An alarming flu season is underway here and, like many, I have been sick, looking after others and trying to keep up with work. A colleague and I are writing an abstract, and I have promised 100-150 words by the end of today. This seems achievable, so I am blogging the same number.
I have recommended this article to several colleagues and PhD candidates this week: Ways of constructing research questions: gap-spotting or problematization?
In brief, Sandberg and Alvesson (2010) argue that identifying a gap in the literature dominates, but is lazy scholarship. Gap-spotting is relatively easy, we’re taught to do it and it lacks criticality. Alternatively, ‘problematization’ challenges assumptions and enables the development of new and creative theories.
Once seen, gap-spotting can’t be unseen, including in your own, already published, writing. Consider yourself warned.