Research Methodologies and Paradigms

There are two main research paradigms: Interpretivism and Positivism (Collins & Hussey, 2014). These paradigms enhance the understanding of a phenomenon by using a different genre to report the research. Under the positivism approach, the knowledge is derived from positive information and can be provided through the use of logical or mathematical proof. Such researchers try to build a reality that exists beyond the human mind. The positivism approach calls for the development of the hypothesis from the existing theory, then using appropriate statistical tests to determine whether such findings are in unison with the theory (Collins & Hussey, 2014). The limitation of positivism is that it tends to separate people from the social contexts in which they exists. Positivism is also limited in that people cannot be understood without examining their perceptions. Capturing a single phenomena in a single measure may also be misleading.

On the other hand, the interpretivism approach calls for the interpretation of results based on the perceptions got when the researcher interacts with the phenomenon under the study. Instead of testing the theory using the quantitative means, the intepretivists chooses the methods that qualitatively describe and translate the meaning of phenomena (Collins & Hussey, 2014). The limitation of interpretivism is that it involves the use of smaller samples that may not provide for proper generalization.

From the two articles provided, the article by Sendogu et al (2013) utilizes positivism paradigm. In this article, the researchers are testing the theory using quantitative means. On the other hand, the article by Saini and Budhwar (2008) utilizes the interpretivism paradigm. In this article, the researchers use the perception of the respondents to qualitatively describe and translate the phenomenon being studied.

The article by Sendogu et al utilizes the survey methodology by administering questionnaires to the respondents. Survey methodology is a positivism approach that involves the collection of the primary or the secondary data from a sample before such data is analyzed statistically. During surveys, the samples are chosen randomly to reduce the researcher bias. The other advantage of the survey is that they are easy to develop and can help the researcher to collect a broad range of data. The disadvantage of surveys is that the respondent may be reluctant to provide accurate information. In most cases, the survey methodologies are more feasible.

On the other hand, the study by Saini and Budhwar (2008) utilizes a case study approach. The case study approach is connected to the interpretivist approach by exploring a phenomenon under a natural setting (Collins & Hussey, 2014). The results from the case studies are stimulating and original in their nature.  The case studies enable the researcher to have a thorough understanding of the case being studied. The disadvantage of the case study methodology is that it might be difficult to find the appropriate case needed for the study. The choice of the case often determines the quality of the study. Also, case studies are limited in that they tend to consume more time than most research methodologies. Case studies are less feasible due to the high costs and time involved.




Collins, J & Hussey, R. 2014. Business Research: A practical guide for undergraduate students 4th edition. Palgrave Macmillan

Saini, D & Budhwar, P. 2008. Managing the human resource in Indian SMEs: The role of indigenous realities. Journal of World Business, 43 (8) 417–434

 Sendogdu, A.A., Kocabacak, A., & Guven, S. 2013. The relationship between human resource management practices and organizational commitment: A field study. Social and Behavioral Sciences 99 (9) 818 – 827


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