Professional Research Methods

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The recent years have been marked with increasing interest in the role of philosophical paradigms and assumptions in carrying out research. Over the last two decades different authors have voiced some serious concerns about effectiveness of using the prevailing paradigm of positivism and the methods associated with it in the search for greater depth and meaning in the understanding of complex social phenomena.


Other concerns about the applicability of quantitative methodologies to in-dept examination of complex social phenomena include taking the collected data out of the real-world setting, poor representativeness and generalisation of data, exclusion of discovery from the realm of scientific inquiry, etc.
The institutional structure of business and management research has also reacted to the criticism of the positivist paradigm. Increasing numbers of qualitative studies published domestically and internationally have challenged the traditional view of qualitative research paradigm as the inferior to the more rigorous and reliable quantitative methodology. The aim of this paper is to identify the major research designs and techniques associated with each methodology and to provide explanation on the views about the nature of knowledge (epistemology) and the nature of reality (ontology) underlying these perspectives.
There are various classifications of methods used in the area of professional research, but the most common classification splits the methods into two large groups, namely quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Quantitative methodology employs methods historically applied in the natural (physica ...
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