Ghauri & Gronhaug (2005) ‘Find out’ indicates that every research is based on various interrelated purposes. The above explanations give a clear idea that research is a combination of proper and clear aims and objectives, data collection, data analysis, and proper findings from the results of analysis. Research is an activity that is intended to arrive at a solution for a question or set of questions. (Ghauri & Gronhaug, 2005). Therefore, research needs to be executed in a systematic way with proper planning. Saunders et al. (2007) perceive research as an onion with different layers (figure 3.1).
Figure 3.1: The Research ‘Onion’
Source: Saunders et al., (2007)
As per the research onion, the five layers of research are Research philosophy, research approach, research strategy, time horizon and data collection (Saunders et al., 2007).
3.2 RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY
Research philosophy refers to the methodology and strategies used by the researcher based on the researcher’s individual assumptions. Saunders et al. (2007) states that a research philosophy is related to the nature and development of the knowledge. Thus, a research philosophy is mostly based on the researcher’s perception about knowledge and its development....
The two main theories of ontology are objectivism and contructionism. The third thinking Epistemology explains about knowledge. It raises the question as to what should be considered as the perfect knowledge in a discipline. (Bryman & Bell, 2007). Epistemology ensures whether an area of study is worth the research. (Gill & Johnson, 2010). The three research divisions of Epistemology are positivism, realism and interpretivism. 3.2.1 Positivism Positivism could be considered as an epistemological position that supports the application of the methods to learning of a social reality and beyond (Bryman & Bell, 2007). Checkland (1999) explains that positivism is a method for procuring knowledge which can be tested publicly with a rational thinking supported by observation and experimentation tools. In a research with positivism, the researcher will adopt a philosophical approach for arriving at a solution. Saunders et al. (2007) Therefore, a rational and thoughtful experimentation is the primary focus of positivism. As per Kolb (1984), a researcher is an accommodator. This is based on the concept of ‘Learning Style Assessment.’ Such researcher falls under the category of positivists. (Figure 3.2). This shows the attitude and interests of the researchers in trying solving problems. Positivism stresses on data and observations that are quantifiable and that can be statistically analysed. (Remenyi et al., 1998). Through tools such as questionnaires, data will be collected and statistical tools will be used to analyse the same. Analysis will also be based on the situations. The researcher will prefer working with an evident social certainty and that the end