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Research Methods and Methodologies in Accounting and Management - Essay Example

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Running Head: Research Methods Research Methods Research Methods Positivist Research Methodology Positivists believe that reality is present in an objective manner and the researcher or the finder may use measureable properties to define that reality…
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Research Methods and Methodologies in Accounting and Management
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Research Methods and Methodologies in Accounting and Management

Download file to see previous pages... August Comte was the philosopher, which coined the term positivism and linked it with empiricism, which believes that authentic knowledge can only be gained with the help of our senses, human experience, and verification. Positivist researchers aimed at creating mechanisms with which they could develop hypothesis, test them in a manner, which helps them to predict the future occurrences or behavior (Scott & Morrison, pp. 314-316, 2006; Cohen, pp. 124-125, 2007). The positivist research approach is also known as the scientific approach where the logical of inquiry is based on reason, facts, and experiences. Holding knowledge of anything, which is beyond the human experience or which cannot be observed or measured, is impossible (Eriksson & Kovalainen, pp. 89-91, 2008). For example, in his research and studies, the focus of B. F. Skinner was on observing the predicting the positive and negative reinforces of behavior and he went on to avoid all other cultural, human and social factors which can impact the process since it is not possible to observe, measure and predict them (Phillimore & Goodson, pp. 209-211, 2004). Moreover, positivist researcher avoid the subjective state of individuals because they think that humans are passive and reactive to the external stimuli, which makes their thinking and behavior predictable and unworthy of attention. This not only dehumanizes the human beings but also makes them unworthy of free will (Zalan & Lewis, pp. 507-508, 2004). Positivist researchers go on to believe that the entire universe is working on specific principles of cause and effect. Moreover, in order to uncover the truth, the researcher should try to find those cause and effect link and use that to predict the future events, occurrences, and behaviors (McNiff & Whitehead, pp. 10-12, 2000; Creswell, pp. 235-236, 2009). Positivist research methods include experimental research and descriptive research. As the name suggests, experimental research occurs when the researchers deliberately manipulate certain factors under highly controlled and monitored conditions (Johnson & Christensen, pp. 346-347, 2010; Cohen, pp. 124-125, 2007). Quite understandably, the purpose remains to highlight links between variables while manipulating different factors. Under the umbrella of descriptive research, researchers use surveys, case studies, developmental studies, corelational studies, trend studies, and others (Eriksson & Kovalainen, pp. 89-91, 2008; Scott & Morrison, pp. 314-316, 2006). Critical Research Methodology On the other hand, critical researchers hold the belief that social reality has its roots in history and although, people may try to change themselves and their reality but in the process of the doing so they find themselves faced with various social, economic, cultural and political barriers. It was Jurgen Habermas, one of the leading German philosophers of the 21st century, who deserves the credit for developing and nurturing this approach in the field of social sciences and research in order to explore the historical forces, which have the power of restrict the human freedom and justice in the society (Creswell, pp. 235-236, 2009). Karl Marx, Georg Hegel, Paulo Freire, and others have also played an important role in development of this theory (Eriksson & Kovalainen, pp. 89-91, 2008; Zalan & Lewis, pp. 507-508, 2004). Like the interpretativists, critical researchers also address and acknowledge the fact that the element of subjectivity is present in observations but ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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