Why are you asking about gender? Negotiating survey research methods within an industry collaboration

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    Objectives: This brief report describes a survey design process undertaken in collaboration with industry stakeholders from government, non-government and other applied fields. This account highlights fundamental and contested issues of knowledge creation in research, situated within the broader contemporary context of social change addressing inequality and inclusion for historically marginalised and vulnerable groups. Study design: The study comprised a non-probability survey of the Australian Alcohol and Other Drugs Workforce. Methods: A reflective account is provided. Results: Significant and unanticipated differences in conceptual frames and perceptions of research ethics between the research team and industry representatives emerged during the collaboration, with major implications for the validity of the research process. Conclusions: The traditional, and largely unquestioned, understanding of quantitative survey research methodology is encountering increasing challenges in light of contemporary considerations of identity, privacy and wellbeing of survey participants. Some of these differences seriously challenged conventional approaches to research methodology, quality and rigour. There is a pressing need for further exploration, discussion and debate regarding the process of knowledge creation, ownership and stewardship. Strategies to better equip the research community and their industry stakeholders to navigate issues of research veracity, integrity and rigour are urgently needed, including training and guidance on negotiate differences in values, priorities and perspectives for upcoming and established researchers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100137
    Number of pages3
    JournalPublic Health in Practice
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


    • Ethics
    • Industry collaboration
    • Research methods
    • Survey research


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