These days, I am reading lots of articles on research and about my topic of interest for dissertation on health equity. One of the suggested readings for us when I was doing my PhD academics was the article about Problematization. Honestly, when I first read about it (forced to read because of the Assignment), I did not notice its depth and what essential thought the authors, Sandberg and Alvesson (2011) shared in the article. I even found it funny to know that problematization word exists. When I had the time to print and read about this article, it introduced vital realizations that are very helpful to anyone who wishes to become the best researcher in this generation.
You may access the paper from this link.
I often have this thought in mind that it is impossible for anyone to create something new today because of the flooded inventions and knowledges that already existed. And here comes innovation, even this one is very challenging to realize. We are living in a generation where ALMOST everything already exists. What now can be done are just merely improvements of those that already existed.
Yet, in the academic community, these improvements are actually the new insights that will not just add to the growing knowledge (gap-spotting), but introduce new nodes of wisdom, concepts and realizations that are not covered yet by those existing ones (problematization).
As researchers in today’s generation, we are challenged to challenge the existing theories, its relevance in today’s issues and concerns, its scope, its depth, its philosophical worldview and everything about it. Gap-spotting is a good practice in setting the urgency in the conduct of your study, but with problematization, you are adding more value to your topic of interest. You are stretching its coverage, you are strengthening its social relevance.