Approaches That Make a Difference

SPR has served a wide range of client needs requiring a variety of problem-solving skills.  Research is only one such skill and usually must be combined with a consultative process and an effective communications strategy in order to achieve the best results.

Communications:  Many research projects involve autonomous organizations or diverse interest groups, while others involve semi-autonomous branches of larger organizations (e.g. labour and management, or different professions operating within a single organization).  SPR has a great deal of experience involving such diverse groups in the research process and in designing communications strategies to maximize support for surveys and other types of projects.  For example, our 2005 study of the meteorology profession in Canada identified numerous directions in training and responses to catastrophic weather events.  SPR's 1996-99 surveys on labour standards and the quality of work in Canada encouraged participation by all business sectors, including banking, transportation, telecommunications, manufacturing, resources, grain handling, hospitality and tourism, and the public sector. 

Consultative Process:  Information has the greatest impact when given to informed users.  For this reason, SPR usually recommends a consultative process for projects whereby the client and expected users of the results are closely involved in the study design and analysis.  This type of consultative process better informs both the client and the consultant team, and creates a stronger sense of ownership.  Such client involvement also creates a better understanding of how study results may be applied to the client's organizational needs.

The Need for Basic Information:  SPR has aided clients through systematic collection of basic information, literature reviews, public opinion surveys, case studies, and analyses of client information systems.  For example, literature reviews have been conducted by SPR on such topics as micro-electronic technology and work, balancing work and family life, international labour standards, public and private pensions, attitudes towards public transportation, child abuse, homelessness, child welfare, sports injuries and parenting.  SPR has also conducted many international reviews in such areas as the future of international trade fairs, international variations in policies to encourage home ownership, international youth exchanges, and international approaches to pension reform.