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This content is taken from the Coventry University's online course, Global Issues in the Construction Industry. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Sometimes I like living in a country where it rains a lot. But other times, I just miss the sun. Last year I wanted to book a holiday, somewhere hot and sunny. My friend recommended Mexico as her experience of the country sounded just fab, Exactly what I was looking for but I didn’t know much about the country or where to visit. I decided to conduct an internet search for places to go to in Mexico. Cancun sounded ideal but I still wanted to know more about the place. So I consulted a holiday review site to get some first-hand information. The comments were positive so it was looking like a great place for me.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds But I still wanted to know more about culture and history, then I asked my social media network to see if anyone had experience of the destination. Sure enough my good friend offered loads of useful information and gave me a copy of his travel guide. Looking through this guide gave me everything I needed to know and allowed me to finally book my holiday in the sun. By revisiting my research I built a picture and came to a conclusion using facts and materials Similarly in this course you will do the same. Our focus is on how research influences the contemporary issues faced by the construction industry. But to really understand what research means we need to unpack the word re-search.

Skip to 1 minute and 50 seconds The prefix re has its origin in Latin and means to do again, or to repeat. The word search relates to examination, exploration or investigation. So research literally means to repeat a search, examination, exploration or investigation. Just like the steps I took to choose my ideal holiday destination in the sun, you will take similar steps in undertaking a research project.

The concept of research

Have you ever wondered what the word ‘research’ means and why it is important to human inquiry?

The word research comprises:

  • The prefix re, which means ‘repeat’ or ‘again’
  • The word search, which means ‘examine’, ‘explore’, ‘comb’ or ‘hunt’

Literally speaking, ‘research’ means: ‘repeat again’. The Oxford English Dictionary definition of the word ‘research’ reveals its meaning as:

‘The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions’.

This means that it is a systematic investigation. Research involves investigation of materials and sources of information in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

Watch Dr Daisy Nwaozuzu use the analogy of booking a holiday to illustrate this process.

This same process and procedure is followed in construction research. It is a combination of social and scientific research approaches that can adopt different research philosophies. The definitions of which we are yet to explore.

Your task

What do you think are the key stages that the research process entails?


Oxford Dictionaries (2018) Research. In: Oxford Living Dictionaries. [online] available from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/research [11 May 2018]

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This video is from the free online course:

Global Issues in the Construction Industry

Coventry University