Research Methodological Approaches

12 December 2016

It is also often confused with epistemology, which is about knowledge and knowing. Ontology is one of core areas of philosophical study, which research as the nature of being, reality and existence, it also discuss about the relationship between each categories of being. ‘An ontology is a specification of a conceptualization. ’(Gruber, 1993: 199). Objectivism ‘Objectivism is an ontological position that asserts that social phenomena and their meanings have an existence that is independent of social actors.

It implies that social phenomena and the categories that we use in every day discourse have an existence that is independent or separate from actors’ (Bryman, 2007: 22). Objectivism is a philosophical terminology that refers to an attitude of people to look at things, to think about things without particular point of person, means the properties of the thing itself without personal views. Further, objectivism also means the existence of natural and social properties of things (Saunders, 2007; Bryman, 2007).

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Subjectivism An ontological position that asserts, that entities are created from the perceptions and consequent actions of those social actors responsible for their creation’ (Saunders, 2007: 612). According to Saunders (2007), subjectivism is the consciousness and spirit of people, it is opposed to objectivism. Subjectivism means that people participate in to observe some things, at this time, the nature and social properties and rule of the observed things will vary with different views from different people. Positivism The epistemological position that advocates working with an observable social reality. The emphasis is on highly structured methodology to facilitate replication, and the end product can be law-like generalizations similar to those produced by the physical and natural scientists’ (Saunders, 2007: 606). According to Saunders (2007), positivism is an ontological position, one or the main determinants in research questions research philosophy. Positivism is attribute with the naturel sciences. It reflects scientific laws by summarize the phenomenon.

Interpretivism ‘The epistemological position that advocates the necessity to understand differences between humans in their role as social actors’ (Saunders, 2007: 600). Interpretivism is a philosophical viewpoint formed from human scientific process, mainly common in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Interpretivism is based on idealism, it advocates that human experience of the world is not the passive perception and acceptance on the material world, but takes an initiative to the increase understanding and interpretation.

The interpretivist ontological basis of the real world is the human explanation for the different behaviour and condition of the product. In other words it attempts to understand the truth of the real world, which is built the subjective idea of humanity (Schwandt, 1994). Quantitative Approach ‘Take a quantitative approach to addressing their research questions and design a study that involves collecting quantitative data and analyzing them using statistical methods’ (Collis, 2009: 7).

According to Bryman (2007), the quantitative approach is a research strategy or process that emphasizes quantification in the collection, analysis and explanation of data. It uses questionnaires to achieve the purpose by set up the research questions and is predetermined. Qualitative Approach The qualitative approach addresses research questions by examining the consciousness and spirit of people (Collis, 2009). The qualitative approach is a research strategy or process that usually emphasizes words rather than quantification in the collection, analysis and explanation of data (Bryman 2007).

Qualitative research is likely to lead to a greater range of ethical concerns (Saunders 2007). Interviews are often used to gather reliable and valid information for the research. It is a purposeful discussion between two or more people (Kahn and Cannell, 1957, cited in Saunders 2007). The focus group method is a form of group interview in which: there are several participants, there is an emphasis in the questioning on a particular fairly tightly defined topic; and the accent is upon interaction within the group and the joint construction of meaning (Bryman, 2007: 511)

The focused group can be separate into individual interview and group interview (Merton et al. 1956, cited in Bryman 2007). Pragmatic Approach ‘An ontological position that argues that the most important determinant of the research philosophy adopted is the research questions. It applies a practical approach, integrating different perspectives to help collect and interpret data’ (Saunders, 2007: 607). According to Saunders (2007), pragmatic research is a practical approach, it employs the thinking of both the Interpretivism and Positivism.

Using both quantitative and qualitative approach, integrating different options to help collect and interpret data. Conclusion Compare with qualitative and quantitative research, I found that using quantitative approach, the aim is to classify features, build statistical models to explain what is observed, and researcher should know specifically what information is looking for and tends to keep objectively during the research. The data collect by use questionnaires, and the quantitative data is more efficient.

Different with quantitative approach, for qualitative approach, the aim should be complete and detailed statement, researcher may only know roughly what information is looking and he/she may be subjectively immersed in the research process. The data gathering by use interview or focus group, but the qualitative data may be less able to be generalized. The research project has been decided to review the Apple Inc. development strategy during last 10 years.

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