ROUTE #1: Getting Started
ROUTE #1: Chapter-by-Chapter


Setting your research strategy

Once you have a good understanding of the theoretical components involved in your main journal article, your choice of route, and the approach within that route, it is time to set the research strategy you will use in your dissertation.

Your dissertation guidelines may refer to this stage of your dissertation as setting the research design, research methodology, or even research methods, but these are just three of the components that can make up a research strategy. We prefer to refer to your setting a research strategy because all the choices you make concerning how you implement (i.e., operationalize) your dissertation should be strategic. This is because the research strategy you implement in your dissertation consists of a number of components, and these components are all interrelated; that is, the choice of one component (e.g., your research design) influences the next (e.g., your research methods).

Whilst it is best to consult your dissertation guidelines to see which components you are required to include, your research strategy generally requires that you are able to describe, explain and justify:

The extent to which the nature of these components (e.g., the different types of research method available) will vary between the main journal article and your dissertation will depend on the route you are following, and the approach within that route.

Broadly speaking, you will be able to rely more heavily on the research strategy used in the main journal article when setting your research strategy if you have taken on Route A: Duplication compared with Route B: Generalisation, and certainly, Route C: Extension, which typically requires more independent thought and planning. However, there are certain expectations, usually set out in dissertation guidelines, which require certain components of research strategy to be discussed, even when these were not addressed in your main journal article. Therefore, you need to understand (a) what these components mean, and (b) not only the explicitly mentioned components in your main journal article, but also those that are implicit, but not mentioned, and those that may have been intentionally left out.

In order to set your research strategy, you will need to (a) consider the route you are following, and the approach within that route, (b) research relevant theory about the various components of research strategy, (c) devise your research strategy, and (d) address practical requirements associated with this research strategy. When you work through this STAGE SIX, bear in mind that it can be one of the easiest places within the dissertation process to gain or lose marks. It can also be challenging, and you may need to spend time reading through relevant theory. However, we have many articles within the Research Strategy section of the Fundamentals part of Lærd Dissertation to help you. To start the process, work through the following seven steps, each of which address a different component involved in setting your research strategy:

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