Every one of my research projects started the same way: recognizing that the established theory did not explain a certain phenomenon. We had to stay constantly focused on weak signals. Each weak signal was a contradictory phenomenon that was not happening across the board. You could very easily say, “Dismiss it, this is an outlier, so we don’t have to worry about it.” But the outliers and weak signals were the places to find a different way to think about the problem.
A wonderful quote from the recently deceased management thinker C.K. Prahalad, known for ‘the bottom of the pyramid’, and core competencies. I recommend checking out the whole interview at http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00043?pg=all.