Critical Evaluation of Selected Papers on qualitative research Paper I: Gephart on Qualitative Research Paper I is an editorial column written by noted author Robert P. Gephart, Jr.widely considered as an authority on the subject of qualitative researchfor Academy of Management Journal (AMJ) in 2004. Described as longer than usual by Sarah Rynes (the then Incoming Editor, AMJ), the editorial column attempts to deal with the basic premises associated with various aspects of qualitative research as comprehensively as possible. The three paper-specific questions required to be answered (and duly answered in the subsequent paragraphs as well) through this essay are: Q1: What are the key distinctions between the research traditions that Gephart calls (i) positivism and postpositivism; (ii) interpretive research; and (iii) critical postmodernism? Q2: Which tradition appeals to you most and why? Q3: What, according to Gephart, are the key elements that must be included in any qualitative study? Has he left out any and are there some elements included in his list that are not necessarily as key as he thinks? Answer to Q1: Key Distinctions between the Research Traditions While a number of perspectives or traditions can be effectively applied to qualitative research, only three simplified conceptspositivism/postpositivism, interpretive research and critical postmodernismare used by Gephart (2004, p.
The present research is devoted to the critical evaluating and analyzing transformation of china's state owned enterprises ...
456) in his paper and in the details reproduced at Table1. The key distinctions between the three traditions could be best explained from their individual characteristics as enumerated below: Positivism and Postpositivism: Both positivism and postpositivism tend to espouse realism and have been seen as some kind of attempts to unearth truth or define reality. Postpositivism, a newer approach in relation to positivism, views reality as an outcome of probability and therefore not easily verifiable. Interpreting it differently, positivism is primarily based on the assumptions that reality is objectively mentioned and it should be possible to describe the realism factors by measurable properties that are independent of the researcher and of his accessories.
Positivist investigations basically strive to test theory in order to enhance the predictive comprehension of phenomena (Myer 2007), According to Gephart (2004, p.457) postpositivism, entails devising methods for gathering and analyzing factual depictions of the world that reveal singular truths or realities and that can be used to evaluate (falsify) hypotheses. Since falsification seems to be the primary aim of researchrather than hypothesesefficient postpositivist qualitative techniques could be used to bring out truth as well as to falsify or contradict prior hypotheses. Interpretive Research: In contrast to the perspectives of positivism that strives to uncover the truth, interpretive research is more of relativism that endeavors to describe the meaning and understanding. As per Gephart (2004, p.457), The goal of interpretive research is to understand the actual production pf meaning and concepts used by social actors in real settings. In other words, interpretive research assumes that diverse interpretations of realty made by different people or groups can construct and maintain an awareness of truth. In other words, the basic assumption associated with interpretive research is that the realityone that is prescribed or is socially constructedcan only be accessed through social constructions such as language, awareness and common meanings. Its philosophical base being hermeneutics and phenomenology, interpretive research endeavors to comprehend phenomena, which are assigned by people (Myer 2007).
Critical Postmodernism. Critical postmodernism, which adopts historical realism, aims at discovering concealed interests as well as contradictions. The tradition deems that material reality is fashioned by values and falls into place over a period of time. While continuing to discuss the three distinctive approaches Gephart (2004, p.457) states, Critical postmodernism describes dominant and subordinated meanings, displays the power implications of meanings, and encourages critical reflexivity to make people aware of the constraints on their own meanings and actions. Stating it a little differently, critical postmodernism assumes that the historically constituted reality is created as well as recreated by people. Even if people attempt consciously to alter their social and economic situations, critical postmodernism acknowledge that their action is inhibited by the dominance of social, cultural and political elements (Myer 2007).
... this concept to the critical evaluation of two pieces of social psychological research. The two pieces of research chosen to illustrate this ... a shift to a more “interpretive” science, Cherry’s thinking changed on the research previously conducted by Darley and ... socio-political climate had changed, and with social psychology taking a more interpretive stance more pertinent question could be adopted ...
Answer to Q2: The Most Appealing Tradition In my quest for my answer to this question, I was rather disappointed to find that most of the connoisseurs of qualitative research have invariably chosen to be neutral on their opinion. For instance, Gephart (2004, p.457458) seems equally noncommittal while stating, Two options could enhance consistency in theories and methodologies.
First, scholars could adopt postpositivist methodological techniques from social science to enhance consistency between postpositivist theory and methods-in-use in management. Second, scholars could use interpretive or critical postmodern perspectives more often and adopt social science methods that were originally developed for interpretive and critical research agendas and purposes. As a follow up to this observation, he conveys his disappointment for the fact that majority of accomplished authors/reviewers prefer the positivist methods over the interpretive and critical postmodern research, while writing their papers for AMJ. After performing extensive research on the issue, I have found that the reason for this kind of objectivity on the part of the experts is rather understandable. This finding is based on the following facts: Every individual technique has its own merits as well as demerits. A different tradition may apply to different fields of management. The choice for the right method may also be dependent on the extent/magnitude of the research.
... are in a rainbow. Both of these scenarios involve research and critical thinking but are extremely different. There are no ... abused all the elements of research. He has done almost everything wrong in his research, therefore making his research highly un-credible ... and almost bogus. Starting with the first step in the scientific method, ...
Selection of a suitable approach could also depend on the extent of investigation required to be done on a specific topic. The research objective (goal) may be considered as another relevant factor before deciding on the technique required to be adopted. The above notwithstanding, if forced to make a choice, I will choose critical postmodernism as my first preferencefollowed by positivism and interpretive research, in that order. The reasons may not be many because of the findings given above. Critical postmodernism definitely scores over the other two because of its apparent adoption of a radical style. Many experts believe that both positivism and critical postmodernism are two sides of a single coinone referred to as the old and the other new. Novac (1996) considers both of them as variations of two fundamental traditions in philosophymaterialism and idealism for positivism and critical postmodernism respectively.
The advent of the latter could be attributed to a challenge to the apparently dominant status enjoyed by positivism from the very beginning. As for interpretive research, some experts feel that the concept ingrained in the method is a little complicated as well as alien to many researchers. Its relatively smaller sample size and inconsistent use of vocabulary also tends to leave a researcher confused, especially the newer ones entering the field. Answer to Q3: Key Elements to Be Included in A Qualitative Study Gephart (2004, p.456) has listed a series of key elements in Table 1, applicable components of which are specified under each of the traditions/techniques. The five key elements listed by the author are: Assumptions about reality vital to the respective traditions. Goal of the research.
Various tasks required to be undertaken in the course of the research. Unit of analysis, which is considered necessary to evaluate the information collected during the investigations. The focus with regard to the methods, which are to be adopted for the research. In addition to the above components, a number of instructional guidelines have also been furnished by Gephart (2004, p.454455) in order to help and educate novice authors in boosting up their degree of expertise. The authors recommendations, made in conjunction with the remarks of numerous experts, pertain to the following: Use of an interpretive and naturalistic style all through the report. Adequate emphasis on qualities of matters concerning processes and meanings occurring routinely in the paper. Investigate phenomena, if any, which take place naturally and strive to interpret it in the same manner that the concerned social actors do. Deals with questions related to creation and interpretation of social experiences. Instill adequate flexibility and emergent qualities making it difficult for anyone to hold it down.
... in comparison to the reaction with the rat. In this research study the conditioning did not last over time due to ...
Undertaking design of the research as well as the actions simultaneously with immaculate individual judgments regarding the context. Should be capable to tackle unexpected events. Provide clarity as well as be descriptive, narrative, inductive and interpretive in contrast to quantitative research. Describe processes by putting emphasis on ongoing occurrence of situational details. Deal appropriately with clear, elaborated explanations to respond to queries and observations brought up during the research process. To clearly recognize and understand the numerous distinctions that the qualitative research has with quantitative research.
As regards omitting any key element from his list, it should be noted that the author was merely writing a longer than usual editorial column for AMJ, not a detailed paper. Nevertheless, the details furnished by him are considered more than adequate and also educative when seen in the right context. Nevertheless, listed below are a few more key elements that could well have been added (had the prerequisite for the paper been to make it more comprehensive and detailed): Techniques for sampling/data collection/measurements. Necessity for experimental and non-experimental methods. Inclusion of ethical considerations, if any. Explanatory and conjectural statistics. Proving the validity of opinions. Composition of the report. xxxxxx Paper II: Lisa Russell on Her Experience of Ethnographic Fieldwork Paper II is an autobiographical paper written by a young author Lisa Russell on her personal experiences gained while carrying out one of her ethnographic researches in the field.
The paper, christened as Its a question of trust: balancing the relationship between students and teachers in ethnographic fieldwork, was published in 2005 by Sage Publications (http://qrj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/5/2/1 81).
... generalizations are not valid. This links with the detailed nature of ethnographic research as a close up view of the social ... unit (Fetterman, 1989). An immediate union with ethnographic research and research based around community studies, is the in-depth ... method of qualitative research, and despite its long list of downfalls and disadvantages, ethnography can produce extremely detailed results of ...
Three paper-specific questions, as listed below, have been duly answered in the subsequent paragraphs: Q1: The author is a young ethnographer researching teenagers (p.193).
What difference does her age make? Q2: When is a ….