Research Philosophies and Principles Introduction Research methods have long been a central form of investigation for scientists, philosophers, and thinkers. While research in the abstract has been in existence for centuries, contemporary forms of research philosophies and principles are relatively new (Denzen & Lincoln, 2000)…
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As such, quantitative methodologies generally involve statistical or mathematical models of data analysis. Qualitative research methodology is relatively new when compared to quantitative methods. Qualitative research emerged towards the later parts of the 20th century through an increasing acceptance of post-modern epistemological formations that greatly complicate the very nature of reality (Denzen & Lincoln, 2011). Rather than being something that could merely be measured and determined through statistical models, qualitative research involves researcher interpretive processes (Denzen & Lincoln, 2011). It follows that in many ways qualitative research compliments quantitative by articulating abstract concepts that can be refined and understood by later quantitative investigations (Creswell 2003). Still, it’s noted that in other ways qualitative knowledge runs counter to quantitative claims to validity, as some qualitative epistemological foundations contend that knowledge is personal or perspective based (Creswell 2001). Additionally, there are mixed method pursuits that implement both quantitative and qualitative research (Brannen 2005). This essay specifically examines four research studies – some with quantitative and others with qualitative approaches -- in terms of a variety of analytical criteria. Analysis 1. Quantitative analysis of defects in Malaysian university buildings: Providers’ perspective This specific research investigation implements a qualitative methodology. The research question this study aimed to resolve was the areas of university buildings that required repairs. The research argued that it was important as increased levels of knowledge regarding defects in the buildings could aid the university by contributing to the development of a system that would more efficiently address these concerns. There is the tacit recognition then that the current system is unstructured and implemented in ineffective ways. It is recognized that qualitative research assumes a great many analytical methods. Within the specific context of this research the primary data collecting method is the questionnaire. This study sent out questionnaires to maintenance managers at the university. Each questionnaire contained five options: not at all urgent, not very urgent, urgent, very urgent, and extremely urgent. There is a clear challenge in that certain maintenance managers could consider an area more urgent than another area more strenuously than another manager’s perspective. That is, one managers understanding of the linguistic elements of the questionnaire would be different from another manager. The study indicates these challenges are circumvented, as urgency is determined through comparison between studies. As such if there is one area that managers frequently rate as urgent then these multiple perspectives are interpreted as a valid conclusion. Specifically 50 questionnaires were sent out to the maintenance departments in universities in Malaysia. While 50 questionnaires were sent out, only 33 were returned. This is discrepancy is significant as it indicates that certain departments were more receptive to the study than departments at other universities. This discrepancy could indicate that the questionnaires are biased in that the organizations that responded had more pressing concerns or were more receptive to changes in the university. Still, research on questionnaires attest to this response rate as
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3). The eight moments of research as identified by Denzin and Lincoln (2011, p. 3) are as follows: 1. The traditional moment (1900-1950) 2. The modernist moment (1950-1970) 3. The blurred genres moment (1970-1986) 4. The crisis of representation moment (1986-1990) 5.
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