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"The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems that we cannot solve at the level of thinking at which we created them."

Attributed to Albert Einstein c1950s

Why does research matter?

It is suggested that the main purpose of research is to inform action, to prove a theory, and contribute to developing knowledge in a field or study.  Research can also build knowledge, facilitate learning, develop understanding, create new thinking, investigate problems and aid business effectiveness.

In simple terms, Opus 29 believes that rigorous, robust, valid research will allow us all to explore, and seek to better understand, the challenges and questions arising throughout the course of our daily work and life.  Whilst research may not be the panacea for all our issues and problems, developing detailed insights into areas of interest or intrigue can, absolutely, enable us to view such topics through an alternative, logical and academically informed perspective.

As a primarily qualitative researcher, I believe in the value of stories and the power of the case study.  Whilst we cannot generalise findings from such research to assume that because something happened once, in one set of circumstances, things will always be so; we can develop this understanding to construct and evolve common themes that can be applied to inform future developments.


Opus 29 designs and delivers applied research projects adopting a ‘theory meets practice’ approach, combining more formal academic literature reviews with ‘real world’ insights to ensure that any findings and outputs have maximum relevance for you and your organisation.  Such outputs are always intended and presented in a manner designed to drive and support meaningful and practical change at individual, organisational or systemic level.


Example research projects and reports

PhD Research

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Authentic leadership and change

This qualitative doctoral research project was undertaken on a part-time basis over a six-year period.  By examining the experiences of effective change leaders within UK coaching systems, the critical insights from the research are now intended to inform future developments within the sector.  Using the five themes constructed from the life histories of each leader, the findings have been synthesised into a new model for authentic leadership development across the UK and beyond.

Networks that work

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This applied research explored the effectiveness of D&I related networks.  The research identified that the ability to network effectively is seen as an increasingly important skill for the successful professional, and also that effective networks can play a key role in shaping and creating an inclusive organisational culture. The findings and recommendations from this research presented significant opportunities for networks and their Chairs, with this report offering some simple tools and frameworks that can support organisations in developing and sustaining effective employee networks.

Mentoring research

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'Turning the gender diversity dial' was a year-long research project exploring mentoring as a structured tool to support individual development, career progression and personal change.  Focussing in on the significant gaps in the literature around the long-term impact of mentoring for individuals, organisations, the wider workforce and culture, this research sought to make a robust contribution to the field of mentoring for gender balance.  The outputs of this project suggested a genuine value and impact for organisations choosing mentoring as part of their broader learning and development, and diversity and inclusion strategies.

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