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Leaping into real-world relevance: an ‘abduction’ process for nonprofit research

Taylor, RJ ORCID: 0000-0003-3433-2743, Torugsa, N ORCID: 0000-0001-6563-4272 and Arundel, A ORCID: 0000-0001-6833-2472 2017 , 'Leaping into real-world relevance: an ‘abduction’ process for nonprofit research' , Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 47, no. 1 , pp. 206-227 , doi:

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Positioned in the midst of the heated debate about the production of relevant and usable knowledge for practitioners in the nonprofit sector and a serious shortage of high-impact research that speaks to practice, the purpose of this Research Note is to direct nonprofit scholarship toward embracing “abduction,” which is the initial creative stage in scientific inquiry that facilitates the formulation of testable explanatory hypotheses and makes new discoveries in a sensory and logically structured way. We use an emerging interest in social innovation by the nonprofit sector as an illustrative example to show the advantages of using abductive reasoning as the primary method of reasoning for discovering new knowledge of a nascent but vital phenomenon. The novel contribution of this Research Note lies in encouraging scholarship on the nonprofit sector to an applied “practice-led” research process that is intellectually relevant and has the potential to bridge the scholar–practice divide.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Taylor, RJ and Torugsa, N and Arundel, A
Keywords: abduction, methods of reasoning, research relevance, phenomenon-driven research, social innovation
Journal or Publication Title: Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISSN: 0899-7640
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2017 The Authors

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