Creating Resilient Research Findings: Using Ethnographic Methods to Combat Research Amnesia

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Product teams, including those I work with, struggle to connect the challenges observed in prior research to issues that endure in the field and market space. As a shortcut for efficiency gains, product partners rely on researchers to succinctly summarize deep insights, sometimes preferring reductive quantitative interpretations to enable a bias toward action in product development cycles. Challenges facing researchers in product development include maintaining the relevance of prior research, providing a way to make it evergreen and accessible, and building on it to deepen and expand an existing model of behavior. This case introduces the concept of Research Amnesia, which poses a threat to organizational resilience. Using core ethnographic methods, a strategic methodological approach is outlined to frameshift the value of existing research within a company to develop new insights, bring together disparate analyses and teams, and propel product partners forward by offering more questions as a means to answers. Keywords: mixed-methods, organizational culture, resilience, strategy, research amnesia, Reddit

Article citation: 2022 EPIC Proceedings pp 294–316, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic

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