Book Review

Doing Events Research: From Theory to Practice

Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building 2014. © 2014 Göran Runeson. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

Citation: Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building (AJCEB) 2014, 14(4), 4252, http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ajceb.v14i4.4252

Fox, D., Gouthro, M. B., Morakabati, Y. and Brackstone, J., 2014, Routhledge, pp i-xii, 1-252, Paperback: ISBN 978-0-415-66668-8 USD62.95, GBP29.99, Master eBook ISBN13: 978-1-315-81508-4, GBP29.99.

A title like “Doing events research: from theory to practice” may seem a peculiar choice for a review for a journal of Construction Management. However, it would be unfortunate if the title stopped you from considering what is currently one of the best, if not the best generic books on research for undergraduate and graduate research students, and I think also for many academics. True, it deals with “events research”, maybe ten per cent of the time, but the rest is a clear, logical, authoritative generic treatment of every topic you are likely to think of as a new researcher, from the selection of a topic to presenting at a conference or writing a journal paper, from the meaning of ontology to how to code qualitative data. Of special interest is the section on e-methods.

This is an insightful coverage of both quantitative and qualitative methods packed into 250 pages. This is achieved not by being shallow or superficial but by writing to the point in a simple but comprehensive way that can also stand as a pattern for how scientific papers should be written. The definition of constructivism takes one line, how to collapse a Likert scale small data set for a chi-square test is explained in six lines while the use of surveys and an overview of statistics gets a chapter each.

The text is broken up with text boxes for student vignettes, definitions, practical tips as well as pictures and computer screens. At the end of each chapter, there are suggested readings under four headings: books, journals, web links and video links. There is also an extensive bibliography, a glossary of more than 80 terms as well as an index.

The only thing you don't get is value judgments on different methodologies or philosophies. For someone like me that strongly believes in “real” research and that the rest is just a waste of time, this may be seen as a weakness, but for the intended readership, I think the short introduction to different research philosophies works well and there are sufficient references to the relevant literature for anyone that wishes to study this topic further.

In summary, I think this is a very useful introduction to anyone starting as a researcher and I wish it had been around when I was teaching research methods.

Göran Runeson
Adjunct Professor
University of Technology, Sydney