Who Is Ready for the Results? Reflections on the Multivoicedness of Useful Research

Jan. 20, 2008

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 21, Issue 1, January 2008 , pages 3 – 18.

How is the usefulness of research assessed as university research becomes more and more commodified? The question is addressed through an analysis of how the results of a particular research project were received in a large private company that had provided the main funding for a research project on gender and top management, a project based on poststructuralist approaches.

The ways in which the company received the research took many forms. There were differing responses from the organization's human resource staff, the managers and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) depending on their varying interests, hierarchical positions and individual investments in specific organizational moves and individual careers. People in different positions in the organization applied elements from rationalist and constructionist discourses and combined them in ways that were neither coherent nor fixed.

The article offers a complex analysis of the many and still shifting forces involved in the recipients' assessments of usefulness. It poses questions for researchers and university management concerning researchers' current working conditions and the protection of research integrity.

Updated: Mar. 02, 2008