THE RESEARCH PROCESS -The METHODOLOGY framing my 7003 Research.

My methodology structuring my 7003 research this term, was created in relation to the critical appraisal we were tasked to conduct at the beginning of this term reflecting on our experience of 7001 and 7002.  On one hand this reflection highlighted my strengths as a creative thinker and idea generator. However more significantly it highlighted my weaknesses in regards to synthesising this creativity to produce clear, accessible and focused outcomes in the time available. The ability to transition between these different styles of research is an integral skill unique to the fashion industry and it’s blend of commerciality and creativity.  It was therefore critical to find a way to reconcile this if I was to fulfil my potential both on this MA and in my planned future career.

In order to mitigate against this potential research process problematic from the outset, I created a methodological research framework building on my learnings from Hilary Collin’s (2011) ‘Creative Research: The Theory and Practise of Research for the Creative Industries.  It is Collins central contention, in her theory of creative research in an business context, that a transition from inductive to deductive research methods is necessary to successfully negotiate the oxymoronic creative and business demands of industries such as Fashion.  Inductive reasoning in the initial stages of the research process, including methods such as brainstorming and open-ended exploration of research sources, is crucial to enabling creativity and generating ideas.  However, ultimately Fashion is an incredibly fast paced industry, which does not have the time or patience for a long-winded, abstracted creative process.  Furthermore, as Collins notes, creativity only translates into Innovation if ideas are communicable, implementable and accessible. Therefore it is of equal importance to transition to a deductive approach partway through the research process, where initial inductive research is reflected upon and conceptualised, resulting in the development of a research question, methodology and planned outputs. This deductive structure, channels this initial creativity, to ensure the development of synthesised innovative research in the time available.  This is the framework that I employed to structure both my overall 7003 research process and each individual 7003 research project, with it’s success demonstrated in the simple fact that I was able to produce a high level and volume of research in the time available.  I will definitely be taking this methodological framework forward into 7004, to ensure the quality and timely completion of my FMP.

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