Design of Research Projects

  • Oddbjørn BukveEmail author


This chapter takes its starting point in the definition of research designs that I presented in the introduction: A research design is a plan for how to carry out a research project. This plan or structure has two parts. One is the purpose of the project, in other words what knowledge we want to develop about what. I distinguish between different purposes that can govern the research interest in a research project: Theory testing, theory development, theoretical interpretation, and lastly an intervention orientation. The other element in the design has to do with how we construct data to answer our questions. Here I distinguish between variable-centred and case-centred strategies as two main forms of data construction and show how they lead to different approaches in the production and analysis of data. Used for different research purposes, these two basic strategies for data construction constitute a number of design variants discussed in the next two chapters about variable-centred designs and case designs. We can also combine the main strategies for design in various ways. Depending on the purpose, such combinations are the basis of integrated designs, comparative designs, and intervention-oriented designs, all of which are introduced in the following chapters.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Norway University of Applied SciencesSogndalNorway

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