The chapter aims to document the challenges associated with the management of an international research program and to look at innovative, information technology (IT) based ways of tackling these. Through the medium of a case study, insights gained from practical experience developing and implementing an original web based collaborative research management tool are discussed. This tool is based on a centralised model of information distribution and access. It was designed following a reductionist analysis of existing research processes and procedures. The ways in which the integration of responsive IT processes into the management of a large international research program have removed redundancies and increased automation and research efficiency is also discussed.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Psycho-Social Research: Research processes which aim to explore and document social and psychological aspects of the human experience.
Qualitative Research: A non-numerical research methodology which aims to describe and understand, rather than explain, human behaviours and experiences.
Server Side Technology: A form of web server technology in which users’ requests are fulfilled by running a script directly on the web server to generate dynamic HTML pages. It is used to provide interactive web sites capable of interfacing with databases and other data stores.
Phenomenology: A method of inquiry based around the exploration, description and analysis of a particular phenomenon, untainted by presupposed theories, beliefs and assumptions.
Redundant Processes: Unnecessary process or tasks that through analyses of such process can be removed without affect the output of such tasks.
Information technology (IT): As defined by the Information Technology Association of America, IT is “the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.”