Business Research Philosophies
If research were to be conducted in an organisation, an objectivist would suggest that a reality of the management in a company is separate from manager’s perceptions of what reality is. Another ontological position that must be discussed is subjectivism, a view that suggests “social phenomena are created from the perceptions and consequent actions of social actors” (Saunders et al. 2012: 11). The emphasis is put on social actors and their perceptions. An example of the subjectivist approach to conducting a study of “customer service” would include the view that customer service is produced through interaction between customers and service providers and is constantly being revised as a result of this. In other worlds, a subjectivist researcher would believe that “customer service” exists because of this social interaction that constantly takes place, whereas objectivist would assume that “customer service” is just something that exists, or an organisation “has” (Saunders et al 2012:12).
To conclude, although many conduct research without a thought of underlying philosophical considerations, knowledge of research philosophies might further benefit one because it helps to clarify the research design, and facilitates the choice of the most appropriate one (Blumberg 2005: 19). What is more, substantial knowledge of research philosophies can allow one to critically evaluate the conducted research since philosophical factors contribute to the way research is conducted and the outcome of research.
- Business Research Philosophies
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