Epistemology, Philosophy And Methodology

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At every stage in a research, researcher’s makes assumptions about human knowledge and the nature of realities they encounter. The assumptions of the researcher world view will underpin or shape the research question, strategy and the methodology (Crotty, 1998; Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2012). Research is a systematic investigation, an inquiry whereby data are collected, analysed and interpreted in an effort to understand or describe a phenomenon (Burns, 1977 cited in Mackenzie & Knipe, 2006). The debate of philosophy/paradigm has characterised the research study over the years and this overarching term relate to the how knowledge are develop and the nature of that knowledge (Saunders et al., 2012). Research philosophy/paradigm is a broad…show more content…
The philosophical positioning of a study is explicitly and implicitly vital to the success of any research. Without aligning toward a certain research paradigm, there is no basis for subsequent choices regarding methodology or research design and methods. In other words, research philosophy is the connecting link in the whole research process. That is ontology (what is real or nature of reality), epistemology (what is acceptable knowledge), methodology (methods or rules by which a research is undertaken) and axiology (role of values and ethics in a research). However, ontology is the researcher’s perception of what is known and the reality in the field of study and ontology allows the researcher to emphasize on the importance of what has been researched, (Huhta and Huhta 2014, Alvesson and Skoldberg, 2009). The "nature of…show more content…
This allows the researcher to emphasize the importance of what has been researched, (Huhta and Huhta 2014, Alvesson and Skoldberg, 2009). "Nature of reality" on other hand is the distinction between the social and natural world. The social worlds are external and independent of the social actors concerned; this is known as objectivism (Crotty 1998). Epistemology is what is considered acceptable knowledge in a particular field of study. Epistemology places emphasis on the role and nature of the relationship between the researcher and the knowable. Again, there are two aspect of ontology namely objectivism and subjectivism. Objectivist position portrays the notion that the social entities are external to the social actors (Crotty 1998). The social world is open to subjective interpretations which may affect what is in the natural world and individual will interpreted situation differently, depending on their world views. While subjectivist position asserts that social phenomena are created from the perceptions and consequent actions of social actors. These views which may be socially constructed are known as social constructivism (Saunders et al 2012 p

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