The paper is based on explaining and analyzing the qualitative and quantitative research paradigms and its underlying principles as well as addressing the issue of different epistemological, ontological and methodological worldviews underpinning each of the two perspectives. …
This research will begin with the statement that epistemology has its origin from Greek and refers to knowledge. Therefore, the term epistemology is the acquired knowledge or explanation of how people come to know about the existence of something. The epistemology knowledge can be acquired through first hand experience or through theoretical study. According to Trochim, epistemology defines and explains how people come to know the reality of life. In general epistemology try to explain some of the following concept; the relationship between the knowledge and the individual who have acquired it, the manner in which the knowledge has been acquired, what is the meaning of the term knowledge to various individuals, and the general explanation of the important of the acquired knowledge to the knowledgeable and the entire society. On the other hand, the term ontology refers to the understanding and explanation of real life situation while the term paradigm is the entire belief systems that help people and researchers in doing their daily activities. It defines a set of practices and activities that are normal and valid in any situation. Therefore, proper understanding of the knowledge under study and the available research methods are the pillars of coming up with the best and practical research method which can bring about the desired outcome. In scientific research various methods are applied on various different scenarios. The paper below is based on explaining and analyzing the qualitative and quantitative research paradigms and its underlying principles as well as addressing the issue of different epistemological, ontological and methodological worldviews underpinning each of the two perspectives. The paper will also address the ethical considerations relating to research in tourism. Coll (2000, p 90) observed that, paradigm explains the experiment and practical means of acquiring knowledge, beliefs, and ideology on how an activity should be done. It is the manner in which people acquire the knowledge and understanding of different perspectives. The object being studied should be researched and thoroughly analyzed to get the in depth knowledge and understanding of the subject (Coll 2000, p 91). The knowledge of the paradigm are acquired and approved through observation and analysis of the available ideas and facts. The individuals expected to acquire the paradigm beliefs and ideologies must practice the knowledge acquired to gain consistency and first hand experience. Therefore, knowledge is acquired through the meaning attached to a certain event. Researchers have to come to touch with the subject under study to acquire data necessary in the analysis process. The process to coming into touch with the object under study or the scenario under investigation to collect data is what is referred to as scientific research The interaction with the subject under investigation enhances changes in knowledge to both the researcher and the subject (Coll, 2000, p. 91). Therefore, the knowledge and understanding of the epistemology differences between the various research paradigm among the research conducted on tourist is pure philosophical but not methodological. Denzin (2002, p. 102) stated that, the researcher theoretical knowledge plays a very crucial role in deciding the method to be used in a research. This is because of the implanted beliefs systems and ideologies about the subject under study. Hence, the researchers in the tourism study were guided by their initial knowledge about the tourism sector. The knowledge which guides the decision on the method can be acquired either through literature review or physical observation of a phenomenon. Therefore, the ontological assumption is squarely responsible for determination of the methodology to be applied in a research. In the study on tourism, the researchers have used the qualitative a ...
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However there is a third approach known as the mixed method study that combines the approaches of both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Quantitative research is sometimes termed as positivist or empiricist approach that entails the systematic investigation of different phenomena through the use of statistical and computational techniques (Bockmon & Rieman 1987)..
The author describes Quantitative Research as ‘the method which investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where and when’. It was noted that qualitative research presents data in language form which is gathered from the study area. In qualitative research, it is thought that the researcher can learn the most by participating.
To allow a systematic review and analysis of a particular research, the central discourse demonstrated by the chosen paradigm in the study should be examined critically. As stated by Roberts and Taylor, “… the paradigm of a profession not only concerns the content of the professional knowledge, but also the process by which the knowledge is produced” (Taylor, Kermode, & Roberts, 2006, p.
Research is undertaken within most professions. More than a set of skills, research is a way of thinking. It is something like understanding and formulating guiding principles that govern a particular procedure as well as developing and testing new theories that for the enhancement of any practice.
The author states that qualitative and quantitative methods’ versatility can be analysed from the fact that “in recent years specialisations such as medical anthropology and medical sociology have relied on qualitative methods to explore issues relating to health, from the micro-context of the hospital ward to the broader socio cultural context”.
Therefore, the main mission of quantitative research is to ensure validity and reliability of study results (Dingwall et al, 1998). Examples of quantitative methods widely used in the social sciences and business and management research are survey methods, formal methods (e.g.
The underlying assumption of positivism - existence of an objective world that can be measured and quantified using the traditional scientific methods - has been questioned by numerous critics arguing that the positivist approach "strip contexts from meanings in the process of developing quantified measures of phenomena" (Guba and Lincoln, 1994: 106).