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Epistemology and Research - Essay Example

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Epistemology and Research It is a common belief that the concept or entity of knowledge is indeed a valuable one, and so managing it, is extremely vital for individuals in everyday contexts as well as organizational contexts. Knowledge is often viewed as a powerful and an intangible asset, having wide range of applications…
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Download file to see previous pages Steup (2011) defines it as the study of knowledge and the justified believes, and importantly about the issues related to “the creation and dissemination of knowledge in particular areas of inquiry”. Grix (2002) validates this perspective of epistemology by defining it has the theory of knowledge, especially in regard to its methods, validation and the possible ways of gaining knowledge of social reality. Willig (2001, p.8) on the other hand provides additional perspectives by stating how epistemology also involves thinking about the “validity and reliability of claims to knowledge.” The paths through which the knowledge can be accessed and collected are the various research methods. There are correlations between epistemology and the research methods, as the researcher can take an epistemological position for setting the objectives of a research project process. There is a view that a researcher’s epistemological position could significantly affect their choice of research methods. So, this paper will first discus how researchers could take an epistemological position and allow that position to impact their choice of research methods for some favorable results, but that may not be the case all the time, as avoiding that impact of that epistemological position could be helpful for the researchers to carry out a pragmatic research. Researchers need to adopt appropriate and effective research methods, as those methods can only provide the researchers the apt ways to answer the research questions, by aiding in the acquisition of relevant knowledge. As Willig (2001, p.8) states “research methods can be described as ‘the way to the goal’”. However, to accomplish that, researchers need to first identify the goals or objectives of the research project, then able to justify those objectives and also have a concrete or even an approximate idea of what they need to find out to fulfill those research objectives. “We need to be clear about the objectives of our research and we need to have a sense of what kinds of things it is possible for us to find out.” (Willig 2001, p.8). Reaching or actualizing this state is only known as adopting or taking an epistemological position. In a way, epistemological position describes the process through which a researcher could see the entity of knowledge in a particular perspective, particularly how it is created and shared. When this position is viewed from the perspective of research methods, it would help the researchers understand their own views, which they have or hold on the various topics, or in particular on the research objectives and consequently, how they can interpret the research. As Bukvova (2010) states choosing – or better realising – one’s “epistemological position helps to explicate views and opinions on things like truth, knowledge, and reality.” Thus, it can be implied that adopting an epistemological position is a key thing to do on the part of the researchers, in the very beginning of their research work. Taking an epistemological position and allowing it to make an impact on the research methods is welcomed by certain sections of the experts. “We have seen that for some, the type of method to be used for research is largely determined by one's commitment to a particular epistemological position, and as it assumes a correspondence between epistemological position and research method” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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