Doing Realist Research
- Nick Emmel - University of Leeds, UK
- Joanne Greenhalgh - University of Leeds, UK
- Ana Manzano - University of Leeds, UK
- Mark Monaghan - University of Loughborough, UK
- Sonia Dalkin - Northumbria University, UK
Evaluation Theory | Qualitative Research (General)
Bringing together leading theorists, researchers and policy makers with expertise in using realist methods, this book is a definitive guide to putting realist methodologies into practice.
Not just an overview of the field, this book looks to extend current debates and apply realist methods to new and practical challenges in social research. Featuring practical, worked examples of how to turn theory into evidence, it empowers readers not just to understand realist methods, but to use them.
It will help readers:
- Negotiate the complexity of relational systems
- Understand the importance and relevance of cumulative theory
- Address concerns over data sources and quality
- Be flexible and creative in realist approaches
- Produce useful evidence for policy.
Sophisticated and globally minded, this book is the perfect addition to the ongoing development and application of realist methods across evaluation, synthesis, and social research.
This is the book the realist community has been asking for. It offers "tricks of the realist trade", with useful tips for realist researchers and evaluators in areas from eliciting program theory and data gathering to understanding mechanisms. Reading the book is like eavesdropping on leaders in the field as they discuss each others’ work, and indicate future directions for realist approaches.
This book is a feast to read and work with. With hands-on advice about realist methods, utilization and fieldwork as well as in-depth discussions around mechanisms, theories, and epistemology, it deserves a very warm welcome from realist and social researchers alike.
I wish all social science researchers would read this book – and then think much more carefully about the way they design and enact research studies. It sets out clearly the ideas of realistic or theory-driven evaluation, and brings together great wisdom and experience in doing such evaluations in practice.
This book successfully combines cutting-edge accounts of the application of realist research with important discussions about its scope. Its appeal is enhanced by the inclusion of significant reflections on the development and current state of play of realist enquiry.
This book offers stimulating analyses of the development and application of a realist approach to evaluation, evidence synthesis, and empirical research generally. With illustrations from projects in which they have been involved, the authors illuminate key methodological topics, from the nature of causal mechanisms to the task of "impacting" on policymaking. Anyone with an interest in this approach, and especially in putting it into practice, will find the book essential reading.
This important book provides detailed, practical advice on using realist theories and methods in program evaluation and social research. In particular, it is pathbreaking in demonstrating the value of integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches in realist research.
Doing Realist Research combines the foundations of the realist methodology with the very latest thinking in the application, and development, of the approach. From understanding mechanisms, and the formulation of programme theories, to understanding the role of complexity, and conducting economic evaluations. This engaging, easy to read book provides comprehensive advice and guidance for novices and experts alike.
The clear explanations of Programme Theories, Contexts and Mechanisms enable the novice realist researcher to understand the methodology and design their study effectively. There were a number of helpful hints presented, such as the online PubVenn tool that graphically represents the fruits of a literature search.
This is a must-have text-book for researchers undertaking a Realist Synthesis or a Realist Evaluation study, particularly masters and doctoral students
In using this book to inform my own research, in both public health and education, it was debates around the conceptualization of mechanisms (a central tenet in realist research), and the role of mechanisms within complex interventions and complex social environments which most captured my interest. These early chapters embody Campbell’s (1998) ‘disputative body of scholars’ as the widely accepted definition of mechanism is challenged, debated, and adapted to meet the needs of the research presented
Excellent text, builds on previous work in an accessible, user-friendly but academically rigorous style.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Doing realist evaluation, synthesis and research