Research Techniques

 Most of the projects that Keston Technologies undertakes combine several research and evaluation techniques. For example:

  • Strategic planning combines environmental scanning (Internal & External Analysis) with strategy formulation and the definition of evaluation and control processes (measuring progress against objectives and goals and adjusting strategies and tactics to reflect the experiences, failures and successes).
  • Regional strategic and economic development plans include stakeholder consultation and analysis, literature research and case study analysis.
  • Project and program monitoring and assessment incorporates methodological development, consultations and qualitative and quantitative assessments.

In the majority of projects there is a high degree of primary research (consultation) required, among stakeholders, user groups and/or the community. Keston Technologies has experience of using a wide range of consultative methods, including:

  • Structured or un-structured face-to-face interviews,
  • Workshops and focus groups,
  • Telephone surveys,
  • Paper/electronic surveys.

Primary research methods are selected on the basis of effectiveness and practicality for the task at hand, and results are analysed using the appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative statistical analyses, including a variety of measures of reliability (such as chi-squared (χ2) calculations and the Wilcoxon Rank-Sum tests for frequency distributions).

The diagram below illustrates various methods that are used in strategy and management research. These methods range from direct observation, which is uncontrolled but highly realistic, to computer simulations, which are highly artificial but controlled. In general, the field research methods employed by Keston Technologies comprise interviews and questionnaire survey techniques, together with the development of case studies.