This book focuses on the practical relevance of research. It describes in a clear and factual way what research implies. It goes through the five phases in the cycle of designing, performing, analysing and reporting applied research.
The first phase comprises a problem analysis in which the problem definition is formulated. Here, the objective and the central question of the study are determined in consultation with the organisation involved (the client)
The second phase involves studying information sources and building the conceptual model. Literature research is central to this phase (scientific, professional and organisation literature), based on which the research model is defined.
The third phase is designing the plan of approach. In this phase, it is important to elaborate the details of the study (for example, will it be a questionnaire study across all departments of the organisation involved or will a number of interviews with key figures be conducted?).
The fourth phase consists of conducting the research. Data are collected (phase 4A) and then analysed (phase 4B) in order to test the research model constructed in the second phase. In some cases, an intervention will be implemented in this phase (for example the introduction of a new evaluation system).
And finally phase five: drawing conclusions and evaluating. In this last phase, the research questions are answered based on the results, and practical recommendations are given to the client.