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Leaping into real-world relevance: an ‘abduction’ process for nonprofit research


Taylor, R and Torugsa, N and Arundel, A, Leaping into real-world relevance: an abduction' process for nonprofit research, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 47, (1) pp. 206-227. ISSN 0899-7640 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/0899764017718635


Positioned in the midst of the heated debate about the production of relevant and usable knowledge for practitioners in the nonprofit sector and a serious shortage of high-impact research that speaks to practice, the purpose of this Research Note is to direct nonprofit scholarship toward embracing "abduction," which is the initial creative stage in scientific inquiry that facilitates the formulation of testable explanatory hypotheses and makes new discoveries in a sensory and logically structured way. We use an emerging interest in social innovation by the nonprofit sector as an illustrative example to show the advantages of using abductive reasoning as the primary method of reasoning for discovering new knowledge of a nascent but vital phenomenon. The novel contribution of this Research Note lies in encouraging scholarship on the nonprofit sector to an applied "practice-led" research process that is intellectually relevant and has the potential to bridge the scholar–practice divide.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:abduction, methods of reasoning, research relevance, phenomenon-driven research, social innovation
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management
UTAS Author:Taylor, R (Ms Rachel Taylor)
UTAS Author:Torugsa, N (Dr Ann Torugsa)
UTAS Author:Arundel, A (Professor Anthony Arundel)
ID Code:115858
Year Published:2018 (online first 2017)
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2017-04-13
Last Modified:2018-05-22
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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