Research design with Idea Puzzle

Monday, May 31, 2021 - 10:28

Aims of the Workshop

The objective of this online workshop is to help Ph.D. candidates coherently align a research proposal, article, or thesis in the light of the philosophy of science. The workshop adopts a hands-on approach to the design and diagnosis of an empirical research project with the Idea Puzzle software. In particular, the workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Relation between epistemology, methodology, ontology, and axiology;
  • Coherence between theory, method, data, rhetoric, and authorship;
  • Empirical research as a system of 21 dilemmatic decisions.

After the workshop, participants will be able to: 1) acknowledge the relation between philosophy of science and research design; 2) coherently align the theory, method, data, rhetoric, and authorship of a research proposal, article, or thesis with the Idea Puzzle software; and 3) diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of an empirical research project.


  • Assignment 1: Two business days before the workshop, participants will deliver the first version of their individual research design created with the Idea Puzzle software in PDF format.
  • Attendance and participation: Participants are required to attend all sessions and actively engage with the lecturer and peers during teamwork and individual presentations.
  • Assignment 2: Five business days after the workshop, participants will deliver the final version of their individual research design created with the Idea Puzzle software in Word format. Ricardo Morais will provide each participant with 21 comments of personalized feedback (one per each of the 21 decisions of the Idea Puzzle software) on the same document.


Registration at with an email ending with ‘’ to create research designs with the Idea Puzzle software. Internet connection with microphone and videocam to participate in the sessions.


  • Session 01 - November 23 (6:30-8:30pm)
  • Session 02 - November 30 (6:30-8:30pm)
  • Session 03 - December 07 (6:30-8:30pm)
  • Session 04 - December 14 (6:30-8:30pm)

Workshop Syllabus

Session 1 (2 hours)

  • Theoretical focus of your research
  • Keywords
  • Streams of thought
  • Research gap
  • Research question or hypothesis
  • State of the science
Session 2 (2 hours)
  • Methodological focus of your research
  • Philosophical stance
  • Research strategy
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Quality criteria
Session 3 (2 hours) 
  • Empirical focus of your research
  • Unit of analysis
  • Level of analysis
  • Nature of data
  • Origin of data
  • Sample

Session 4 (2 hours) 

  • Rhetorical focus of your research
  • Pathos
  • Logos
  • Ethos
  • Authorial focus of your research
  • Wisdom
  • Trust
  • Time


This workshop will offer 20 spots and will be facilitated in English by Prof. Ricardo Morais @ Zoom. 

Apply here


Recommended readings:

Morais, R. (2010). Scientific method. In A. Mills, G. Durepos, & E. Wiebe (Eds.) Encyclopedia of case study research (Vol. 2, pp. 840-842), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Morais, R., & Brailsford, I. (2019). Knowledge visualisation for research design: The case of the Idea Puzzle software at the University of Auckland. In K.N. Sim (Ed.) Enhancing the role of ICT in doctoral research processes (pp. 46-66). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Parente, C. & Ferro, L. (2016). Idea Puzzle (, created by Ricardo Morais. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 15(3), 643-645.

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