The Unanticipated Outcomes of Research: Learning and Development at Work

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


Unanticipated and unexpected outcomes from research activities, albeit empirical findings or those arising from review of literature, can be central to advancing personal research trajectories. Here, four instances of unanticipated findings shaping my understanding of how people learn through their work and across working life are presented. For researchers, such outcomes offer ways forward through illuminating complexities, offering new and potentially novel insights and contributions, re-considerations of existing approaches and the literature being engaged with and the sufficiency of current research procedures. In my case, each of these unanticipated outcomes from research has led me to engage in quite different literature and conceptions. This chapter suggests that rather than discarding or ignoring unanticipated findings, these should be viewed as opportunities to extend insights and ways of undertaking inquiries.


Unanticipated research findings Personal engagement Social factors Research trajectories Human agency Situational factors 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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