Reflective Essay On Research Methods

The following is part of a series of blog posts I wrote while taking an education PhD course on Epistemologies. A summary of all posts in the series is included in this paper: Developing an Appreciative Understanding of Epistemologies in Educational Research: One Blogger’s Journey. 

My thoughts on the research process have changed greatly over the last couple of weeks. As part of a scholarship application, I had to write a two-page research proposal. At first I thought it would not be too difficult, as I have already taken a course in qualitative methods and another on statistics, plus I wrote a paper on design-based research methodology. I understand how to “do” research, so I didn’t think a proposal would be that difficult. This isn’t the first time I’ve been required to write a research proposal, but the last time, for my Master’s project, was a long time ago (about six years). I was required to do an action research project, so the proposal was in a standard format, and the program staff provided a lot of support while you were writing. Writing this two-page proposal, turned out to be more of a challenge than I anticipated.

At this point in time, I must admit that I feel a little like a fool for describing the process that I followed, as it was clearly ill informed. Please, no laughing while you read this!

I began the proposal by describing a design-based research project that I wanted to do. I already had in my mind a course I wanted to build, and how it might be melded to fit a design-based research structure. I had a challenge coming up with a research question, as the formats for questions provided in Creswell (2009) did not adequately describe what I wanted to do.

I continued to struggle with finding the right form for the research question. Fortunately, I had an article on “Design-based research and doctoral students: Guidelines for preparing a dissertation proposal” (Herrington, McKenney, Reeves, & Oliver, 2007). In the article, the authors quote Edelson (2006) using the word “alternative” in the research question. With this, I realized that the verb “improve” was the one I wanted. I was able to come up with a research question in the form of “how can we improve upon …”

Proud of myself for having found a “good” question, and having done a thorough job describing exactly how the project would be built, I submitted what I thought was an excellent first draft to my supervisor. As an instructional designer and technical writer, the document was well-written and provided clear procedures as the how the project would be executed. Unfortunately, I was way off the mark as far as a research proposal was concerned. I had completely missed the justification of the project, and a two-page proposal needs at least half a page of literature review, which I had chosen to skip in favour of including detailed procedures.

My pride now hurt, I needed to take a step back and re-assess. I also need to develop a “thicker-skin” as I cannot afford to have my pride hurt every time I receive feedback. My proposal was missing the “why” and “so what” factors. I needed to use literature to describe why my research was a good idea. I had fallen into writing what I was comfortable with – procedures – rather than what was required. I had also tackled the problem with the eyes of a practitioner (instructional designer) rather than a researcher. As a researcher, I needed to focus on the research question, I had to justify why it was a worthy question, and only after I had done both of those could I determine the best methodology, and then describe it.

It occurs to me that I have two distinct and disjoint views of the project, one as a practitioner and one as a researcher. I need to be clear when I am acting in one role versus the other. Can I effectively be the practitioner and researchers on the same project?

The proposal had to go back to the drawing board: I had to define what the purpose of the research was. I reviewed some of the literature but stumbled. I got caught finding reasons why what I wanted to do wasn’t a good idea. I couldn’t move forward until I realized I was fixated on the wrong question (why not? rather than why?). There will always be reasons to justify why I shouldn’t do something; the focus needs to be on justifying why I should. With that change in mind-set, I was able to quickly identify relevant research and justify my research proposal.

Upon reflection, one of the reasons I kept having trouble with the research question, was my focus on “how” I was going to answer the question. I found myself only willing to ask questions where I thought that I already knew the answer or questions where I clearly understood how I would find the answer. I wasn’t allowing myself permission to ask the deeper burning questions; for fear that I would not know how to answer them. However, I now realize that the best research questions are the ones you don’t know the answers to. And part of the joy in research, is figuring out the methods that will be help you find that answer. I also understand Johnson & Onweugbuzie when they say: “What is most fundamental is the research question—research methods should follow research questions in a way that offers the best chance to obtain useful answers” (2004, pp.17-18).

Now that my scholarship application has been submitted, I am looking forward to getting back into the exploratory phase of the research process. I want to spend more time reading the literature and reflecting on my research question. I have now freed myself of methodological constraints. I am free to ask whatever burning question I want, I just need to figure out what that is!

References:

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage Publications Inc.

Edelson, D. C. (2006). Balancing innovation and assessing design research proposals. In J. van den Akker, K. Gravenmeijer, S. McKenney, & N. Nieveen (Eds.), Educational design research (pp. 100-106). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi:http://www.routledge.com/

Herrington, J., McKenney, S., Reeves, T. C., & Oliver, R. (2007). Design-based research and doctoral students: Guidelines for preparing a dissertation proposal. Proceedings from World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, Vancouver, Canada.

Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26. doi:10.3102/0013189X033007014

Outline 1. Introduction…………………………………...…………………………………...…………………………………...…………………………………2 2. Part I 2.1 The paradigmatic approach taken in the NFP research experience…………………………………...……………..…3 2.1.1 The underlying values and motivations of the research project ………………………………………....4 2.1.2 The underlying values and motivations of the research project and its design………………....…4 2.1.3 The general research question…………………………………...…………………………………...………………….4 2.1.4 The literature reviewed and the academic debates with which it seeks to engage………….……5 2.1.5 The methodology and choice of research methods…………………………………...…………………………5 2.1.6 The interpretation/analysis of the data…………………………………...…………………………………..........6 2.1.7 The nature of the results…………………………………...…………………………………...………………………..…6 2.2 The paradigmatic approach to causality…………………………………...…………………………………...……………………7 2.3 The paradigmatic approach to the relationship between the production of knowledge and reality….…7 2.4 The paradigmatic approach to the relationship between knowledge and values…………………………….……7 2.5 The challenges the researcher faced in undertaking a specific paradigmatic approach…………………..…..8 3. Part II 3.1 The opposing paradigmatic approach to causality …………………………………...………………………………….…...9 3.2 How does this opposing approach to the relationship between the production of knowledge and reality…………………………………...…………………………………...……………………………………...…9 3.3 The opposing approach to the relationship between knowledge and values…………………………………......9 3.4 The underlying values and motivations of the research project and its design ……………………………..……9 3.5 The general research question………………………………...…………………………………...……………………………..……10 3.6 The literature reviewed and the academic debates with which it seeks to engage…………………..…..……10 3.7 The methodology and choice of research methods…………………………………...……………………………………...10 3.8 The interpretation/analysis of the data…………………………………...…………………………………...………………..…10 3.9 The nature of the results…………………………………...…………………………………...……………………………….….…...10 3.10 The challenges you might have faced in undertaking that approach…………………………………..................11 3.11 The critique of the opposing social science research approach on the approach that was taken in the NFP research experience…………………………………...…………………………………...……..………11 4. Part III Conclusion by evaluating the utility of both approaches and explain which approach you personally would prefer to take in a future research study and why.…………………………...…………………………………12 References……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….13 1. Introduction This essay will draw from my own research experience, the National Field Project in Spring 2011. The National Field Project research was both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Questionnaires were used to measure levels of emotions towards photography on a destination for the quantitative part. Methods used for the qualitative part are participant observation during the field trip and a literature review on the area of photography, tourism and happiness in advance. The questionnaires were asked to fill in by the researchers at Kinderdijk, Scheveningen and Amsterdam. The researchers selected the respondents by convenience sampling and between this both the researchers engaged in participant observation. Some people were approached and talked with but most of the information was gathered by taking notes from a distance. Result of this participant observation was a list of themes, these were used to cluster and tried to identify these in the quantitative results. The quantitative and qualitative results combined led to a report that concluded in answering the general research question: ‘Does taking photos make tourists happier?’ In part I the paradigmatic approach, taken in the field project will be explained. The second part explains how a different approach would affect the research. In part III, the author reflects on both approaches and clarifies which approach is prefered personally. 2. Part I The paradigmatic approach taken in the NFP research experience The term ‘paradigm’ derives from Kuhn’s (1970) analysis of revolutions in science. A paradigm is ‘a cluster of beliefs and dictates which for scientists in a particular discipline influence what should be studied, how research should be done and how results should be interpreted’ (Bryman, 1988) It refers to a combination of general philosophical assumptions about the nature of the world (ontology), how we can understand this world (epistemology) and the methodological strategies that are related to these assumptions and methods. The Field Project took a positivist paradigmatic approach to the ontology, epistemology and methodology of the research project 2.1.1 The underlying values and motivations of the research project The underlying value of the research project is to study a social, mental and cultural phenomenon in order to be able to understand why people behave in a certain way. So, the value of the research project from a positivist paradigmatic approach is to uncover reality by observations and measures. The motivation for the research project should be the building and testing of theories in an empirical way. (Ormond, 2012) The motivation for the research project include the fact that the combination of ‘photography and tourism’ and ‘happiness in tourism’ has only been researched separately, for this reason the literature review was split in two parts where the first part focussed on photography and the second part only focussed on happiness within touristic experience. For the quantitative part of the research project, single realities have been displayed, because quantitative data offers numbers about specific relationships between different variables, in this quantitative part of the research project, uncovered realities have been described. (Bryman, 1988) 2.1.2 The underlying values and motivations of the research project design Examples of paradigms are approaches such as realism, constructivism and positivism. Is it important to decide beforehand which paradigm will be applied to the research design, because the work will be drawn on it and the paradigmatic stance guide and justify the design decisions. When the researcher uses a paradigm, he/she will be allowed to develop a coherent approach to the research instead of developing it by him/herself. (Maxwell, 2005) For the research study a positivist paradigm approach has been used. 2.1.3 The general research question The general research question for the National Field Project was: ‘Does taking photographs influences people’s subjective well-being?’ To do research on this topic, the researcher also questioned if there is a relationship between taking photos and positive emotions and if the opinion about taking photographs influences tourists’ subjective well-being. So, in general the researcher wanted to know if there is a relationship between taking photos and positive emotions exist. This relationship has been described in term of strength which is a reality that can be discovered as a true reality. 2.1.4 The literature reviewed and the academic debates with which it seeks to engage From a positivist paradigmatic approach, the literature review is used to summarise and present an interpretation that applies to the topic of the research. Reviewing published research literature is needed to develop a strategy to deal with the research process and the hypotheses. (University of West England, 2007) The combination of ‘photography and tourism’ and ‘happiness in tourism’ has only been researched separately, for this reason the literature review was split in two parts where the first part focussed on photography and the second part only focussed on happiness within touristic experience. The literature that the researcher reviewed includes articles that had the same paradigmatic social sciences approach like the researcher and the research itself, namely a positivist paradigmatic approach. 2.1.5 The methodology and choice of research methods The authors used a mixed methods research for the NFP project, thus both qualitative and quantitative methods. They chose for a mixed methods research approach because it would increase the quality of the final results from the study. By using this research method, the researchers will collect hard and reliable data from the quantitative research and rich and deep data from the qualitative research. The quantitative research gives static outcomes and relies on the researcher his/her view by the questions from the survey, while the qualitative research shows the participant his/her view and can give insight in the process of the tourist’s photography behaviour. Both forms of research can complement each other and the authors can use the triangulation approach by checking if findings from the quantitative research are confirmed by findings from the qualitative research and otherwise. (Bryman, 2010) This leads us to the approach of post positivism, which is an evolution of positivism. Post positivism is consistent with positivism in the assumption that an objective reality exists. However, the positivist focuses on experimental and quantitative methods to test hypotheses and the findings are complemented by the use of qualitative methods. To analyse relationship between variables for the research project, regression and correlation have been used. So, the researcher used statistical measurements, which were combined with findings of the qualitative research. 2.1.6 The interpretation/analysis of the data Questionnaires will enable the researchers to collect data about views and situations at the same time, after that quantitative technique have been used to look at relationships between several variables. An important weakness is that it is very difficult to realize insights and causes why some relationships arise when the phenomena was measured. Another factor that relates the production of knowledge with reality is that there may be biased researchers, for instance the selecting of respondents who were asked to fill in a questionnaire, next to that the researcher is the one who is responsible for the design of the research and can therefor also be biased. 2.1.7 The nature of the results The quantitative and qualitative research methods resulted in a lot of data, which needed to be processed in order make is to useful information that facilitated the researchers of the research project to draw appropriate conclusions. For the quantitative and qualitative research part, the results and conclusion have been compared with each other in order to make the conclusion as complete as possible. Finding of the qualitative research methods have been added as remarks to the conclusions of the quantitative part and otherwise. This led to detailed and specific conclusions about the object of study. 2.2 The paradigmatic approach to causality Positivists consider that there exists a ‘mechanistic causality among social objects and that there are real causes, temporally precedent to or simultaneous with their effects’ (Guba; Lincoln, 2000) From Guba and Lincoln (2000) can be drawn the conclusion that causality is similar, not depending on the circumstances. Connor describes mechanistic causality as a form of causality which is indifferent to whether the causes are reasons or impersonal states. (Connor, 2001) The combination of methods analysis of the data caused causality, because both methods produced quantitative and qualitative outcomes. These data complemented each other and could be used to give further explanation when another source did not gave enough information to answer a research question. 2.3 The paradigmatic approach to the relationship between the production of knowledge and reality A positivist paradigmatic approach considers the production of knowledge as the ultimate goals of science. The ontological assumption of positivists is that an objective reality can be grasped -by the use of quantitative methods and observations-. The epistemological assumption of Positivists is that people are able to ‘know this reality and can describe and explain it.’ (Creswell, 1998) For the research project, the focus would have been on the quantitative results and generalization of these results in order to find an ‘objective’ reality. 2.4 The paradigmatic approach to the relationship between the production of knowledge and values A positivist paradigmatic approach considers the production of knowledge as the ultimate goals of science, regardless of any morals, values or politics of the people who are involved in the research. So, knowledge is prior to values which means that people have to adopt their value to the gained knowledge. (Halfpenny, 1982) However, next to positivist paradigm approach on the relationship between knowledge and values in the research project, there is another approach to this relationship; namely post positivism. Post positivists consider the knowledge that has been developed should be based on careful observations and measurements of the objective reality -that exists out here in the world-. (Cresswel, 1998) The term “post-positivism”challenges the existence of ‘the absolute truth of knowledge’ and recognizing that we cannot be “positive” about our claims of knowledge when studying the human behaviour and actions. Thus, the problems studied by post-positivists reflect a need to examine the causes that influence outcomes, such as issues examined in experiments. 2.5 The challenges the researcher faced in undertaking a specific paradigmatic approach Challenges the researcher personally faced, undertaking a positivist paradigmatic approach to the research project, were mainly regarding towards conducting the questionnaires. The respondent was asked to tick a list of emotions and whether they felt this emotion during their visit. There were hardly any respondents that native English speakers, the biggest part of the respondents were Dutch, domestic tourists. Other tourist mainly came from countries as Germany, France, the United States and China. There were many difficulties for not native English speakers to understand the long list of emotions, many people asked for the definitions of many emotions. The research has to be unbiased, so the researcher had to explain the emotions in an objective way. Many participants also did not correctly fill in the question or did not tick every emotion that was on the list. Other difficulties that the researcher faced were within the qualitative part, it was difficult to approach tourists, because many of them did not want to engage in a conversation. 3. Part II 3.1 How does the opposing approach define causality? The interpretivist paradigm approach follows causality as one variable preceding and causing another, interpretivism sees relationships as more complex with reciprocal rather than one-directions of influence. (Klenke, 2008) The result in research paper of the National Field Project the researcher included findings about reciprocal relationships between different variables. 3.2 The paradigmatic approach to the relationship between the production of knowledge and reality The interpretivist paradigmatic approach considers that what we know is negotiated within social settings, relationships and cultures. From this, we can conclude that the truth or validity can not be established in a reality that is objective. Interpretivist also argue that knowledge can have multiple and valid claims to it. In the research project, the researchers analyzed the quotes of people and try to link it to the participant his or her subjective reality. Fromt his perspective, the researchers tried to shape an image that fits the best to the observations and analyses. 3.3 The paradigmatic approach to the relationship between knowledge and values Next to interpretivism paradigm approach on the relationship between knowledge and values in the research project, there is another approach to this relationship; namely conventionalism. Conventionalism considers all knowledge –including natural and social scientific knowledge- as a social product, which is an outcome of social relations and the process that are involved in it. (Ormond, 2011) The researcher took in account that all knowledge –including the knowledge in the existing literature- as social products, because they have been considered as an outcome of the process that are involved in the organised communities of scientist. “Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, expert insight and grounded intuition that provides an environment and framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information.” (Wallace, 2007) The interpretivist approach also sees the relationship between knowledge and values as linked, because interpretivist argue that knowledge is gained through personal experience (Ormond, 2011), and this personal experience is mainly influenced by values . 3.4 The underlying values and motivations of the research project From an interpretivist paradigmatic approach the motivation for the research project should be to display multiple realitities. For the quantitative part of the research project, single realities have been displayed, because quantitative data offers numbers about specific relationships between different variables. However, with an interpretivist approach, in the quantitative part of the research project, also multiple realities could be described, because the qualitative methods offer in-depth data that allows the researchers to give multiple explanations for the quantitative findings. (Bryman, 1988) 3.5 The general research question The general research question for the National Field Project was: ‘Does taking photographs influences people’s subjective well-being?’ To do research on this topic, the researcher also questioned if there is a relationship between taking photos and positive emotions and if the opinion about taking photographs influences tourists’ subjective well-being. So, in general the researcher wanted to know if there is a relationship between taking photos and positive emotions exist. This relationship has been described in term of strength which reality has been grasped imperfectly, not as a real relationship that is an onbjective reality. The most important reason of why to apply an interpretivist paradigm to the general research question is that is allows the researcher to review existing literate about the topic. This approach to the general research question is in line with the argument of Greene (1994: 538) that reviewing literature is an important method that offers ‘the greatest consonance with the intertpretivist perspective’ (Brennan, 2005) 3.6 The literature reviewed and the academic debates with which it seeks to engage From an interpetivist paradigmatic approach, the role of a literature review can be described as ‘a means to an end and not an end in itself.’ (Yin, 1987: 20) The reviewed literature is not used as a solution to the answers in the research, but it is a tool to develop better and more detailed questions about a specific topic. So, the interpretivist approach would have led to different questions and probably also to different findings. 3.7 Methodologies and choice of research methods An interpretivist epistemological assumption is that we are not able to separate ourselves from what we know. The researcher and the research object are interlinked so much, that our understanding of ourselves and everything around us is part of how we understand underselves, the world and others. An interpretivist methodological approach includes ‘naturalistic methods’ (Guba; Lincoln, 1994) such as observation, interviewing and literature reviews. These methods are used to construct a reality, by their facilitation of a dialogue between the researcher and the objects –people- that are studied with whom they interact. For the research project, the researcher should observe participants and conduct questionnaires in their natural environment in order to be able to give an answer on the general research question. That would eb difficult, because the tourists are not in their natural environment when they visit a destination. So, it is very important to decide beforehand. Because according to Bryman; ‘the method of studying phenomena in their natural environment is one of the main feautures of the interpretivist philosophy.’ (Bryman, 1992) 3.8 The interpretation/analysis of the data Interpretivists try to collect and analyze data of a phenomenon and try to find the most important aspects with the use of understanding the problem as a whole. (O’Brien, 2001) The interpretivist approach considers that the resarcher recognises the impact their own experiences –or reference frame- have on the research process and the outcomes of it. (Creswell, 2003) So, the researchers should recognise the impact of their own reference frame as a threat to the validity of the qualitative research. This would lead to different formulations of conclusions, because the researchers would take more in account the effects of their own reference frames. 3.9 The nature of the results The interpretivism approach considers that data should be detailed in order to ‘gain depth and understanding (verstehen)’ (Jamieson, 1989) This can be achieved with the use of mixed methods research, because this results can be added to the results of the other research methods. The quantitative and qualitative research methods result in a lot of data, which needed to be processed in order make is to useful information that facilitated the researchers of the research project to draw appropriate conclusions. For the quantitative and qualitative research part, the results and conclusion should be compared with each other in order to make the conclusion as complete as possible. Finding of the qualitative research methods should be added as remarks to the conclusions of the quantitative part and otherwise. This woud lead to detailed and specific conclusions about the object of study. 3.10 The challenges you might have faced in undertaking that approach As a researcher I faced different types of challenges in undertaking an interpretivist paradigmatic approach to the research project, because it is hard to control thoughts, opinions or summarized: the subjective ability to observe different phenomena from a specific perspective. The ontological assumption from an interpretivist perspective about one incident is that there are multiple perspectives on it. Sometimes it can be difficult to display a case from different perspectives; I think that is especially the case for the quantitative part of the research project. For the quantitative and the qualitative research part, I think it is hard to select the appropriate data and draw conclusion that could be seen from different perspectives. 3.11 How would this opposing social science research approach that you have chosen critique the approach that was taken in the NFP research experience? The positivist approach would critique the interpretivist approach as an approach that lacks the appeal of certainty, because in most cases the –statistical- generalizability of interpretivists is not strong. An other critque would be that the measures, used according to an interpretivist paradigmatic approach, can not be independent, because there are methodological constraints that limit the approach in formulating the results. The final critique would be that the researcher only uses his/her own theoretical constructions to formulate variables, so the variables are –in most cases- not independent or self-evident which leads to a decrease in the validity of the research. The interpretivist approach would critique the positivist approach as an approach that does not recognise the importance of multiple meanings and perspectives. As an approach that tries to ‘measure’ social behaviour, and compare natural science to social science, which is absolutely not the same. 4. Part III Conclusion by evaluating the utility of both approaches and explain which approach you personally would prefer to take in a future research study and why. In undertaking a Positivist approach, the researcher faced the challenge that it is difficult to avoid the involvement of own frameworks, understanding and motives and those of other people. The researcher has the opinion that everyone is unfluenced by his/her own subjectivity, which makes is hard to do a research that is completely objective. The interpretivist approach is very useful when a research is focused on the understanding of the topic, but the generalizability is mostly weak. The positivist approach is appropriate when investigating a case which allows the researcher to do statistical measures and experiments. The main difference between these approaches lies in the choice of research method Personally, I would consider an approach that depends on the research study and its characteristics I think the research method has to fit to the research, because each method has different strength and/or weaknesses that are appropriate to the object of study. From this I can conclude that every research method provides an other type of knowledge about a specific social phenomenon and I think the best understanding and knowledge of phenomena can be achieved through a combination of different paradigmatic perspectives. References Books and journals Creswell, J.W., (1998), Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Creswell, J.W, (2003), Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches, (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Guba, EG and Lincoln, YS. (1994), "Competing paradigms in qualitative research," Handbook of Qualitative Research. pp. 105-117. Halfpenny, P., (1982), ‘Positivism and Sociology: Explaining Social Life’, London: Allen and Unwin. Hirschheim, R. A., (1985), ‘Information Systems Epistemology: An Historical Perspective’, Research Methods in Information Systems, pp.13-36 Klenke, K. (2008), Qualitative research in the study of leadership, British Library pp.23-25 Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E., G. (2000), Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions and emerging confluences, Handbook of Qualitative Research, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 163-188 Maxwell, A., (2005), ‘A model for qualitative research design’, Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp.34-39. Mingers, J (2000), 'The contribution of critical realism as an underpinning philosophy for OR/MS and systems', Journal of the Operational Research Society, 51(11), pp. 1256-1270. Mingers, J. (2001), The Paucity of Multimethod Research: A Review of the IS Literature. Warwick Business School Research Paper, 35(12). O'Connor, T. (2000) Causality, Mind, and Free Will, Indiana University. Sarantakos, S. (1993), ‘Social Research’, Basingstoke, pp.31. Wallace, D.P. (2007), Knowledge Management: Historical and Cross-Disciplinary Themes, Libraries Unlimited, pp. 1–14. Williams, M., (1998), ‘The Social World as Knowable’, Knowing the Social World, Buckingham:Open University Press. Yin, R. (1989), Case Study Research, Design and Methods. Sage, London pp.89-110. URLs Brennan, (2005), ‘Methodology’, documetns found at URL http://www.hci.sg/admin/uwa/EdDTheses/Brennan_Chapter4.pdf [19.01.2012] Jamieson, R. (1989), ‘Sociology Factsheet’ , documents found at URL http://www.ecclesbourne.derbyshire.sch.uk/ecclesbourne/content/subsites/sociology/files/Theory%20and% 20Methods%20Factsheets/Positivism%20v%20Interpretism.pdf [19.01.2012] O'Brien, K., (2001) ‘Research paradigms’ Latrobe University, documents found at URL http://ironbark.bendigo.latrobe.edu.au/~obrien/parad/index.htm, [13.01.2012] Robbert Wood Johnson Foundation, (2008), ‘The Positivist Paradigm’, documents found at URL http://www.qualres.org/HomePosi-3515.html [21.01.2012] University of West England, (2007), ‘Validity and research paradigms’, documents found at URL http://ro.uwe.ac.uk/RenderPages/RenderLearningObject.aspx?Context=6&Area=1&Room=3&Constellation=35 &LearningObject=14 [20.01.2012] Yu, C. H. (2004), ‘Misconceived relationships between logical positivism and quantitative research’, documents found at URL http://www.aom.pace.edu/rmd [13.01.2012]

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