Thinking about the interaction, differences and compatibility of social research and public dialogue approaches. Are they mutually exclusive? How much work does it need to take the participative and iterative nature of dialogue, with its phenomenological aspects, and mould it into a tidy market or social research type approach, which will make clients comfortable? And is this comfort delusionary, as you cannot ever hope for certainty from a qualitative approach…or indeed a quantitative approach?

I could drone on for a while, but my conclusion is to avoid bidding for work where it’s clear I’m making up the numbers or being asked to retrofit my approach to something I can’t/don’t or won’t agree with. Better for all parties concerned that I stick to that which is adaptable, quizzical, enjoyable, meaningful and insightful.

Autumn 2015