Assignment on Management Research Methods

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Assignment on Management Research Methods

Management Research Methods


Epistemology is a study of philosophy that mainly deals with knowledge and its nature and about the knowledge that is acceptable in this field (Saunders et al. 2007, p.102). It is mainly about the knowledge that is acceptable in a particular field. The main issue of this field is that the social science should be studied as per procedures and principles followed by other natural sciences. The answer points out the knowledge that is acceptable from the research processes (Easterby-Smith et al. 2002: 28).


Ontology is the theory that exemplifies about the social entities and its nature (Bryman, 2004: 16). According to Saunders et al. (2007:108), the theory of ontology about the social phenomenal nature as entities must be admitted as a knowledge system. It is also defined as the assumptions that are made about the reality’s nature (Easterby-Smith et al. 2002: 27). By keeping strategies for qualitative research, the researchers accept the concept regarding the multiple realities (Cresswell, 2007). The participants see the reality as multiple and subjective. According to Burrell and Morgan (1979), the reality’s nature (ontology) can be seen as a subjective and objective dimension.


It is also a branch of the philosophy which analyzes the judgment about values (Sauders et al. 2009). It is more about the values that a researcher has a part to play in all the parts of research (Heron 2006).

Define "management research paradigm."

The research person approach towards the “the development of knowledge” (saunders 2003) is defined by the research paradigm that gives the “overreaching framework” (Heron & Reason, 1997).

The four management research paradigms:

The four types of paradigms are

  • Positivism
  • Realism
  • Critical theory/Interpretivism and
  • Constructivism (Riege 2003)


The research people are mainly theory driven, implemented fixed, define research plan that is created to affirm the hypothesis that is predefined is true (Clark, 2004). This is mainly affiliated with natural sciences (Saunders 2003) in which the hypothesis has an idea about a single reality, and that is unchangeable and knowledgeable (Clark 2004). It can be defined with “definite laws” (Saunders 2003) that tell about the relationships which can be applied for all times (Welman 2002). The research made by the positivist is affiliated with “quantifiable observations that lend themselves to statistical analysis” (Saunders 2003).


This research paradigm considers the world as people to be perceived (Cavana 2001). Thus the goal of an interpretivist is to “uncover the socially constructed meaning as it is understood by an individual or groups of individuals” (Cavana, 2001) and “describe it in a way that is meaningful for these research participants” (Saunders 2003). This is carried out by the interpretivist by participating and engaging with (Cavana 2001) “social actors” (Schwandt cited in Locke 2001) included in research condition, to understand the reality of the subjective cause by action, intention and actor motives (Saunders 2003). Thus in contrast to the “single reality” of positivism, the interpretivist assumes “it is more likely that people experience physical and social reality in different ways” (Cavana 2001). Thus in contrast to the positivism, an interpretivist has a flexible plan for research which is capable of information response that is provided by research “Actors.”


This is the concept which involves each one constructing knowledge (Oregon State University 2005) by the individuals’ interpretation of the situation (Yackel, Cobb & Merkel 1990). The literature has many versions of the constructivist theory (Windschitl 2002). According to the constructivists, all the meanings are co-created and has equal importance. Thus they do not find their research final or complete and also consider the research findings important than the research audience (Clark 2004). As it mainly depends on finding the individual knowledge constructs, the data collection in this type of research is a process of discovery that involves the repeated visit of the researcher to the “Study site” in refining the hypothesis (Clark, 2004).


The realism is one which acts as a bridge between the positivism and constructivism & interpretivism that overlaps each (Stiles, 2003).The realism paradigm accepts the understanding of the people that come from the personal perspective, and thus knowledge of the situation is examined “inside out” (Stiles 2003). However, this kind of understanding is authorized by realist appreciation that realism might be “partial or incomplete” (Stiles 2003) and thus to be aggregated by the theoretical framework that “determine the underlying mechanism that influences people’s actions” (Stiles 2003). The realist researchers remove the debate regarding the paradigm selection of ‘either or’ decision between the positivist, interpretivist and constructivist perspectives (Stiles 2003). The main goal of the realist is understanding research situations by multi—faceted views of the reality (Riege 2003).

Management researchers Positivist research paradigm Vs interpretivist paradigm - "work motivation."

By positivist epistemology, science is a way to truth and understanding world for its prediction and control. Therefore according to positivism science is mechanical or mechanistic. To postulate theory, the deductive reasoning is used. Based on these results, we study that when a theory is not fitting the fact it should be revised to predict reality. The positivist researchers believe in the empiricism. The main approach to a scientific method is through experiment by which the natural laws can be discerned by observation and direct manipulation (Trochim, 2000).

The motivational researchers or the manager confronts a strategy in pursuit of the causes, whether the focus should be on the individual or the situation that lead to investment patterns. Is the motivation a matter of demands of performance context or the “personality”? The measures of the motivational variables are defined by pursuing either one. The socialization history is considered as determinant depends on the focus on the individual as a motivation locus. The focus on the context gives a different way of search to the causes. For example, task’s nature, punishments, and rewards, the influence or social powers. Thus the interventionist to change the motivation takes a different form. In case if the pattern of motivation is a socialization history product, the attention must be towards changing the history. In the case of the situation, the factors of the situation should be changed.

An enriched assessment is needed for the motivation study apart from the trait issue Vs recurring state. People who are half footed in the field of social sciences or educational research is aware of the press to get away from the psychometrics to understand the education process. The term “qualitative methods” describes the range of methodologies and methods. Thus the motivation study has exhibited historically and opened to various approached regarding “qualitative” as well as “quantitative.” However, now the qualitative approaches are not mainly employed in the motivational studies. The dominance of the socio-cognitive perspective regarding motivation first served to encourage greater use of the standardized assessment and also a predilection for the experiments in the laboratory along with the surveys. These types of research have many benefits. The motivational method should be studied more deeply and extensively in to the cognitive process and the emotions that involve motivational orientations. Apart from the questionnaire, interactive sessions like thoughts, theories and thoughts can be followed. Methods like structured interviews, case studies can also be followed (Blumenfeld et al., 1991; McCaslin and Murdock, 1991)

The motivations understand the world which acts a guide to personal investment, a larger range of evidence involving more procedures. Thus the standard inventories and the survey is not the only event that may be preferred. Thus, a researcher who wanted to study the work motivation from the positivist perspective then the researcher view on motivation would be a matter of demands of performance context, if it is from the interpretivist paradigm, then the researcher would look at the “personality” or traits.


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Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009) Research Methods for Business Students. 5th edition, Chapter 4, p. 108, Prentice Hall: London.

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Windschitl, M., (2002), Framing Constructivism in practice as the negotiations of dilemmas: An analysis of the conceptual, pedagogical, cultural and political challenges facing teachers, Review of Educational Research, 72, (2), 131-75.

Yackle, E, Cobb, P & Merkel, G (1990). Experience, problem, Solving and Discourse as central aspects of constructivism, The Arithmetic Teacher, 38, (4), 34-5.


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