Research paradigm and philosophy is an important part of research methodology in order to collect data in effective and appropriate manner. According to Johnson and Christensen (2005), research paradigm is a perspective that is based on the set of shared assumptions, values, concepts and practices. In other world, paradigm can be defined as a function of how researcher thinks about the development of knowledge. Research paradigm is a combination of two ideas that are related to the nature of world and the function of researcher. It helps researcher to conduct the study in an effective manner.
Research paradigm includes the research methods and research philosophies. This combination in research helps researcher to develop the understanding and knowledge about the topic of research. In research paradigm, there are various factors that affect the research to implement a method in an effective way such as time constraints, budget constraints, etc. Use of appropriate research paradigm and philosophies helps researcher to eliminate these factors from the research. Research paradigm has three different terminologies such as positivism, interpretivism and realism research philosophies (Mcnabb 2007). These research philosophies are as follows:
Positivism Philosophy: Positivism philosophy is based upon the highly structured methodology to enable generalization and quantifiable observations and evaluate the result with the help of statistical methods. Positivism philosophy is commonly used in natural science and it is a critical and objective base method. It is an approach that includes the various philosophy of natural science such as philosophy of unchanging, universal law and the view of everything that occurs in the nature (Sundars 2003).
With the help of positivism philosophy, researcher can collect all the facts and figures that are associated with the research issue through general sources. According to Sundars (2003), in this research philosophy the role of researcher is very important for the study. He stated that in positivism philosophy the researcher plays role of an objective analyst to evaluate the collected data and produces an appropriate result in order to achieve research aims and objectives.
Interpretive Philosophy: The interpretive philosophy believes that the social world of management and business is too complex as to be formulated in theories and laws such as in the natural science. Interpretive philosophy represents the critical thinking about positivism philosophy. According to this philosophy, there are many truths and meaning of a simple fact and these are suitable for every situation and for every research problem (Johnson and Christensen 2010).
This research philosophy plays an important role in order to produce end result from the collected data. In this research philosophy, the researcher does not only interact with environment but also seek to make sense of it through their interpretation of events and the meaning that they draw from these. In this research philosophy, there are several factors such as individual have different living standards, difference in social and cultural environment, personality and family groups etc. affects the nature of individual (Saunders 2003).
Realism Philosophy: Realism philosophy is also an important philosophy that is based on the interdependency of human values and beliefs. This research philosophy focuses on the beliefs that really exist in the environment. This research philosophy believes in the existence of external and objective reality that influences people’s social interpretations and behavior. It also believes that the human are not the objects for the study in the style of natural science. This research philosophy also define that how individual react towards a real world situation (Johnson and Christensen 2010).
Johnson, B. and Christensen, L. (2010) Educational Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches. UK: SAGE.
Saunders, M. (2003) Research Methods for Business Students. South Africa: Pearson Education.
Sekaran, U. (2006) Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach, 4Th Ed. UK: John Wiley & Sons.