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Applied Research Methods in Public and Nonprofit Organizations

Book Description

A complete guide to applied research, featuring original data and detailed case studies

Applied Research Methods in Public and Nonprofit Organizations takes an integrative approach to applied research, emphasizing design, data collection, and analysis. Common case studies across chapters illustrate the everyday nature of research, and practical exercises reinforce concepts across all sections of the text. The book includes forms and formats for data collection and analysis, plus writing excerpts that demonstrate results reporting and presentation. The accompanying instructor's guide features assignments, discussion questions, and exercises referenced in the book, and the authors' own data sets are available for use online.

Conducting research, analyzing results, and synthesizing the findings for key stakeholders is fundamental to the study and practice of public and nonprofit management. Aligned with management curriculum for both sectors, the book focuses on the common ground these organizations share when it comes to planning, conducting, and using research in day-to-day professional activities. The original research examples presented are in the context of this shared commonality, including resource acquisition, evaluative processes, and future planning through the lens of common social policy issues facing leaders today. Topics include:

  • The research process and applied research designs

  • Applied research questions and literature

  • Data collection in the field and survey research

  • Data analysis, writing, and presentation

  • The examples highlight intergovernmental institutions in which public service occurs, and provide expanded reach to nonprofit organizations and the networked collaborations that make up a significant portion of today's public service. For students and practitioners of public administration, public policy, and nonprofit management, Applied Research Methods in Public and Nonprofit Organizations provides a comprehensive reference to this critical skillset.

    Table of Contents

    1. List of Figures and Tables
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. The Authors
    4. Introduction
    5. Part One: Research Basics: What Do We Want to Know and Why?
      1. Chapter One: Overview and Context of the Research Process
        1. The Research Process
        2. Values, Beliefs, and Certainty in Applied Disciplines
        3. Ethics and Institutional Review Boards
        4. Decision Trees
        5. Conclusion
        6. Overview of the Book
        7. Chapter Support Materials
      2. Chapter Two: Applied Research Questions, Literature, and Theory
        1. Asking Good Research Questions
        2. Using Literature and Building Theory
        3. Theories of Change and Logic Models
        4. Decision Tree
        5. Conclusion
        6. Chapter Support Materials
      3. Chapter Three: Applied Research Designs
        1. General Parameters of Design
        2. Major Design Types
        3. Sampling
        4. Decision Trees
        5. Conclusion
        6. Chapter Support Materials
    6. Part Two: Data Collection: Where and How Can We Gather Information?
      1. Chapter Four: Qualitative Data Collection in the Field
        1. Validity, Reliability, and Error in Qualitative Research
        2. The Process of Conducting Field Research
        3. Interviews
        4. Focus Groups
        5. Direct Observation
        6. Content Analysis
        7. Case Studies
        8. Case Illustrations of Data Collection
        9. Decision Tree
        10. Conclusion
        11. Chapter Support Materials
      2. Chapter Five: Survey Research
        1. The Survey Research Process
        2. Survey Design
        3. Problems and Controversies in Survey Research
        4. Case Illustrations of Survey Use
        5. Decision Tree
        6. Conclusion
        7. Chapter Support Materials
    7. Part Three: Analyzing Data and Communicating About Them: What Do They Mean? How Can They Be Used?
      1. Chapter Six: Data Analysis
        1. Context and Descriptive Analysis
        2. Qualitative Analysis
        3. Quantitative Analysis
        4. Case Applications of Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis
        5. Decision Tree
        6. Conclusion
        7. Chapter Support Materials
      2. Chapter Seven: Writing and Presentations
        1. General Tips for Writing
        2. Types of Writing
        3. Presentations
        4. Case Illustrations of Writing and Presentation
        5. Decision Tree
        6. Conclusion
        7. Chapter Support Materials
    8. Glossary
    9. Bibliography and Works Cited
    10. Index
    11. End User License Agreement