Research Methods

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university of Hull

Reflective essay

Research methods – Assignment 1

Student ID: 201011568

Write an essay explaining what she means by this statement by illustrating the epistemological differences between quantitative and qualitative styles of research. The nature of a research been carried out dictates the type of research method relevant for the research. This essay is going to explore in detail “Kane’s” Statement of “Research Techniques are a bit like fishing flies: you choose the right one for the fish you want to catch” (Kane, 1985: 52) and its relevance when conducting a research, illustrations will be be made on the epistemological differences between quantitative and qualitative styles of research. Moreover, different Research methodologies, philosophies and approaches such as: Positivism, Realism, Interpretivism, Epistemology, Triangulation, Inductive and Deductive approaches will be utilised to help analyse in depth as well as argue Kane’s Statement. There is a belief, held by many that ‘research’ is associated with activities that are remote from daily life and usually take place in a laboratory, carried out by scientists. This belief is fairly correct in that research is the study of problems through the use of scientific methods and principles (Altinay, L. and Paraskevas, A. 2008). Craig, (2009) defines research methods as an organised and systematic approach/s used in finding answers to a question, research methods are conventionally separated into two main categories, qualitative and quantitative research, each with differing underlying approaches, tools and techniques. For many years, the advocates of quantitative and qualitative research paradigms have engaged in ardent dispute over the difference and relevance of the two methods of research, Purist of Both qualitative and quantitative method of research have different views towards how a research should be approached and conducted, proponents of both types of these research methods view their paradigms as the ideal way of conducting a research and cannot or should not be mixed. Qualitative Research focuses on non numerical data, and rather gathers verbal information. Craig (2009 ; 241) explains qualitative research as studies that attempt to provide insight into behaviour that occur among specific number of subjects at one given time in a very specific setting. Quantitative research on the other hand, deals systematic examination of specific factors that provide numerical data as information. (Craig, 2009; 241). Where a quantitative researcher may seek to know the number of individuals that do one thing or the other a qualitative researcher may focus on knowing the human understanding that features in the research case. Different research philosophies have contradicting views on how research should be conducted differently, Saunders et al (2009; 599) defines research philosophy as Overarching term relating to the development of knowledge and the nature of that knowledge in relation to research. There are three major categories of research philosophy, Ontology, Axiology and Epistemology, in this Essay we cover the study of Epistemology and various paradigm within it that has influence on the way research is approach and conducted. The study of Epistemology considers the best method to use in order to acquire knowledge, and is concerned with answering questions such as "what is knowledge, where does it come from?" and what constitute acceptable knowledge (Saunders et al., 2009). Moreover, it also considers views about the most appropriate ways of enquiring into the nature of the world (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2008) and ‘what is knowledge and what are the sources and limits of knowledge’ (Eriksson, P. and Kovalainen, A. 2008). Within Epistemology there are various paradigms that influence how research is carried out, these paradigms also have an imperative influence on the techniques researchers choose to help them carrying out a...
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