Methodology

Methodology

Research can be defined as “an activity that involves finding out, in a more or less systematic way, things you did not know” (Walliman and Walliman, 2011, p.7).

“Methodology is the philosophical framework within which the research is conducted or the foundation upon which the research is based” (Brown, 2006).

Research Methodology chapter of a research describes research methods, approaches and designs in detail highlighting those used throughout the study, justifying my choice through describing advantages and disadvantages of each approach and design taking into account their practical applicability to our research.

O’Leary (2004, p.85) describes methodology as the framework which is associated with a particular set of paradigmatic assumptions that we will use to conduct our research. Allan and Randy (2005) insist that when conducting a research methodology should meet the following two criteria:

Firstly, the methodology should be the most appropriate to achieve objectives of the research.

Secondly, it should be made possible to replicate the methodology used in other researches of the same nature

The differences between objectivist and subjectivist dimensions are presented by Cohen et al (2007) as taken from Greenfield (1975) in the following manner:

Dimensions of comparison Objectivist Subjectivist
Philosophical basis Realism – the world exists and can be studied as it is Idealism – the world exists, but is studied differently by different people
Role of social science Exploring universal laws of the society and the behaviour of people within it Exploring how the world is interpreted by different people
Basic units of social reality Society or organisation(s) Individuals
Comprehension methods Studying the type and nature of various relationships that allow the collectivity to exist Studying subjective meanings that individuals impose upon their actions
Theory A rational construction that has been proposed by researchers in order to explain the human behaviour Sets of meanings used by individuals in order to interpret their world and behaviour
Research Validation of theory through experimentation or quasi-experimentation Looking for meaningful relationships and establishing the consequences of actions
Methodology The use of quantitative analysis and mathematical methods The analysis and interpretation of reality
Society Is managed by a set of general values, rules and regulations Is managed on the basis of values possessed by people with power

 

The most comprehensive information regarding vital aspects of methodology is provided by Jackson (2011) that can be summarised in the following table:

Goal met Research methods Advantages/disadvantages
Description Observational method

Case study method

Survey method

Allows description of behaviour(s)

Does not support reliable predictions

Does not support cause-and-effect explanations

Prediction Correlational method

Quasi-experimental method

Allows description of behaviour(s)

Supports reliable predictions from one variable to another

Does not support cause-and-effect explanations

Explanation Experimental method Allows description of behaviour(s)

Supports reliable predictions from one variable to another

Supports cause-and-effect explanations

Source: (Jackson, 2011)

References

Allan, AJ, Randy, LJ, 2005, Writing the Winning Thesis or Dissertation. A Step-by-Step Guide, Corwin Press, California
Brown RB, 2006, Doing Your Dissertation in Business and Management: The Reality of Research and Writing, Sage Publications
Cohen, L, Manion, L, Morrison, K & Morrison, RB, 2007, Research Methods in Education, Routledge
O’Leary Z. 2004 “ The essential guide to doing research”. Sage.

Walliman, N. S. & Walliman N. (2011) “Research methods: the basics” Taylor and Francis