“Research paradigm is a set of belief and assumptions about the world and about how the research should be conducted. It offers a framework compromising a set of theories, methods and ways of defining data.” (SHU Blackboard, 2008) There are two main types of research paradigms, which are the ‘positivist’ and the ‘interpretivist’ / ‘phenomenological’ paradigms. The differences between the two types of paradigms are shown in the table below:
ASSUMPTIONSObjective world which science can 'mirror' with privileged knowledgeIntersubjective world which science can represent with concepts of actors; social construction of reality
KEY FOCUS or IDEASSearch for contextual and organizational variables which cause organizational actionsSearch for patterns of meaning
KEY THEORIES IN PARADIGMContingency theory; systems theory; population ecology; transaction cost economics of organizing; dustbowl empiricismSymbolic interaction; ethnomethodology; phenomenology; hermeneutics
KEY FIGURESLorsch and Lawrence; Hannan and Freeman; Oliver WilliamsonGoffman; Garfinkel, Schutz; Van Maanen, David Silverman
GOAL OF PARADIGMUncover truth and facts as quantitatively specified relations among variablesDescribe meanings, understand members'...