Research Paradigm, Ontology and Epistemology

Contemplations on my Poe

( Research Paradigm, Ontology and Epistemology )


Curiosity, observation and the pursuit for better apprehension about our milieus are critical elements of human nature which accordingly leads towards deriving enriched cognition. An individual’s point of position, values, believes and others will impact our attack towards the pick of research tract ; and the implicit in premises and construction.

This cognition procedure will measure in specifying major research dimensions such as ontology, epistemology, methods, methodological analysis and paradigm ; and how they are interrelated and complement each other. This will be followed by placing and explicating the chief research paradigms ; eventually, warranting the most applicable and closely aligned paradigm with my research country which is:

Amonglittle to medium endeavors ( SMEs ) from developed states that struggle to make concern in in big emerging state markets ( LECMs ) , what to make they comprehend to be the major issues?

Major Research Dimensions:

Ontology, epistemology, methodological analysis, and methods are the major dimensions of any research which impact:

  • The research inquiry preparation
  • Undertaking conceptualization
  • How the research is carried out ( Hesse-Biber & A ; Leavy, 2010 ) .

Orlikowski and Baroudi ( 1991 ) explained that ontology referred to the “individual’s” basic beliefs about the nature of world such as objectivism, constructivism and subjectivism, which are really frequently left unexamined. On the other manus, they explained the epistemology as a model for the cognition. It illustrates the connexion between “the known” , what counts as cognition ; and “the enquirer” , on what footing we can do cognition claims, like positivism and station positivism, interpretivism, critical question, radicalism and postmodernism ( Crotty, 1998, p. 50 ) .

In a recent survey of paradigm model, Grant and Giddings ( 2002 ) described that methodological analysis is an look of ontology and epistemology in relation to the manner of survey and research analysis should transport on. They besides stated that methodological analysis within a specific subject is “a theoretical premises and rules that underpin a peculiar research approach” . In add-on they pointed out the significance of “research method” , as a technique for assemblage and analyzing the collected information and information. Information could be collected via questionnaire, face to confront interview and even a instance survey or action research which can work as methodological analysiss when clearly linked to a paradigm.

In drumhead, it is really clear that ontological and epistemic places ever inform methodological and methods picks ( Grant & A ; Giddings, 2002 ) .

Major Research Paradigms:

Thomas Kuhn explained paradigm as a basic orientation to theory and research and it is a whole system of believing. In Kuhn’s words, paradigm is “implicit organic structure of intertwined theoretical and methodological belief that permits choice, rating, and criticism” ( as cited by Grant & A ; Giddings, 2002, p.12 ) .

Over clip, different types of paradigms have evolved. Choosing any peculiar paradigm to work with depending on few variables such as ; the researched field, researched subject or job, the research worker penchants and many other variables ( Grant & A ; Giddings, 2002 ) .

Positivist, Post-positivist, Interpretative, Radical or Critical and Post-structural are the chief paradigms but there are many others emergent research like autochthonal attacks e.g. Kaupapa MA?ori. Each paradigm proposes a different ontology, epistemology and the indirect-power dealingss between the “researcher and researched relationship” ( Grant & A ; Giddings, 2002 ) .

Contemplations of my POE ( research paradigm, ontology and epistemology ) in related to my field of survey

My field of survey is international concern direction ( IBM ) specializing in Large Emerging Markets ( LEM ) . It is covering with multi-social worlds and how it is formed by the manner that people perceive societal state of affairss. Therefore, the type of information that is required for my research, should be subjective combined with inductive logical thinking.

Covering with different cultural contexts, personal values and state of affairs reading by the research worker and the researched are between the average issues that confronting any research worker within IBM field. Consequently, I think deriving cognition could be achieved through participative analysis and by cut downing the spread between the research worker and the researched.

My research will be concentrating on SMEs from developed states like New Zealand making concerns in LEM such as China in effort to happen the best pattern. It will be a ambitious undertaking to use my research to merely one of the paradigms because the boundaries that separate them are frequently fuzzed and there is no clear cut between them ( Grant & A ; Giddings, 2002, p.18 ) .

From my point of position, the paradigm that most closely aligns with my research is chiefly post-positivist and to a certain degree, interpretative. There are many grounds behind my paradigm pick in the procedure to happen the best pattern.

For illustration, I ever believe that everyone has different points of position and values which are influenced by our societal, cultural and political contexts. Guba and Lincoln ( 1994 ) explained that there were multiple positions of truth. Therefore, when covering with an international concern, we are covering with different cultural backgrounds. Consequently there will be multiple points of position and truth based on “the best apprehension that we have been able to bring forth therefore far, non a statement of what is finally real” , which is the cardinal point of the post-positivist manner of thought ( Polkinghorne, 1983, p 2 ) . On the other manus, this paradigm is taking the researched capable experience and background into history ensuing that the researcher’s objectiveness is impossible. Post-positivists Focuss on the participant’s experience and behavior, including talk.

Second, there is a demand to understand the grounds behind why some SMEs fighting to last at the host states. Gathering information, could be done within interpretative paradigm by naming to such enterprises’ director to hear their readings for such battle and what to make they comprehend to be the major issues?

Cocks ( 1989 ) stated that portion of the truth could be found by “self-understandings of [ her/his ] participants” and the truth “must be discovered by idea instead than by centripetal observation” ( P: 104 ) . This paradigm model will assist me to use the scientific methods to human behavior by traveling back to “the things themselves” ( Husserl, as cited by Farber, 2006, p.568 ) . It will authorise me to construe the significance and the importance of these managers’ self-understandings in ways that they may non hold been able to see.

As an interpretative research worker the relationship between myself and these directors, will be intersubjective by going a hearer and translator of the informations that have been supplied by them. Consequently, this will give me a dominant place in doing the reading and commanding the analysis procedure, hence listening become the most critical portion of the interpretative research.

Finally, from my point of position, Positivist, Radical, Post-structural and autochthonal attack paradigms can non suit with my research inquiry because of the below grounds:

  1. Positivist paradigm: this paradigm is back uping the ‘scientific method’ which is foregrounding the importance of objectiveness, systematic and elaborate observation. Knowledge could be discovered, explained and controlled by utilizing different methodological analysiss ; and it confirms the determination as fact which is ensuing a creative activity of specific ‘body of knowledge’ . Consequently, this will act upon the professional decision- devising ( Grant & A ; Giddings, 2002 ) . In this paradigm, the research worker could be seen as the “expert” who retains an nonsubjective point of view to the researched. Therefore, feelings and ideas of the researched are restructured in numerical signifiers and so statistical analysis will be applied for better apprehension.

This paradigm has no considerations to the researched reading and point positions. While in my research, the researched personal readings and positions are playing a large portion of better apprehension. So, this paradigm is non functional with my research.

  1. Extremist or Critical Paradigm:This paradigm is more concerns about “changing” non “explaining” and “understanding” the societal world ; and it is embedded with a signifier of convectional research ( Smith,1993, p.77 ) . It believes that the universe is unequal and unjust. So, favoritism based on gender, faith, ethnicity, sexual orientation and so on are determining our societies. Cocks ( 1989 ) highlighted the confusion between importance of “truth” and its ain topics such as power and authorization. It is ensuing, within the societal context, that the precedence to run into the most ascendant group’s involvements could be seen as a normal pattern. Such pattern will hold a noticeable impacts on the researchers’ place and the manner of analyzing the collected information. The research worker and the researched to some grade could be seen as a colleagues or co-researcher engaging in corporate action to alter the universe and there is less power differences between them because of the shared point position.

My research does non cover with the political orientation of the unfairness paradigm that is aligned with radicalism ; and is non aimed at altering the universe but it is interested in understanding why SMEs fighting to last in LEM. Consequently, this paradigm will non function my research intents.

  1. Post-structural paradigm:Grant and Giddings ( 2002 ) stated thatno-one can stand outside the traditions or discourses of their time” and there is no cosmopolitan truths about the societal. Consequently, “the hunt for expansive narrations will be replaced by more local, small-scale theories fitted to specific jobs and specific situations” ( Denzin & A ; Lincoln, 1994, p. 11 ) .

McCouat and Peile ( 1995 ) as cited by ( Grant & A ; Giddings, 2003, p.20 ) explained, that significances are “multiple, unstable and unfastened to interpretation” . Therefore, post-structuralism researches will ever be subjective and supported by inter-related theories of discourse, power and the topic. “Understanding of the human being” that is underpinning this paradigm is different from other paradigms. It is based on self-understanding, of the research worker, to be embedded as a shared significance formations with the researched. Therefore, a automatic position acceptance is required for better consciousness of that embedded nature. The research worker is non taking to transform the possibilities for the researched but for others who will be influenced by the researched position.

Given that, this paradigm is concentrating on peculiar jobs and peculiar state of affairss. It is more localized and covering a small-scaled issues, while my research is more cosmopolitan. For that ground, Post-structural paradigm is non compatible with my research.

  1. Autochthonal paradigm:This paradigm is related to postcolonial societies ( such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States ) . Kaupapa Maori research is an illustration of the autochthonal attack in New Zealand. Indigenous theory is a localized point of view which is based on the impressions of critical theory but situates them within an autochthonal worldview ( Graham Hingangaroa Smith as cited by Linda Smith, 1999, p. 186 ) . In autochthonal research, the research worker becomes portion of the researched community, which controls all determinations related to the research processs and what should be done to the findings. It is transverse disciplinary research and its methodological analysiss are being taken up from every paradigm and reorganised within the autochthonal worldview ; and it is taking “to make a positive difference for the researched” ( Smith, 1999, p. 191 ) .

As explained before, my research focuses on SMEs in general from developed states like Australian and New Zealand, which are both considered postcolonial societies, embarking LEMs such as China ; and it is non looking at SMEs from the autochthonal attack. Therefore, it is really clear this paradigm is non applicable to my researched.


In drumhead, ontology, epistemology, methodological analysis, and methods are the major research dimensions. There are different paradigms such as rationalist, post-positivist, interpretive, extremist or critical, post-structural and emergent research like autochthonal attacks. Each paradigm proposes a different ontology, epistemology and the relationship between the research workers and researched. However, from my point position, post-positivist and interpretive paradigm’s attacks are the lone paradigms that could be applicable to my research to reply my research inquiry:

Amonglittle to medium endeavors ( SMEs ) from developed states that struggle to make concern in in big emerging state markets ( LECMs ) , what to make they comprehend to be the major issues?


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