ABSTRACT

There is a very big risk that emergent design research with an intersubjective, mutual-shaping focus will be dismissed as nonrigorous knowledge building. Many, mostly from a more traditional, positivist perspective, will doubt that this type of process can be called research, let alone scientific research. As a response to the concerns that constructivist inquiry is more art and intervention than science, various elements of research oversight have been developed. Outside observation and monitoring of the process and product attempt to warrant the rigor of the constructivist process and product. The challenges to prove quality in constructivist research are a bit different than with traditional research. In traditional research, if the results are either generalizable or reproducible, there is agreement that the research has merit. In alternative research such as constructivism, generalizability and reproducibility are neither of interest, nor are they possible. Therefore, warranted assertibility (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Schwandt & Halpern, 1988) is the goal of research oversight in alternative paradigm research. Here, the researcher must put into place sufficient safeguards and reviews to suggest that the findings are reasonable, given the assumptions, the processes, and the context of the inquiry.