Looking through the crystal ball: do others know what you expect from research projects?
Kelty, SF and Julian, R, Looking through the crystal ball: do others know what you expect from research projects?, Policing (Oxford): a journal of policy and practice, 6, (4) pp. 408-417. ISSN 1752-4512 (2012) [Refereed Article]
Do all members of a research team ‘expect’ the same deliverables? Do all members of a research team know
exactly what other members of the team need from the project? Over the past decade there has been an increase in the
number of projects accessing ‘what works’ in policing practice. Many projects are large collaborations between different
police departments, justice agencies, and universities. Whether these interagency projects will be successful is
based on two fundamentals: did the research produce quality outputs; and more importantly, did the outputs match
what people needed and expected. We discuss the importance of understanding what police and other industry
partners expect from projects they invest in. In this article, we use a large multidisciplinary research project involving
two police forces, three universities, and a forensic science industry body as illustrative of how to measure and plan for
differing research direction and outcome expectations. We suggest that to avoid disappointment, police practitioners
voice their expectations and make explicit what they need to achieve. As expectations are rarely static, it makes sense to
revisit over the life of the project the expectations industry partners have.