I Never Promised You a Rose Garden: When Research Questions Ought to Change

Robert MacIntosh, Jean M. Bartunek, Mamta Bhatt, Donald MacLean

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

11 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter addresses the common assumption that research questions are fixed at the outset of a study and should remain stable thereafter.We consider field-based organizational research and ask whether and when research questions can legitimately change. We suggest that change can, does, and indeed should occur in response to changes in the context within which the research is being conducted. Using an illustrative example,we identify refinement and reframing as two distinct types of research question development. We conclude that greater transparency over research question evolution would be a healthy development for the field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Organizational Change and Development
EditorsDebra A. Noumair, Abraham B. (Rami) Shani
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781786353597
ISBN (Print)9781786353603
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameResearch in Organizational Change and Development
ISSN (Print)0897-3016


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