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Workplace Research

Workplace Research
Conducting small-scale research in organizations

First Edition

May 2016 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Undertaking small-scale applied workplace-based research presents a unique set of challenges including how to conduct good research in time pressured situations and how to thrive in unfamiliar work environments. This book will help you to meet these challenges by setting out a step-by-step guide to planning, conducting and delivering top quality small-scale work-based research projects.

In addition this book will help you to adapt quickly to your new surroundings. It will provide a strong strategic skill set that will enable you to navigate the workplace and ensure that your research findings inform organizational decision making. It tackles the challenge of conducting rigorous credible research FOR and WITHIN organizations and provides tangible advice for those looking to complete their research in very short time frames and with limited resources.

Written by established academics, with significant experience coordinating industry/government placements and internships, the book will help you to bridge the gap between academic expectations and the requirements of the organisation, including the need to

  • Develop a ‘pitch’ as well as a proposal;
  • Produce powerful visualizations as well as logical narrative;
  • Present practicable recommendations as well as findings/conclusions;
  • Develop persuasive deliverables as well as traditional research reports;
  • Create presentations that persuade as well as inform.

Packed full of real-life examples, actionable advice and sensitive pedagogy this book will get you through your placement with confidence and style.


1. Understanding small- scale applied workplace based research
2. Finding your way through workplace
3. Developing practicable and valuable research questions
4. Doing the prep: Literature reviews, research plans & proposals
5. Working with existing data
6. Gathering primary data
7. Analysing your data
8. Producing effective deliverables

A much needed book. Practical, full of examples, it will be a valuable companion to any student who undertakes workplace learning. More and more students are undertaking work placements and internships as part of their studies. O’Leary and Hunt’s book will help them to navigate the experience, define their research, and undertake it to benefit themselves and the workplace.

Jackie Carter
Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences, University of Manchester

A must-have for anyone interested in doing or understanding applied small scale research projects in work places.  The readings stress the need for rigorous inquiry, designed and executed to produce findings which can inform organisational decision making.  In line with its emphasis on practicality and relevance, the book also advises how to proceed with limited resources (including time) with a special focus on projects done on internships and placements – a very valuable contribution. 

Keith Punch
Emeritus Professor, The University of Western Australia

The language and structure of the text is very appropriate for undergraduate students who are new to research.

Dr Nurdilek Dalziel
Business School, Staffordshire University
June 18, 2016

This textbook is a great tool to complement those evidence based projects completed within the workplace.

Dr Ian Pepper
School of Social Sciences and Law, University of Teesside
November 17, 2016

This was not the type of textbook I was looking for.

Dr Joseph Vella
Communications , University of Malta
June 8, 2016

Perfect for understanding how to construct a problem based research in organizational setting as a part of Organizational Behavior studies.

Mrs Ausra Turcinskaite-Balciuniene
Management , Faculty of Business Management
June 10, 2016

This is a great book for my module even though it has too much of a business perspective written into it. It would be even more useful if it wasn't written exclusively about business placements

Dr Natalia Gerodetti
Social Sciences, Leeds Beckett University
September 23, 2016

very helpful with MBA research for students who have been out of education for some time. Really well written and contains useful examples.

Mrs Laura Castles
Management, Torfaen Training
August 23, 2016

Really useful for those who are studying whilst working.

Dr Ian Pepper
School of Social Sciences and Law, University of Teesside
May 27, 2016

A timely, useful and accessible text.

Mrs Anne Henry-Whittle
Social Science , Doncaster College & University Centre
June 7, 2016

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ISBN: 9781473913219

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