(2008), ISBN 978-1-904815-84-6