Research Methods Into Positivism And Community Constructivism

There has been heated discussion over the use of positivism and communal constructivism in general management research within the last few ages. And one can find that almost all of the theorists have a neutral view with regard to this situation. After the 1980s there has been a trend towards interpersonal constructivism but even then no one is sticking completely to the concepts of one sole philosophy.

The main idea behind positivism is the fact society can be an external agent and therefore its properties or characteristics must be measured objectively alternatively than by any subjective means like intuition, discomfort etc. This view was initially proposed by French theorist Auguste Comte (1853) according to whom "All good intellects have repeated, since Bacon's time, that there can be no real knowledge but that which is based on observable facts". Hence his view has two main assumptions i. e. reality is exterior and objective and knowledge is based upon observations of this reality. Thus there are specific postulates of this philosophy

Independence: The researcher must be 3rd party in his thoughts and it is not affected by any factors while watching the reality.

Value-freedom: This involves deciding upon the region to be researched and how to review it. Positivism implies doing this based on objective research and not on human values.

Causality: The main objective of sociable and behavioral sciences is to judge the complexities and fundamental regulations behind the fluctuations in the behavioral routine of people.

Hypothesis and deduction: every research will be based on certain hypothesis and the observations will be produced to either prove or disprove this hypothesis statement.

Operationalization: The research principles must be created in such a way that the facts obtained from observations can be assessed empirically.

Reductionism: This concept believes that a bigger problem will be easy to solve if it is divided into smaller elements that can be separately resolved.

Generalization: In order to make standard conclusions on fluctuations in real human behavior, it is essential that the research must be conducted among examples of appropriate size. On the basis of results from the test size, the researcher can make wider judgments on the whole population.

Cross-sectional analysis: This sort of regularities can be easily discovered by assessing the distinctions in the examples.

All the aforementioned given implications will be the collective view details of different theorists of positivism. But there were many theorists who had been having contrasting viewpoints on these postulates too. Even Comte had not been helping the reductionism concept. Wittgenstein suggested in his previous studies that all factual motives can be divided into smaller elementary propositions that were entirely independent from each other. He himself later challenged this theory arguing that elementary propositions can be logically related to each other (Pears, 1971). Thus this idea is under an unending argument on the list of theorists. Aiken (1956) developed the view that positivism is the simplest way to determine the behavioral habits in human beings which may be originated as a result of metaphysical speculation.

The idea of public constructivism on the other hands was developed predicated on the works of Berger and Luckman (1966), Watzlawick (1984) and Shotter (1993). This viewpoint is based upon idea that individuals use terminology as a medium for posting their experiences and it is through this way, they make sense of the world. Hence this theory advises that individuals form, create and make themselves and their worlds by means of the verbal skills. It really is more concerned about the procedure and product individuals' way of interacting with each other (Leeds-Hurwitz, 1995). It is considered as social because it focuses on the interaction as opposed to the individual.

Hence even though there are present a dichotomy between the two philosophies, there exists a high difference in thoughts and opinions among the analysts about selecting methods. Therefore a number of compromising has to be done between both of these philosophies in order to conduct a research.

Figure: Matrix of research designs


Survey research

Case method


Quasi-experimental design


Positivist Social

Grounded theory

Experimental Design

design constructionist

Co-operative enquiry

Action research


The following are pure researches pointed out in the physique above

Action research: Action research cannot completely participate in genuine research as it includes certain elements of applied research too. With this research, the researcher will try to be the maximum amount of close to the study area or subject matter. It is because the researcher intends to produce a direct influence that he may be sure modifications even in the research process. The ground notion behind this research was that if one desires to know a topic well he must make an effort to change it out. This theory was generally accepted in Organizational Development where the trainers use it for improving the team performance (French & Bell, 1978; Homan, 1979).

Survey Research: That is some sort of research process which requires immediate conversation with the examples. If done properly, this research can provide accurate information which is often highly useful in resolving the research problem. Survey research offers much importance to principal data and requires organized observation (Sapsford, 2007). Therefore this research helps to take better business decisions by which way the business activities can be deals with a lot more effectively.

Experimental design: In this research, the experimenter assigns subject matter randomly to a test or control group. The test group conditions are then manipulated by the researcher in order to evaluate their impact with regard to the control group who are in a normal setting. But this kind of review is very difficult to carry out in real organizations since its challenging to secure a captive inhabitants for the research.

Quasi-experimental designs: This is developed when the analysts found it difficult to generate 100 % pure experimental designs under the positivist strategy. This was plainly explained by Campell and Stanley (1963), who evaluated a number of designs which used multiple scales to be able to minimize the impact triggered by imperfect matching of control and test categories.

Ethnography: This is a theory based on social constructivist basic principle where the experimenter will try to be a part of the research in order to understand the way of thinking of the experimental group and the meanings and significances that the examples generate their action of themselves while others.

Case Method: There are several research designs at the moment and some of them are similar to fieldwork methods although some others land in the intermediate position. Research study method is the kind of research design which comes under the second option category. The main deliberations to this topic were created by Robert Yin (1993). The other popular contributors to the method are Stake (1995), Eisenhardt (1989), and Hamel et. al (1993).

Grounded theory: This theory is dependant on constructivist principles and helps the researcher to understand how he will proceed with the research. This concept received worldwide attention from the studies of Glaser and Strauss (1967). In this method, the researcher mainly has to create a theory by means of comparative method, i. e. observing the same event in various situations and studying the difference.

Co-operative enquiry: This is a type of action research where all the participants of the research contribute similarly to the development of enquire and show energetic participation in the study process (Heron, 1996; Reason, 2003).

Apart from the above research designs, there are present certain other designs which is often used for management researches. The most important ones among them are critical inquiry, participant observation and narrative methods. All these methods have certain similarities with all these designs as well as certain unique features of their own. Hence they are also widely accepted in business research and used in line with the requirements.

2. The different areas of research that holds high value are

a) Research issue: Finalizing the study topic is the first & most important part of a study since it is dependant on the depth of subject that the research proceeds (Kumar, 2005). Inside the wide-ranging sense, research title can be any question or problem that you need to answer or any assumption that needs to be challenged. According to the words of Power, Meenaghan & Twoomey (1985), "Potential research questions may occur to us on a regular basis, but the process of formulating them in a meaningful way is not at all a simple task". In order to frame a study title, it is essential to have a thorough knowledge of research technique as well as on the theoretical aspects of the topic. The research name can be created based upon four sources specifically daily life, sensible issues, earlier research and theory (Johnson & Christensen, 2010). They form the original platform for the structuring of research title. Thus the study topic provides as a foundation to the study and hence if it's framed properly, the study will also move around in the right path. The research problem can vary in complexity and hence the way it is formulated determines the research approach, analysis design, sampling strategy, research tool as well as much other factors. Therefore there should be certain factors while selecting a research topic. The primary considerations are interest, magnitude, measurement concepts, competence level, relevance, honest issues etc. (Kumar, 2005). If the study topic fulfills almost all of these things to consider, then it can be seen as a appropriate one.

b) Research question: A study question identifies the problem that the experimenter looks for to answer through the study. The research question can be an essential element of every research despite of the fact that it is qualitative and quantitative. But they will vary based on the aspect of research. If the research question is qualitative, then it will be intended for learning the partnership between two variables. A variable is something has several value (Vaus, 2002). Hence research questions for these sorts of researches aren't much specific. While on the hand, a quantitative research question tends to more precise as it'll be based on numerical results. Business research usually applies qualitative research questions since they ask more general questions that can be used for exploring the sample's views or replies on a specific phenomenon. It is usually an interrogative word which aspires to relate several variables. It could be of three types namely: descriptive, predictive and causal. The researcher must have thorough understanding of the factors that are related in the study. These questions are open-ended, standard, and over-reaching regarding a concern, problem or occurrence.

c) Research hypothesis (es): They could be referred to as tentative answers to the study questions. This is because the solution to them are available out after statistical examination only and hence it forms a critical part of the evidence-gathering procedure for a research (Guerrero & Nachmias, 2010). You will see two hypotheses while executing this process. The first hypotheses will be referred to as research hypotheses (H1) and the other one will be termed as null hypothesis (H0). The study hypotheses are produced based after the variables of human population but its form is different from research to analyze. Null hypothesis is the main one arranged as a counter the study hypothesis. It is because every research hypothesis is defined to be able to show a marriage. Hence it's important to set another hypothesis which could disprove the relationship. For hypothesis testing, the researcher is designed to disprove the null hypothesis in order to provide support to the study hypothesis. Therefore research hypotheses are oriented towards a specific direction. This means it suggests whether a populace mean is higher than or lesser than a particular value.

d) Research aims: A researcher intends to conclude what must be achieved by means of the study. The objectives of the analysis must maintain alignment with the challenge statement. You will find mainly two types of aims established for a research- general purpose and specific purpose. General objective states what the researcher intends to achieve in general conditions through conducting this study. This general aim when divided to smaller parts for better fixing becomes specific objectives. Research goals are better than research questions since they lead to higher specificity in the study (Saunders et. al. 2003).

3. A research design process that could be adopted running a business researches is really as follows

Web 01: A synopsis of the study design process

This research design can be utilized generally in most management studies with little modifications. This process begins with recognition of research problem. Every research will need to have a difficulty which needs to be fixed through the research process. Business studies usually intend to find answers for some sociable issues, business problem or a happening. After identifying the study problem, the next thing is determining the research goals and questions. A study question is the problem or concern that the study intends to resolve while research goals have a tendency to summarize the area that is to be achieved by the analysis. Hence both these factors lay in close relation to each other. The next task in the research design process is performing the supplementary research. This is done by means of an extensive literature study. This way the researcher gathers details on the theoretical aspects of the study. Hence the researcher will be searching in books, journals, articles, online directories, websites etc for collecting the info. An appropriate strategy for conducting the research must be developed by this time. Research methodology assists with determining the study philosophy, procedure, method, review design etc. Each one of these factors are highly important for the successful completion of research. After collecting the extra data, the researcher can look out for methods for collecting the principal data. There are present several research options for data collection. The research instrument will be chosen based upon the literature review (Taylor et. al. 2006). The most common research equipment include research, interviews, questionnaires, etc. In some cases, the researcher conducts a pilot research in order to obtain responses from a little portion of the population. These research equipment help gain valid data from the samples. After collecting the primary and secondary information, the researcher decides upon the methods for their evaluation. Literature review examination is quite crucial for researches as they might help in increasing insights on the center issues and provide suitable advice. The evaluation of primary data is performed by means of certain evaluation techniques. The most frequent methods include percentage research, chi-square test, ANOVA, z-test etc. They assist in providing empirical findings for the study which can be most appropriate. After acquiring the findings, these are interpreted to reach at final judgments and final result. On the basis of these interpretations, the researcher could provide ideal suggestions or tips for solving the study problem.


a) A study is employed for talking about a people and it usually entails systematic observation or interviewing. Research involve the particular researcher wants to learn and the answers will be described under a specific range (Sapsford, 2007). The most frequent survey instruments used in management and cultural studies are questionnaires and interviews. For creating a questionnaire, the replies must be provided in a range. Hence it must have certain measurement scales. A couple of mainly four types of dimension scales used in surveys. These are

Nominal Range: That is some sort of measurement scale where the objects are allocated to categories with no numerical properties. These scales have definite personal information of their own but have no other characteristics (Jackson, 2007). Those variables which are assessed using these scales are named as categorical variables since they make an effort to classify the information accumulated. But these variables haven't any empirical value. Types of variables measured through nominal scales are ethnicity, gender etc. These factors cannot be hence found in mathematical analysis. Hence these scales are believed as the cheapest level of way of measuring since the parameters are different through quality somewhat than variety in this (Bordens & Abbott, 2006).

Ordinal Level: They form the next level of way of measuring used in research. They constitute quantities that happen to be in a predetermined order so that you will see certain relationships which can be inferred from them (Sapsford, 2007). Hence the aims are grouped into certain categories which form a rank order through a range. The info in this size do have certain individuality and properties but they don't have equal unit size and utter zero.

Interval Range: Within this scale, the dimension units are of similar size. So that it fulfills the three main requirements of an ideal scale i. e. identification, magnitude and equal unit size. It forms the third level of measurement found in studies. Hence this level contains the characteristics of both nominal and ordinal range but is a lot more effective than the other two (Malhotra & Dash, 2008). Fahrenheit size is the most visible interval size used.

Ratio level: This sorts the highest dimension level and has all the characteristics of nominal, ordinal and interval level. It's the most complicated level since it allows the researcher to identify the absolute differences between scale tips as well as helps him in assessing the replies obtained (Hair et. al. 2007). This range possesses an absolute zero which shows the absence of variables in measurement.

b. Questionnaire is the most commonly used research device. The primary characteristics of any good questionnaire are as follows

It must be brief and precise. So while framing a questionnaire, ensure that the study targets will be achieved from the analysis of reactions of the questionnaire.

Usage of simple vocabulary: The questionnaire must be framed so that the respondents find it easy to understand.

Start with interesting questions: The questionnaire includes questions that will create curiosity about the samples to answer and cause them to become fill out the entire form.

Absence of leading questions: If there are leading questions in the proper execution, it will encourage the respondents to answer in a specific way. But this isn't regarded as a good practice because the sample should not be influenced at all in writing a remedy.

The quantity of choices won't be too much time because the respondents will see it difficult to evaluate most of them. Hence the choice list must be small.

Include simple ideas which the samples could understand. Including complicated ideas will make it a hardcore job for the respondents to answer the questions properly.

The elements of an undesirable questionnaire are included below.

It will have significantly more open-ended questions than close-ended ones. This can make it problematic for the respondents to answer the questions and also their answers will not be similar. The research of these replies is not possible through any statistical method.

The questions will be vague. The respondents will never be able to understand the true meaning of this question and this will impact their answer.

The research questions are not communicated through this questionnaire. In this manner the questionnaire fails to serve its purpose.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)