Discussion 1: Research Philosophies/Methodologies

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It is crucial for you, as an independent scholar, to understand the differences between two major research philosophies (also referred to as research methodologies), quantitative and qualitative research. The selection of a research method (quantitative or qualitative) is critical to writing many components of your Doctoral Study. Quantitative research is associated with a positivist research philosophy. Positivist (quantitative) researchers employ a “deductive” approach, requiring them to identify and use an existing theory to test hypotheses after collecting quantitative data. On the other side of the spectrum, qualitative research is associated with an interpretive research philosophy, with data collection serving to explore a phenomenon through the constructed meanings of the participants. The ultimate decision of methodology is based upon a critical review of the literature on a specific topic and research question.

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To prepare for this Discussion, review Chapters 4 and 5 in Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill (2015), and consider how the different research philosophies can influence choice in research methodologies, as well as how these choices can impact a doctoral research study.

By Day 3

Post an analysis of the relationship between your personal research philosophy and quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Your analysis should include the following:

  • Identify the key concepts, propositions, precepts, etc., of your personal research philosophy, including any rationale for your choice.
  • Analyze the relationship between your research philosophy and the chosen research methodology for your Doctoral Study.
  • Analyze how the choice of methodology can impact a Doctoral Study, as well as influence later research decisions and results.

Be sure to support your work with a minimum of two specific citations from this week’s Learning Resources and at least one additional scholarly source.

Refer to the Week 1 Discussion 1 Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this rubric to assess your work.

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