A Playbook for Research Methods
Click To Enlarge

A Playbook for Research Methods

Price: $36.95
  • Item #: SEB005
* Marked fields are required.
Qty: *





Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management





 Patricia M. Shields & Nandhini Rangarajan



Now Available!


Inspired by student athletes, this Playbook for Research Methods uses football as a metaphor to examine aspects of empirical research often overlooked in typical research methods texts. Writing a large research paper often overwhelms students. This book introduces basic project management tools to the process of writing a paper. The components of a paper are broken into smaller parts (much like lifting weights and drills for a football player). In this way, students can build skills central to scholarly research. The role of
theory is another source of confusion. By using the analogy of a football “play” this book introduces four conceptual frameworks (a kind of close to the data intermediate theory) that brings coherence to all aspects of the research process. But empirical inquiry is not like playing football it is also like coaching football and inventing plays. Scholars should see themselves like football coaches who develop or find these frameworks (plays) as they work through the literature and define their research question. This “student-focused” book uses three examples from award winning student papers to illustrate each of the frameworks. The student’s story begins with finding a topic and then moves to recognizing critical literature, refining the purpose, developing and operationalizing a conceptual framework, choosing a method, analyzing data and presenting findings.





Chapter 1. Overview: Playbooks, Thinking and Conceptual Frameworks

Chapter 2. Focus on Theory and Conceptual Frameworks

Chapter 3. Explanation and Formal Hypotheses

Chapter 4. Description – Categories 

Chapter 5. Exploration – Working Hypotheses

Chapter 6. Gauging – Practical Ideal Type

Chapter 7. Reviewing the Literature and Managing the Project

Chapter 8. Creativity in the Research Process: Implications for the Student Scholar




About the Authors:

Patricia M. Shields is a Professor of Political Science at Texas
State University and the Director of the Master of Public Administration
Program. She has edited the journal Armed Forces & Society since 2001. She
has won numerous teaching awards for her work supervising student research. Her
research interests include pragmatism and public administration, teaching
research methods, women in public administration, and civil military relations.
She is the author of Step-by-Step: Building a Research Project and has
published over 60 articles and book chapters in Public Administration
Review, Administration & Society, American Review of Public Administration,
Armed Forces & Society, Journal of Public Affairs Education, Society,
 Journal of Graduate Teaching Assistant Development, Administrative Theory
and Praxis, Public Administration Quarterly
among others.


Nandhini Rangarajan is an Associate Professor of Political Science
at Texas State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, State University of New York
at Albany. Her research interests are in creativity and innovation, public
management, human resources and organizational behavior. Her articles have
appeared in prominent public administration journals such as the Review of
Public Personnel Administration
, Public Productivity and Management
and the Journal of Public Affairs Education.  Her
chapters have been published in recent books such as The State of Public
and Local Economic Development and the Environment:
Finding Common Ground.


2013 [ISBN: 1-58107-247-3; 280 pages; 8 ½ x 11 inch; soft cover]