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This method follows an action research cycle consisting of five phases: (1) diagnosing, (2) action planning, (3) action taking, (4) evaluating, and (5) learning (see Figure 10.1). The interpretive paradigm just wants to discover reality. Second, interpretive research requires well-trained researchers who are capable of seeing and interpreting complex social phenomenon from the perspectives of the embedded participants and reconciling the diverse perspectives of these participants, without injecting their personal biases or preconceptions into their inferences. Retrieved on: 17 March 2018 from Calameo: es.calameo.com. In response to this criticism, Giorgi and Giorgi (2003) [15] developed an existential phenomenological research method to guide studies in this area. It is a subjective approach towards an individual’s inner world to explore one’s own realities, to interpret one’s own life’s philosophy and the internal rules. Therefore, this is a specific way of perceiving the world (a worldview) … The interpretivist paradigm developed as a critique of positivism in the social sciences. It also tries to understand individuals in the same way. For example, Eisenhardt (1989), in her interpretive study of decision making n high-velocity firms (discussed in the previous chapter on case research), collected numeric data on how long it took each firm to make certain strategic decisions (which ranged from 1.5 months to 18 months), how many decision alternatives were considered for each decision, and surveyed her respondents to capture their perceptions of organizational conflict. On the contrary, the main objective is to understand in depth the object of study, mainly through observation. Blog posts that were useful: The interpretive paradigm focuses on the way in which knowledge about individuals and cultures is generated. In addition to rigor, these studies are based on high validity, generalizability, and reliability. Despit… Although interpretive research tends to rely heavily on qualitative data, quantitative data may add more precision and clearer understanding of the phenomenon of interest than qualitative data. - For scientists who follow the interpretative paradigm, any research is influenced by the values ​​and points of view of the person who performs it. and Evered, R.D. Influenced by the works of George Herbert Mead, he was one of the fathers of symbolic interactionism, a current that studies how our own interpretations of the world influence the way we experience it. For instance, did participants feel safe, free, trapped, or joyous when experiencing a phenomenon (“felt-space”)? Case research . A review of literature from leaders in the field leads to a deep understanding of the meaning of a research paradigm. This implies that contextual variables should be observed and considered in seeking explanations of a phenomenon of interest, even though context sensitivity may limit the generalizability of inferences. However, qualitative versus quantitative research refers to empirical or data -oriented considerations about the type of data to collect and how to analyze them. The term paradigm was first used by Kuhn in his work The Structure of Scientific Revolutionhe defined research paradigm as “an integrated cluster of substantive concepts, variables and problems attached with corresponding methodological approaches and tools”. However, Lincoln and Guba (1985) [16] provide an alternative set of criteria that can be used to judge the rigor of interpretive research. The theory is validated by the extent to which the chosen action is successful in remedying the targeted problem. - The main research methods of the interpretive paradigm are observation and interview; each one will be used more or less depending on the specific object of study. Conversely, qualitative studies are based on studying social realities. Simultaneous problem solving and insight generation is the central feature that distinguishes action research from other research methods (which may not involve problem solving) and from consulting (which may not involve insight generation). The classic example of ethnographic research is Jane Goodall’s study of primate behaviors, where she lived with chimpanzees in their natural habitat at Gombe National Park in Tanzania, observed their behaviors, interacted with them, and shared their lives. Many positivist researchers view interpretive research as erroneous and biased, given the subjective nature of the qualitative data collection and interpretation process employed in such research. Fourth, given the heavily contextualized nature of inferences drawn from interpretive research, such inferences do not lend themselves well to replicability or generalizability. A third technique is documentation , where external and internal documents, such as memos, electronic mails, annual reports, financial statements, newspaper articles, websites, may be used to cast further insight into the phenomenon of interest or to corroborate other forms of evidence. Therefore, it is typical of human and social sciences, contrary to the quantitative paradigm that can be found more often in pure sciences. Phenomenological inquiry requires that researchers eliminate any prior assumptions and personal biases, empathize with the participant’s situation, and tune into existential dimensions of that situation, so that they can fully understand the deep structures that drives the conscious thinking, feeling, and behavior of the studied participants. as an analytic lens, a way of viewing the world and a framework from which to understand the human experience (Kuhn, 1962). There are several variations of the action research method. Such iterations between the understanding/meaning of a phenomenon and observations must continue until “theoretical saturation” is reached, whereby any additional iteration does not yield any more insight into the phenomenon of interest. Interpretive research is a research paradigm (see Chapter 3) that is based on the assumption that social reality is not singular or objective, but is rather shaped by human experiences and social contexts (ontology), and is therefore best studied within its socio-historic context by reconciling the subjective. (1978). Unlike a positivist method, where the researcher starts with a theory and tests theoretical postulates using empirical data, in interpretive methods, the researcher starts with data and tries to derive a theory about the phenomenon of interest from the observed data. For the proponents of this research model, knowledge arises from the interaction between the researcher and the object of study. Second, the role of the researcher receives critical attention in interpretive research. - It does not seek to find general explanations for phenomena based on specific cases, as other quantitative research currents do. Introduction: What Do We Mean by Research Paradigm? “An Assessment of the Scientific Merits of Action Research,”. Transferability. Interpretive research search for meaning in the activities of human beings. “see through the smoke” (hidden or biased agendas) and understand the true nature of the problem. In other methods, such as case research, the researcher must take a “neutral” or unbiased stance during the data collection and analysis processes, and ensure that her personal biases or preconceptions does not taint the nature of subjective inferences derived from interpretive research. Hence, such research requires an immersive involvement of the researcher at the study site for an extended period of time in order to capture the entire evolution of the phenomenon of interest. All interpretive research must adhere to a common set of principles, as described below. This author considered that it was fundamental to study the interpretations and meanings that people give to reality when they interact with it; in this way, he had a constructionist approach. The answers to the research questions can be solv… This is known as the comparative method. Simultaneous analysis helps the researcher correct potential flaws in the interview protocol or adjust it to capture the phenomenon of interest better. The previous chapter on case research discusses both techniques in depth and provides illustrative exemplars. The researcher may even change her original research question if she realizes that her original research questions are unlikely to generate new or useful insights. This chapter will explore other kinds of interpretive research. Some of these customs could be marriage, the most common forms of work, or family and social relationships of people. Diagnosing involves identifying and defining a problem in its social context. In positivist research, however, the researcher is considered to be external to and independent of the research context and is not presumed to bias the data collection and analytic procedures. Action planning involves identifying and evaluating alternative solutions to the problem, and deciding on a future course of action (based on theoretical rationale). First, interpretive research employs a theoretical sampling strategy, where study sites, respondents, or cases are selected based on theoretical considerations such as whether they fit the phenomenon being studied (e.g., sustainable practices can only be studied in organizations that have implemented sustainable practices), whether they possess certain characteristics that make them uniquely suited for the study (e.g., a study of the drivers of firm innovations should include some firms that are high innovators and some that are low innovators, in order to draw contrast between these firms), and so forth. Case research is a unique research design in that it can be used in an interpretive manner to build theories or in a positivist manner to test theories. This is a valuable but often understated benefit of interpretive research, and is not available in positivist research, where the research project cannot be modified or changed once the data collection has started without redoing the entire project from the start. Action research is personal to the researcher, but they do require assistance for others including students and colleagues in order to implement the best possible changes to their practice. Although his first interest was Catholic theology, he later created his own philosophy, which had a great influence in different fields such as ecology, psychoanalysis, cultural anthropology and art. [14] Bluebond-Langer, M. (1996). The credibility of interpretive research can be improved by providing evidence of the researcher’s extended engagement in the field, by demonstrating data triangulation across subjects or data collection techniques, and by maintaining meticulous data management and analytic procedures, such as verbatim transcription of interviews, accurate records of contacts and interviews, and clear notes on theoretical and methodological decisions, that can allow an independent audit of data collection and analysis if needed. Interpretive research has several unique advantages. - The characteristics of indigenous cultures; that is, those people who have not been in contact with Western civilization and who, therefore, preserve their traditional ways of living. Action taking is the implementation of the planned course of action. A more contemporary example of ethnographic research is Myra Bluebond-Langer’s (1996) [14] study of decision making in families with children suffering from life-threatening illnesses, and the physical, psychological, environmental, ethical, legal, and cultural issues that influence such decision-making. Third, all participants or data sources may not be equally credible, unbiased, or knowledgeable about the phenomenon of interest, or may have undisclosed political agendas, which may lead to misleading or false impressions. While positivist research employs a “reductionist” approach by simplifying social reality into parsimonious theories and laws, interpretive research attempts to interpret social reality through the subjective viewpoints of the embedded participants within the context where the reality is situated. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. Interpretative research The growing popularity of interpretative research methodologies has led to concern that there is not sufficient understanding of the rigour necessary to ethically utilize them, (Laverty, 2003; Maggs- Rapport, 2001). This idea is similar to that of external validity in functionalistic research. Both are inseparable, because the mere fact of making an observation already changes the result of it. Based in part on the ideas of symbolic interactionism, Heidegger thought that to acquire knowledge it is necessary to understand the subjective reality of each one. Naturalistic inquiry: Social phenomena must be studied within their natural setting. This rigor implies that researcher controls all other variables that can effect the study. Although there are many researchers who follow the interpretative paradigm of investigation, some of the most important authors who speak of this topic are Martin Heidegger, Herbert Blumer and Edmund Husserl. They believe that a social reality can take its fo… [16] Lincoln, Y. S., and Guba, E. G. (1985). Retrieved on: March 17, 2018 from Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org. A research paradigm is an approach or a research model to conducting a research that has been verified by the research community for long and that has been in practice for hundreds of years. Examples of such units of significance are concepts such as “felt space” and “felt time,” which are then used to document participants’ psychological experiences. In the data collection phase, participants embedded in a social phenomenon are interviewed to capture their subjective experiences and perspectives regarding the phenomenon under investigation. Interview types and strategies are discussed in detail in a previous chapter on survey research. He was one of the founders of the phenomenological movement, which has influenced the way of thinking of a large number of modern thinkers and scientists. In that case, using quantitative research, which describes the world in numbers and measures instead of words, is not likely to be productive. The researcher must provide rich, detailed descriptions of the research context (“thick description”) and thoroughly describe the structures, assumptions, and processes revealed from the data so that readers can independently assess whether and to what extent are the reported findings transferable to other settings. Phenomenology is concerned with the systematic reflection and analysis of phenomena associated with conscious experiences, such as human judgment, perceptions, and actions, with the goal of (1) appreciating and describing social reality from the diverse subjective perspectives of the participants involved, and (2) understanding the symbolic meanings (“deep structure”) underlying these subjective experiences. The most frequently used technique is interviews (face-to-face, telephone, or focus groups). Interpretive research operates in a paradigm that differs from traditional research in the human or social sciences; it operates with different assumptions about knowledge and being. The Goal of an Interpretivist Approach to Research With interpretivist research, the goal is to develop an understanding of the subjects and the topic. His theory is based on the idea that the reality we experience is mediated by the way we interpret it. Interpretive analysis: Observations must be interpreted through the eyes of the participants embedded in the social context. It is a research model that is based on a deep understanding of reality and the causes that have led it to be so, instead of simply remaining in the general and casual explanations. Sometimes, coded qualitative data is tabulated quantitatively as frequencies of codes, but this data is not statistically analyzed. The ethnographic research method, derived largely from the field of anthropology, emphasizes studying a phenomenon within the context of its culture. Based on action evaluation and learning, the action may be modified or adjusted to address the problem better, and the action research cycle is repeated with the modified action sequence. Hence, convenience samples and small samples are considered acceptable in interpretive research as long as they fit the nature and purpose of the study, but not in positivist research. The interpretive research paradigm is characterized by a need to understand the world as it is from a subjective point of view and seeks an explanation within the frame of refer- ence of the participant rather than the objective observer of the action. Because interpretive research is based on different set of ontological and epistemological assumptions about social phenomenon than positivist research, the positivist notions of rigor, such as reliability, internal validity, and generalizability, do not apply in a similar manner. Interpretive researchers use qualitative research methodologies to investigate, interpret and describe social realities (Bassey, 1995; Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2000). The study must ensure that the story is viewed through the eyes of a person, and not a machine, and must depict the emotions and experiences of that person, so that readers can understand and relate to that person. For instance, the researcher may conduct an interview and code it before proceeding to the next interview. 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