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BRM8088-RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Lecture 1 Overview of Research

EPITEMOLOGY

• From Greek ἐπιστήμη (epistēmē), meaning "knowledge” • Is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. • It addresses the questions
– What is knowledge? – How is knowledge acquired? – How do we know what we know?

SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE
Epistemologists generally recognize at least four different sources of knowledge:

• INTUITIVE KNOWLEDGE takes forms such as belief, faith, intuition, etc. It is based on feelings rather than hard, cold "facts.“
• AUTHORITATIVE KNOWLEDGE is based on information received from people, books, a supreme being, etc. Its strength depends on the strength of these sources E.g . The Koran, Bible. • LOGICAL KNOWLEDGE is arrived at by reasoning from "point A" (which is generally accepted) to "point B" (the new knowledge). • EMPIRICAL KNOWLEDGE is based on demonstrable, objective facts (which are determined through observation and/or experimentation).

RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE • Research often makes use of all four of these ways of knowing: • INTUITIVE (when coming up with an initial idea for research) • AUTHORITATIVE (when reviewing the professional literature) • LOGICAL (when reasoning from findings to conclusions) • EMPIRICAL (when engaging in procedures that lead to these findings) .

based on ontological and epistemological assumptions • Methodology .Specifies how the researcher may go about practically studying whatever he / she believes can be known. .KEY TERMS • Ontology – basic assumptions about the nature of reality. • Paradigm . • Epistemology – basic assumptions about what we can know about reality.Perspective concerning appropriate research practice. and about the relationship between knowledge and reality.

EPISTEMOLOGY SCIENTIFIC PARADIGM METHODOLOGY KNOWLEDGE .THE RESEARCH PROCESS ONTOLOGY.

trees and rocks? • Would they still be beautiful? POSITIVIST PARADIGM INTERPRETIVIST /CONSTRUCTIONIST PARADIGM  Multiple. emergent. might there still be galaxies. shifting reality  Based on subjective experience  Stable  Law-like reality “out there” .ONTOLOGY • What is the nature of reality? • If there were no human beings.

would there still be three basic types of rock? • Did the unconscious exist before Freud? POSIVISTIVISM  Meaning exist in the world  Knowledge reflects reality INTERPRETIVISM/ CONSTRUCTIONISM  Meaning exist in our interpretation of the world  Knowledge is interpretation .EPISTEMOLOGY • What is knowledge? • What is the relationship between knowledge and reality? • If there were no human beings.

PARADIGMS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH TWO BASIC PARADIGMS POSITIVISTISM INTERPRETIVISM / CONSTRUCTIVISM .

methods.RESEARCH PARADIGM • Research has been described as a systematic investigation. there is no basis for subsequent choices regarding methodology. literature or research design . motivation and expectations for the research. • Without deciding on a paradigm as the first step. • Inquiry whereby data are collected. predict or control an educational or psychological phenomenon or to empower individuals in such contexts” • Exact nature of the definition of research is influenced by the researcher's theoretical framework • The theoretical framework is sometimes referred to as the paradigm and influences the way knowledge is studied and interpreted. • It is the choice of paradigm that sets down the intent. analysed and interpreted in some way in an effort to "understand. describe.

concepts. • There are a number of theoretical paradigms : Positivist. • The philosophical intent or motivation for undertaking a study. • Includes three elements: a belief about the nature of knowledge. a methodology and criteria for validity. critical. or propositions that orient thinking and research. interpretivist. transformative. pragmatism and deconstructivist. emancipatory.RESEARCH PARADIGM Definition of Paradigm • “A loose collection of logically related assumptions. constructivist. .

• Positivists aim to test a theory or describe an experience through observation and measurement in order to predict and control forces that surround us .POSITIVIST PARADIGM • Positivism is sometimes referred to as 'scientific method' or 'science research‘ • Is based on the rationalistic. empiricist philosophy that originated with Aristotle. and Emmanuel Kant. that there is a method for studying the social world that is value free. • Reflects a deterministic philosophy in which causes probably determine effects or outcomes • Positivism may be applied to the social world on the assumption that the social world can be studied in the same way as the natural world. Francis Bacon. August Comte. and that explanations of a causal nature can be provided. John Locke.

which supports or expands upon qualitative data and effectively deepens the description. Importance of the researcher’s perspective and the interpretative nature of social reality • • • • . Constructivists do not generally begin with a theory rather they generate or inductively develop a theory or pattern of meanings throughout the research process. Quantitative data may be utilised in a way. The interpretivist/constructivist researcher tends to rely upon the "participants' views of the situation being studied and recognises the impact on the research of their own background and experiences. The constructivist researcher is most likely to rely on qualitative data collection methods and analysis or a combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods (mixed methods).INTERPRETIVIST/CONSTRUCTIVIST PARADIGM • • Interpretivist/constructivist approaches to research have the intention of understanding the world of human suggesting that reality is socially constructed.

Transformative researchers believe that inquiry needs to be intertwined with politics and a political agenda. However. stances and positions . Transformative researchers may utilise qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods in much the same way as the interpretivist/constructivists. the institutions in which individuals work or live. Contain an action agenda for reform that may change the lives of the participants. and the researcher's life. able-bodied male perspective and was based on the study of male subjects” Transformative researchers felt that the interpretivist/constructivist approach to research did not adequately address issues of social justice and marginalised peoples.TRANSFORMATIVE PARADIGM • The transformative paradigm arose during the 1980s and 1990s partially due to dissatisfaction with the existing and dominant research paradigms and practices but also because of a realisation that much sociological and psychological theory which lay behind the dominant paradigms "had been developed from the white. a mixed methods approach provides the transformative researcher structure for the development of more complete and full portraits of our social world through the use of multiple perspectives and lenses • • • • • • Allowing for an understanding of greater diversity of values.

. data collection and analysis methods are chosen as those most likely to provide insights into the question with no philosophical loyalty to any alternative paradigm.PRAGMATIC PARADIGM • Pragmatism is not committed to any one system of philosophy or reality. • Pragmatist researchers focus on the 'what' and 'how' of the research problem • The pragmatic paradigm places "the research problem" as central and applies all approaches to understanding the problem • With the research question 'central'.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY • Difference between research methodology and research method: • Research Methodology . analysis and reporting. procedures or tools used for collection and analysis of data. • Research Method -Refers to systematic modes. analysis and reporting modes instead of the theoretical approach to the research. . • Is it quantitative research and qualitative research methodology or method? – Both used. The former for research paradigm or theoretical approach to research and the latter for data collection method. – There is no pure qualitative research methodology • This suggests that the terms qualitative and quantitative refer to the data collection methods.Overall approach to research linked to the paradigm or theoretical framework .

METHODOLOGY AND PARADIGMS Positivist/ Postpositivist Experimental Quasi-experimental Correlational Reductionism Theory verification Causal comparative Determination Normative Interpretivist/ Constructivist Naturalistic Phenomenological Hermeneutic Interpretivist Ethnographic Multiple participant meanings Social and historical construction Theory generation Symbolic interaction Transformative Critical theory Neo-marxist Feminist Critical Race Theory Freirean Participatory Emancipatory Advocacy Empowerment issue oriented Change-oriented Interventionist Race specific Political Pragmatic Consequences of actions Problem-centred Pluralistic Real-world practice oriented Mixed models Adapted from Mertens (2005) and Creswell (2003) .

While some paradigms may appear to lead a researcher to favour qualitative or quantitative approaches.CAN QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE METHODS BE COMBINED • • • While data collection methods can be combined.g. because figures can be very persuasive to policy-makers whereas stories are more easily remembered and repeated by them for illustrative purposes. both approaches need to be applied. including the choice of method. • • • • . A mixed-methods approach to research is one that involves both numeric information (e. A researcher's theoretical orientation has implications for every decision made in the research process. leading to and seeking different outcomes. on interviews) so that the final database represents both quantitative and qualitative information. Combined or mixed-methods research has been identified as a "key element in the improvement of social science. Mixed method research often has greater impact. a researcher usually aligns philosophically with one of the recognised research paradigms. in effect no one paradigm actually prescribes or prohibits the use of either methodological approach. which proceed from different premises.. on instruments) as well as text information (e. if the research is to be fully effective.g. Almost inevitably in each paradigm..

positivist and interpretivist Methods are matched to the paradigms. "Although qualitative methods can be used within this paradigm. methods and tools Paradigm Positivist/ Postpositivist Methods (primarily) Quantitative. . especially as they relate to oppression Diverse range of tools particular need to avoid discrimination. Eg Interviews. and homophobia. Contextual and historical factors described. experiments. Data collection tools (examples) Experiments Quasi-experiments Tests Scales Interpretivist/ Constructivist Qualitative methods predominate Interviews although quantitative methods Observations may also be utilised. quantitative methods tend to be predominant .MATCHING PARADIGMS AND METHODS Paradigms. Document reviews Visual data analysis Transformative Qualitative methods with quantitative and mixed methods. racism. Pragmatic Qualitative and/or quantitative May include tools from both methods may be employed. Eg: sexism. specific questions and purpose of observations and testing and the research.

KNOWLEDGE POSIVISTIVISM  Accurate knowledge exactly reflects the world as it is. INTERPRETIVISM/ CONSTRUCTIVISM  Knowledge provides suggestive interpretations by particular people at particular times .

THE RESEARCH PROCESS .

DIFFERING APPROACHES TO RESEARCH Research philosophy Research approaches Research designs Data collection methods Time horizons 22 .

Research Philosophy Research philosophy 23 .

Some see these oppositions as false and detrimental to research.RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY OR EPISTEMOLOGY Broadly speaking the are two views over the nature of knowledge and how it is developed (Epistemology). Keep flexible! 24 . Note: They are often in warring camps. These are Positivism (scientific method) and Interpretivism.

A „LOGICAL POSITIVISM‟ AND OBJECTIVISM) • Positivists attempt to mirror the methods of the natural and physical scientists.POSITIVISM (A.g Laws of Supply and Demand in Positive Economics. 25 .K. • Through observing reality you can produce laws of the social world which can be generalised from one context to another e.

Positivism Auguste Comte. 1798-1857 26 .

You are detached. and replication (the ability to repeat research) • • .POSITIVISM OR OBJECTIVISM • Your role is to be an objective analyst. Emphasise the quantifiable. the observable. neither affect nor are affected by the subject of your research. collecting data and interpreting it in a value free way.

1859-1938 .INTERPRETIVISM AND PHENOMENOLOGY Edmund Husserl.

• Subjective reality matters. Details matter . PHENOMENOLOGY) EMPHASISES • • • That the world is too complex to be reduced to a series of law-like generalisations. The uniqueness of people.INTERPRETIVISM (E. . and circumstances and the constant nature of change.G.in an attempt to dig into deeper layers of reality.

PARADIGM AND RESEARCH METHOD The relationship between philosophy and research practice • What is the nature of reality? • What kind of knowledge can we have about reality? • How can we investigate reality? • What is the picture that we paint of reality? .

feeling perceptions in the workplace. and the hidden world of taken for granted assumptions which influence thinking.INTERPRETIVISM COULD BE USED TO STUDY - • Organisational culture layer by layer – the visual symbols the mission statement. Warning! • Finding „the reality working behind the reality‟ may be too challenging for some! .

or Interpretivist? .OBJECTIVIST (POSITIVISM) V. Compare column 1 against 2. INTERPRETIVISM? EXERCISE: • • Look at the handout and decide where you own research interest falls. Is it Objectivist (ie Positivist adopting the scientific method.

INTERPRETIVISM? EXERCISE: Think carefully about how your proposed project fits into the 2 Philosophical approaches.OBJECTIVIST (POSITIVISM) V. or are you seeking to find explanations in order to reach an understanding of a situation? Will knowledge be gained through impartial observation and/or experimentation. In particular ask… • Are notions of causation an important aspect. or will you have to immerse yourself in the situation and make subjective or value-laden observations? • .

THE POSITIVIST (OBJECTIVIST) AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL (INTREPRETIVIST) PARADIGMS .

RESEARCH APPROACHES Research approaches .

A close ally to the philosophy of positivism.CHOOSING A RESEARCH APPROACH • A deductive approach? • • • • You develop a theory and design a strategy to test hypotheses. A scientific approach. An inductive approach? • • You collect data and develop a theory as a result of your data analysis A close ally to the philosophy of phenomenology. .

3.…. Expressing the hypothesis in operational term (indicate exactly how the variables are to be measured) Show how the variables relate.g..H2) 2. experiment) . Deducing a hypothesis ( a testable proposition between two or more events or concepts) from the theory. Test the operational hypothesis (e. (H1.STEPS IN THE LOGIC OF THE HYPOTHETICO-DEDUCTIVE METHOD 1.

• Predicted outcome (from hypothesis) supports the theory • Contrary outcome (to hypothesis) o contradicts the theory. Examine the specific outcome of the inquiry.STEPS IN THE LOGIC OF THE HYPOTHETICO-DEDUCTIVE METHOD 4. . o or fails to support the theory. o or may be explained by poor research design.

. modifying the theory in the light of its findings.STEPS IN THE LOGIC OF THE HYPOTHETICO-DEDUCTIVE METHOD 5. 6. If necessary. Verify the revised theory by going back to stage 1/ and repeat the cycle.

DEDUCTION: TESTING THEORY X does occur theory supported If theory is true X will occur Test X X does not occur theory challenged .

Age Gross annual income .A HYPOTHESIS STATES THAT THERE IS A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO CONCEPTS AND SPECIFIES THE DIRECTION OF THAT RELATIONSHIP.

KEY TERMS EXPLAINED • • • The elements in the boxes are called concepts. Theories are composed of concepts linked by relationships. The lines between the boxes are called relationships. .

e.VARIABLES • A positive sign shows a positive relationship. demand falls) . e. (Price of houses rises.g. (hours of study rises. exam grades rise) • A negative sign shows a negative relationship.g.

e. „Age‟ The effect is called a dependent variable (Y). • . The assumed cause is called an independent variable (X) An intervening variable (Z) is the means by which X affects Y…….VARIABLES • • A variable is a characteristic which has more than one category or value..g.

VARIABLES Education X job Z income Y 45 .

• • . or service.EXAMPLES OF HYPOTHESIS IN BUSINESS RESEARCH • Share prices are positively related to the amount spent on advertising. Emerging stock markets exhibit long term over-reaction patterns. and the number of sales representatives. the price of the product. Teenage customers will use more wireless minutes per month if we offer package plans with free downloading of music.

They often emerge from the literature review.g.HOW TO DEVELOP HYPOTHESES • • • They are developed prior to data collection. or different age groups. females. research questions and theory. You need to ask “What group will be examined with this hypothesis”? e. and “What variables are being tested”? . males v.

HOW TO DEVELOP HYPOTHESES Converting Research Questions into Hypotheses .

A corresponding hypothesis…………... Research Question…………. convert 3 RQ‟s relevant to your own project into Hypotheses.CONVERTING RQ‟S INTO HYPOTHESES Exercise Using the handout provided. 49 .

e.DEDUCTION: TESTING THEORY You need to be able to operationalise variables i. to make them measurable and quantifiable.g „Professionalism‟ „product quality‟ or „Job satisfaction‟ cannot be measured directly because they are abstract concepts 50 . e.

Often they are formulated on an abstract conceptual level and cannot be tested directly.DEDUCTION: TESTING THEORY • • A hypothesis must be testable. top make them concrete. Often you will need to break down the main hypothesis into 2 or more sub-hypotheses. • • You need to operationalise them. 51 .

.DEDUCTION: TESTING THEORY There are steps to go from the most abstract level to the most concrete: CONCEPTS: The building blocks of the hypothesis Which are usually abstract and cannot be measured directly INDICATORS: Phenomena which point to the existence of the concepts VARIABLES: The components of the indicators which can be measured VALUES: The actual units or methods of measurement Of the variables.

WC You task could be to set up a questionaire which attempts to measure “poverty” by asking appropriate questions. .DEDUCTION: TESTING THEORY There can be more than one indicator or variable or value: CONCEPTS: Poverty INDICATORS: poor living conditions VARIABLES: provision of sanitary facilities VALUES: Numbers of people per bathroom.

DEDUCTION: TESTING THEORY
There can be more than one indicator or variable or value: CONCEPTS: Affluence INDICATORS: Rising and high living conditions VARIABLES: Service / tertiary sector growth VALUES: Numbers of second homes, cars per household, private medicine, Private education, chauffeurs! You task could be to set up a questionnaire which attempts to measure “affluence” by asking appropriate questions.

DEDUCTION: TESTING THEORY
Now, apply this to your own research Main topic……………………….. CONCEPTS: …………… INDICATORS: ………… VARIABLES: …………….. VALUES: ………………… Now set up a questionnaire which attempts to measure your key concepts by asking appropriate questions.

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DEDUCTION: TESTING THEORY
• You need to be able to select a sample of suitable size in order to be able to generalise about the wider community. It would be dangerous to make inferences about other firms from the Job Survey Data in one organisation. NOTE the link between Scientific Method, Deduction and the Quantitative approach

• •

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• With induction – theory follows data. Sir Francis Bacon 1561-1626 57 . and eventually formulate a theory about job satisfaction.INDUCTION: BUILDING THEORY • What is the experience of working at a particular firm? We could interview employees on the shop-floor to get a feel for the issues and then analyse the data.

Sir Francis • They are not unthinking research objects who respond like the coffee machine in the corridor to the stimulus of cash injections Bacon 1561-1626 • Humans devise alternative explanations to the orthodox view – they have their own stories (narratives). .INDUCTION: BUILDING THEORY Human beings interpret their world – they have consciousness.

A small sample may be appropriate. . Sir Francis Bacon 1561-1626 More likely to find out „why‟ X is happening rather than „what‟ is happening.INDUCTION: BUILDING THEORY • • • • Context matters. Qualitative methods acceptable.

60 . • How the evidence is interpreted.KNOWING YOUR APPROACH has implications for your strategies… Sir Francis Bacon 1561-1626 • What kind of evidence is acceptable/ appropriate. • How such evidence is collected.

or insufficient knowledge of the topic. • Sort out which approaches are NOT and say why. Sir Francis Bacon 1561-1626 appropriate • Practical issues matter – you may have limited access to certain types of data.KNOWING YOUR APPROACH You need to…. • This will constrain your options. .

If the field is new and you need to generate data and reflect on the themes. the choice is inductive. • If there is a wealth of material from which it is easy to define a hypothesis the choice is the deductive approach. • .COMBINING APPROACHES It may be advantageous to combine methods.

too. It may take time for themes and theories to emerge. BUT the computer crunches in seconds or less! Inductive work can be labour intensive.COMBINING APPROACHES: THE CONSTRAINTS • You need to plan a survey and learn software to analyse quantitative data. • • 63 . A high response rate to a questionnaire is not guaranteed. No guarantees that patterns will emerge.

RESEARCH DESIGN Research design 64 .

65 . money. ethical issues.specify the data sources. • Consider the constraints e. • It will contain clear objectives derived from the question. • A research design is a general plan of how you will go about answering your research question(s). time. You must .g access. location.THE NEED FOR A CLEAR RESEARCH DESIGN FIRST. be clear about your research questions and objectives.

THE NEED FOR A CLEAR RESEARCH DESIGN • • • • Be clear about your research question(s) and objectives. The justification must be based on your research questions and objectives. Think carefully about every stage! . You will need to provide valid reasons for all your choices.

THE DIFFERENT RESEARCH DESIGNS • • • • • • • • experiment survey case study grounded theory ethnography action research cross-sectional and longitudinal exploratory. descriptive and explanatory studies Note: They are not mutually exclusive .

THE RESEARCH PROCESS The figure represents the steps and decisions that has to be made by the researcher to situate paradigms. methodology and data collection tools within the research process .

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