This article reviews the concept of innovation as it has been presented through qualitative research studies. After reviewing 57 papers that made claims of innovative methods, the authors assert that the concept is overused. The studies revealed that most innovation refers to adapting existing methods or adopting methods from other fields. There are six categories of innovation noted in the article. These are creative methods, narrative methods, mixed methods, online and e-research methods, software tools, and focus group methodology. This study shows an important tendency for researchers to inflate their methods to have better sellable research projects. This article provides evidence for what I have experienced myself. Many researchers claim that they are using new methods, but it is something I have seen used in other fields many times. It is disappointing to me as a reader, because it shows that the researcher was not entirely aware of their potential approaches. This article tickles me, because after learning about the historical developments of theories on both anthropology and archaeology, this practice is all too common. For example, New Archaeology is a concept that is no longer new, but at the time it was seen as a more innovative way to see things.
Wiles, R., Crow, G., & Pain, H. (2011). Innovation in Qualitative Research Methods: A Narrative Review. Qualitative Research, 11(5), 587–604. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794111413227
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