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The research paradigm – methodology, epistemology and ontology – explained in simple language

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Great site to make sense of big words in simple terms. Thank you for the insight and simplicity of approach. Thank you everyone for your lovely comments. I am truly pleased to hear this article has been useful to so many of you!

Wishing you all the best with your research endeavors. Thanks Salma, this was helpful, easy to understand and interesting above all. The presentation simplifies everything about research. I really appreciate your great effort for helping students who have been facing challenge with research. Can you use the ontology and epistemology at the same time in the dissertation?

Example say ontology of power is socially constructed and my epistemology to explain power is what? You would normally make reference to both Ontology and Epistemology in the thesis. I am not sure if the example you have given is correct though.

So ontology is a topic and epistemology finding how you arrive with the knowledge. Ontology can be positivist or non-positivist, subjective and objective. Very useful, You made this so simple. Well done and thanks for relieving me of some of the stress. Can i only use the quantitative research approach while following the pragmatism paradigm. Thanks very much for this — after reading many text books and articles and still feeling lost, this was super helpful!! Is it in the Analysis part of your methods?

Or is it in Design as it is supposed to influence your whole study? Any recommendations or thoughts would be much appreciated! Hi Natalie, I have usually seen it reported in the methodology chapter — that is also where I placed mine. I hope that helps. Your information is very useful. I have really enjoyed reading it. I have little understanding of ontoloy and epistemology now. Hello,thank you so much saima,i am very happy that i found it the meaning of research paradigm.

God bless you saima patel!!!! Thank you for helping us to know critical things in precise ;concise; and simple manner. How ever, I would like forward one question for you. Is there an instance in which two or more research paradigm may likely included in single research? Hi, Thank you so much for this. I would like to ask something: Thank you very much. Thank you so much.

Thank you so much for creating this post Salma! Thanks so much salma for sharing the very useful information. I have more learn about various types of research paradigm. Again thanks for sharing us. P, thank you so much for this explanation!

Glad to know I have some place to go to for clarity. I wish all reviewers would read your article it is useful and clear. I certainly will keep it in mind for my own future reviews. Hi, thanks for the information. I have a question that maybe you or someone can help me with. If symbolic interactionism is influenced by pragmatism, how did it end up being a interpretist theoretical perspective?

I get that pragmatism states to use the best methods possible, but is there any more information on this? Many thanks in advance. This is a clear, logical post that provides explanation in an easily accessible fashion. I am currently writing my Methods chapter and was struggling to understand a lot of the philosophical underpinnings piece.

What you have provided here is very clear and comprehensive. Thank you for sharing. I just wanted to say Thank you! Finally, someone who can explain all the jargon simply.

I am so much better equipped both in my personal studies and in my academic career. Salma, I have shared this with many researchers and students and keep coming back to it. It is really an invaluable post and you have done the academic community a great service in sharing it. Just wanting to say thank you. That was extremely helpful.

It is just so good! I am a PhD candidate and return to this page time and again. Thank you for putting it together. Thank you for this very useful information. Please anyone, help me to understand that, where is the definition of Paradigm mentioned in the book of Kuhn Salma, Thank you so much for your time, effort and sharing your knowledge. Your website is invaluable and has really helped me feel confident about starting my thesis, after feeling completely lost and hopeless.

Ideally I should be able to clearly articulate to others what my research paradigm is, though I often find myself oscillating between different poles depending on the day of the […]. A well written article on the paradigms of research in social science. I found many insights regarding the topic. The tabular form is much interesting and comprehensive. This has been fantastic and has saved me from losing my mind. The detail is clear, simple and understandable.

I thank you for this. The diagram below explains the above terms and the relationship between them: Why is it important? Which research paradigm does my research belong to? In really simple terms, the three most common paradigms are explained below and are shown in this epistemology diagram too, taken from here: Positivists believe that there is a single reality, which can be measured and known, and therefore they are more likely to use quantitative methods to measure and this reality.

Constructivists believe that there is no single reality or truth, and therefore reality needs to be interpreted, and therefore they are more likely to use qualitative methods to get those multiple realities. Pragmatists believe that reality is constantly renegotiated, debated, interpreted, and therefore the best method to use is the one that solves the problem The table below which I created gives a more detailed overview of each paradigm and contains subjectivism and critical too , and your own research paradigm could very well sit in between one of the paradigms.

Where does most social science research sit? According to Eddie , and quoting directly, most social science sits into the following: A more traditional experimental quantitative approach, which sees social reality as a set of facts to be known for all time by measuring people in the laboratory; 2.

What impact will my chosen paradigm have on my research? Let me give you an example of an interview based research that is constructivist: Useful reading and references Texts I found useful: Blog posts that were useful: You may also like. Profile cancel Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Facebook.

Changing direction a little … Salma Patel. View November 30, View May 31, View October 13, View October 28, View November 1, View November 14, View November 16, View November 18, View November 26, View November 27, View November 28, View December 16, Dear Salma, I found it very useful and learn lots out of it.

View December 20, View December 31, Hi Salma Thank you so much for your sharing such an informative information, it was very helpful for me. Research Basics — Cynthia's Website. View January 29, View February 1, This is so ridiculously helpful of you. View February 2, View February 7, A very useful review.

View February 9, View February 13, View February 27, The choice of view in the research field is linked with the preferences of the researcher and the varieties and validities of the knowledge currently applied within NLP research. Some initial enquiries to probe, include;. NLP is not an exclusive study so it helps to understand the possibilities for further exploration so as to have the best possible background for making decisions about the approach.

It is important to remember that Research Design and Research Methods are different and will be discussed later in this series. Something is going on which we refer to as the phenomenal flow Jankowicz, and what some of us choose to explore depends on our own ontological position.

Others may disagree and choose something else. It is useful to note here that phenomenology can be confusingly used both to define a philosophical approach and also as a methodology Denzin and Lincoln, Bryman talks about an organisation as a tangible object, with rules, regulations and procedures, with people appointed to different jobs under a division of labour with a hierarchy, mission statement etc.

He suggests that the organisation has a reality which is external to those within in and it represents a social order that requires individuals to conform to the rules and regulations. It is a restraining force that both acts on and inhibits its members. Bryman also suggests that the same is true of culture, which can be seen as a collection of shared values and customs into which people are socialized to conform.

In essence, positivism says that social phenomena have an existence that is independent or separate from the actors within it. Examples of this are Virgin or GEC where the CEO Branson or Welch have clearly defined the cultural norms albeit in very different ways and new employees conform very quickly because the culture is so strong and dictated by charismatic leaders who are aligned with their strong brand.

Truth only happens in the moment. He goes on to give the example that human beings construct the organisation and the culture instead of the organisation and culture being pre-given categories which affect behaviours.

This will often happen with start up companies where the culture evolves as the organisation grows and the product or service develops. Often this development is aligned to the intellectual and experiential growth of the founding team. Microsoft and Apple where the leaders have empowered their teams and the organic internal growth evolves the brand and therefore could cause it to be more enduring and of course this is my experience and may not be true!

The Epistemology is about the information that counts as acceptable knowledge in NLP and how it should be acquired and interpreted. The two Ontological positions point to two of the main distinctions in the Epistemology of research in NLP ;. Positivism does not allow for the subjective opinions of the researcher as the approach deals with verifiable observations and measurable relations between those observations, not with speculation and conjecture.

It is therefore the more scientific perspective with no room here for the subjective opinions of the researcher as the approach deals with verifiable observations and measurable relations between them, not with speculation and conjecture. The Interpretivist approach however, rejects absolute facts and suggests that facts are based on perception rather than objective truth. With this approach, the conclusions are derived from the interpretations of the participants rather than the abstract theories of the researcher or scientist.

This means there is a challenge to understand the meanings that individuals and teams attach to their activities. There are no Universal laws or experiences as the world is always being developed and re-developed by reflective, thinking, feeling beings who are able to make a difference to their environment and the focus is usually on meaning and perceived realities rather than facts.

The researcher will often need to get some specialist knowledge in order to understand the meanings, values and contexts of their subjects e. Easterby-Smith, Thorpe et al. Which research questions might be best answered using each epistemological approach? There are implications for the researcher from both the Positivist and the Interpretivist approaches.

Alternatively Easterby-Smith, Thorpe et al.


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You are expected to do the following: You need to provide a definition of epistemology for an undergraduate, bachelor-level dissertation. You need to discuss what is accepted and what is not accepted as knowledge in your research. You have to specify research philosophy and research methods that correspond to your chosen epistemology.

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First of all, you should realize that research is only one of several ways of "knowing." The branch of philosophy that deals with this subject is called bisnesila.tkmologists generally recognize at least four different sources of knowledge.

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Ontology and Epistemology – Research Method on The research paradigm – methodology, epistemology and ontology – explained in simple language radha on The research paradigm – methodology, epistemology and ontology – explained in simple language. Bringing together the work of over eighty leading academics and researchers worldwide to produce the definitive reference and research tool for the social sc.

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Epistemology, Ontology & Research Practice! 4 key items in the construction and process of research: 1. Methods - techniques or procedures 2. Methodology - strategy, plan or design linking the choice of methods to the desired outcomes 3. Theoretical perspectives - our philosophical stance. Volume 10, No. 2, Art. 30 – May Ontological and Epistemological Foundations of Qualitative Research. Irene Vasilachis de Gialdino. Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to describe the most relevant features of qualitative research in order to show how, from the Epistemology of the Known Subject perspective I propose, it is necessary to review first the ontological and then the.