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Realist Hive

Event details

It’s all about the programme theories - introduction from Lisa Burrows

Hello, my name is Lisa Burrows and I’m a PenCLAHRC PhD student. For the next realist hive, I am going to deliver a session on programme theories.

Realist research seeks to explore how and why a programme works through the development and refinement of programme theories. Pawson and Tilley (1997, pxv) describe them as the ‘conceptual backbone’ where researchers construct explanations about a programme through context-mechanism-outcome configurations. However, translating ideas, literature and research findings, into concise and clear programme theories is challenging.

Using my PhD project as a template, I will discuss the stages I have gone through so far in developing explanations about the programme I am studying, and the next steps for testing and refinement.

During this session there will also be some small group work, where you will develop your own programme theory/theories.

I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday October 26th.

About Realist Hive

The Realist Hive was established in 2013 to provide a discussion forum for colleagues and students interested in realist approaches to research. It was initiated through funding which Mark Pearson and Rebecca Hardwick secured from the Researcher Led Initiative Grant. It is a small, friendly and intelligent group of people and we meet once a term to discuss a paper or current piece of research that uses realist approaches.

Realist research is growing in popularity, at Exeter, Plymouth and internationally, and is thought to be an appropriate methodology for understanding how and why effects are caused.  It is a way of approaching research problems that asks the question “what works, for whom, in what respects and why”.

So if you are already doing realist research, or have heard about realist research and want to learn more, or you just enjoy getting together and talking ‘methods’ and ‘methodology’ then do come along and join us, you would be most welcome. You don’t have to be doing “realist” work to join in.