“A deductive approach is concerned with developing a hypothesis (or hypotheses) based on existing theory, and then designing a research strategy to test the hypothesis” (Wilson, 2010, p.7)
Monette et al (2005, p.34) further explain deductive approach by the means of hypotheses, which can be derived from the propositions of the theory. In other words, deductive approach is concerned with deducting conclusions from premises or propositions. “Deduction begins with an expected pattern that is tested against observations, whereas induction begins with observations and seeks to find a pattern within them” (Babbie, 2010, p.52).
It has been stated that “deductive means reasoning from the particular to the general. If a causal relationship or link seems to be implied by a particular theory or case example, it might be true in many cases. A deductive design might test to see if this relationship or link did obtain on more general circumstances” (Gulati, 2009, p.42).
In other words, when a deductive approach is being followed in the research the author formulates a set of hypotheses that need to be tested. Then, through implementation of relevant methodology the study is going to prove formulated hypotheses right or wrong.
Snieder and Larner (2009) inform that in deductive approach reasoning starts with a theory and leads to a new hypothesis, which is going to be confirmed or rejected as result of the research:
Beiske (2007) informs that deductive research approach explores a known theory or phenomenon and tests if that theory is valid in a given circumstances. “The deductive approach follows the path of logic most closely. The reasoning starts with a theory and leads to a new hypothesis. This hypothesis is put to the test by confronting it with observations that either lead to a confirmation or a rejection of the hypothesis” (Snieder and Larner, 2009, p.16).
Moreover, deductive reasoning can be explained as “reasoning from the general to the particular” (Pelissier, 2008, p.3), whereas inductive reasoning is the opposite. In other words, deductive approach involves formulation of hypotheses and their subjection to testing during the research process, while inductive studies do not deal with hypotheses in any ways.
Beiske, B, 2007, Research Methods: Uses and Limitations of questionnaires, interviews and case studies, GRIN Verlag
Gulati, PM, 2009, Research Management: Fundamental and Applied Research, Global India Publications
Monette, DR, Sullivan, TJ, DeJong, CR, 2005, Applied Social Research. A Tool for the Human Services, 6th edition
Pelissier, R. (2008) “Business Research Made Easy” Juta & Co.
Snieder, R & Larner, K, 2009, The Art of Being a Scientist: A Guide for Graduate Students and their Mentors, Cambridge University Press