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Software tool for supporting ethnographic research in design and innovation projects in management education

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4 Author(s)
Agrawal, M. ; Fac.-IT & Bus. Design, Prin L.N.Welingkar Insitute of Manage. Dev. & Res., Mumbai, India ; Agarwal, A. ; Krishnamoorthy, A. ; Pendse, P.

Increasing interest in Design/Ethnographic research in various domains including management education creates opportunities and challenges. One of them is the qualitative data of various types such as observations on sticky notes, photos, observation diaries, video clips etc. Where the volume of such qualitative data is small a designer can use simple visual clustering techniques to discover insights. However for large design research projects it could become unmanageable to say the least. The question arises if a software tool could be created which could support this process of mining insights. This paper aims at introducing such a software tool for supporting design/ethnographic research in management education. Such a software was developed and deployed for capturing observations about the lifestyle of the people living in villages with a view to understand their energy needs. The software helped capture qualitative and quantitative data from nearly 80 field researchers engaged in this research. Encouraged by this success, the software is being enhanced to become a generic tool for design/ethnographic research. The paper describes the challenges in managing design/ethnographic research data using the energy project as a case in point and the utility of the software for that project as well as the visualization of a more generic solution for design/ethnographic research.

Published in:

Technology for Education (T4E), 2010 International Conference on

Date of Conference:

1-3 July 2010