Structuring the process of design research : a necessary step towards ensuring scientific rigor
Faculty of Design Sciences
Glasgow :Design soc
DESIGN FOR HARMONIES, VOL 2: DESIGN THEORY AND RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), AUG 19-22, 2013, Sungkyunkwan Univ, Sungkyunkwan Univ, Seoul, SOUTH KOREA
, 10 p.
University of Antwerp
Almost every researcher is aware of less successful or even failed Ph.D. research projects or contracted industrial research projects. In most of these cases, there are methodological, structural and procedural reasons in the background. In this paper I argue that research projects need to be decomposed into procedural units and these procedural units should be complete from a methodological as well as from an epistemological point of view. The concept of research cycle has been considered as a practical manifestation of these procedural units. A research cycle comprises a part in which intelligence for generating a new theory is attained and a part in which the new theory is scrutinized by applying critical thinking. These parts can be transformed into a sequence of stages, having their own objectives. The activity elements of these stages are explained in the paper. The proposed approach enhances objectivity, reproducibility, rational scrutiny, empirical testability, reliability of theories, as well as justification and validity. The benefits of applying this approach have been observed in more than ten Ph.D. research projects and twenty graduation projects so far.