Research Theater Defined with a Checklist

Research theater refers to situations where organizations claim to be conducting research, but in reality, they are merely going through the motions without the necessary expertise, rigor, or fidelity. The focus is on the appearance of research rather than its substance.

To help readers identify research theater, the piece outlines several red flags to watch out for, including lack of clear objectives, methodological weaknesses, limited transparency, conflicts of interest, and lack of expertise or training. These are all signs that the research may be more for show than for genuine inquiry or improvement.

Overall, this guide provides a comprehensive framework for identifying and addressing the issue of research theater, empowering readers to make more informed decisions and drive genuine organizational improvement.