Services

You can commission our experts to conduct empirical social research and to support your company or project with practically oriented academic expertise.

We are experts in participatory social research, which means that we make sure to involve people affected by the issues we examine, engaging with them on equal terms.

Our researchers regularly share their insights on a variety of topics, social issues, and methodological skillsets during workshops, public talks, or seminars.

Commissioning Our Research

On your behalf, we focus on questions that are relevant to you or support your projects with our academic expertise. You will benefit from academically substantiated solutions and insights that allow you to make informed decisions. Through evaluation research, we can also provide your project with an academically sound quality control.

Workshops/Seminare

For your company or institution, we conceptualize trainings on selected topics, ranging from the social sciences via philosophy to various other socially relevant fields, including

  • human rights
  • interculturalism
  • diversity
  • corporate ethical responsibility
  • social innovation

Public Talks

We share insights from our research in public talks for specialized audiences, the wider public, and practitioners. Our range of topics includes

  • communal forms of living
  • resiliency of communities
  • unemployment
  • migration and integration
  • mentoring
  • corporate ethical responsibility

Please feel free to contact us and send your inquiry to office@ifz-salzburg.at

Methodologies

Participatory Social Research

Participatory social research aims to give a voice to socially disadvantaged groups in research endeavors by actively involving them in all stages of the research process. Research is conducted in participation with those affected by the issues under investigation, and the findings do not merely aim to produce abstract knowledge, but rather have a positive impact on the people’s respective situations. The goal is to understand and change social realities by working towards solutions together. In that way, research processes benefit both sides – the researchers and those affected by the issues under investigation.

Qualitative Interviews

Qualitative interviews are deliberately staged conversations among researchers and their interview partners. They aim to provide inside perspectives into the lived experiences of the interviewees. Qualitative interview methods are versatile. They offer opportunities to reach a better understanding of what motivates certain behaviors and why interview partners hold certain perspectives. Qualitative interviews help to generate data, but may also form the beginning of a research project to prepare further quantitative inquiries, formulate research hypotheses, or identify important entanglements of subjects or fields of investigation.

Focus Groups / Group Discussions

Focus groups / group discussions are often one element among other qualitative methods, such as (participatory) observation or surveys. They may help to collect initial data in a previously unknown field of research or deepen new questions in ongoing projects. A focus group centers on a specific topic that will be discussed by the participants. A group discussion is less focused and aims to find out about implicit knowledge, opinions, and attitudes of the participants. In contrast to individual interviews, a group discussion may unfold in a more dynamic way as participants jointly discuss the topics and are given room for exchanging varying opinions.

Written Surveys

Written surveys are a particularly suitable tool to gain access to larger amounts of data with less effort and limited resources. This can be done in analog ways (e.g. via postal surveys, by distributing questionnaires to households) or via digital means (e.g. via an online survey). Such surveys help to collect both qualitative and quantitative data, for instance in a mixed-methods approach. Written surveys usually reach large numbers of people who can complete them anonymously and in their own time.

Social Network Analysis

Social network analyses examine relationships among actors in a network. They provide insights into the structures of such networks by analyzing individual relationships within a community. The focus of this methodology is, among other aspects, on determining positionalities, power relations, and the situatedness of actors in a network, along with their connections to other individuals or groups. Interviews and/or questionnaires are the prime methods to collect the necessary data.

Content Analysis

Content analysis is a combination of different methods used in empirical social research. At the center of this approach are analyses of texts, such as newspaper articles, transcribed interviews, observation protocols, or group discussions. The aim of a content analysis is to order and structure textual contents. To do so, it is necessary to define categories, structure contents, assess correlations, and present the findings in a clear way.