Research Philosophy

Research philosophy is concerned with the examination of the nature of knowledge and the links between theory and data in the construction of knowledge. Discussions of research philosophy usually attempt to address to sets of overlapping considerations. First epistemological issues, which refer to the nature of knowledge and theories of knowledge construction, need to be considered. Second, ontological issues, which refer to theories which refer to the nature of knowledge and theories of being or existence and the ways in which our existence is shaped by the nature of knowledge require consideration.

A central function of any discussion of research philosophy is to lay the foundations for the subsequent evaluation of methodology, collection, analysis, and presentation of primary data in the form of empirical research (Oriesek, 2004, pp. 38). Saunders et al. (2000), define the research philosophy as function of how a researcher thinks about the development of knowledge. There are two fundamental reviews regarding the same: positivism and phenomenology. The positivistic approach to research is based on a highly structured methodology to enable generalizations and quantifiable observations.

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The researcher ideally should act as objective observer who should neither affect nor be affected by the subject of his research. In contrast the phenomenological approach believes that the social world f management and business is too complex to be formalized n theories and laws such as in natural sciences. Therefore, reducing observations in real world to simple laws and generalization would give a superficial picture of reality, which is by far more complex.

Each research philosophy has its advantages and disadvantages, and more importantly they can be complementary. In reality, it is not possible to identify a researcher who supports only one approach for research. Although the two research philosophies may appear to be opposing and polarized, they are frequently used in conjunction with one another as the differences between them are not clear cut. The underlying assumption is that the weaknesses in each philosophy will be compensated by the counterbalancing strengths in another.

Hence, many of the theorists believe that the two philosophies should be mixed while conducting research of any kind since this would enhance the rigour and systematization of the research being conducted while retaining the ability to investigate the phenomena in a better way (Altinay, Paraskevas, 2007, pp. 72). The research approach chosen for this research befitted the nature of the research. Data collection and analysis was inductive in its approach, in that it started from an analysis of a particular situation to make or infer broad general ideas or theories.

This research was exploratory and it attempted to find out answers to the research questions by searching through literature specific to investment modes. The research was qualitative, focusing primarily on established data sources, attributable to the wealth of data on the issue of investment strategies. The approach adopted by this research allowed for a measure of flexibility, focusing on the particularity of the context in which the events affecting the company took place.

In addition, being that focus was centred on just one entity (TopicalCare), the inductive view of the theory’s following data was very appropriate as opposed to the deductive view, which is more scientific and structured. Data collection was qualitative in nature. Naturally, generalizations are were inferred; however, the conclusions in this research served to enlighten on the issue of investment in emerging economies, as it relates to developing markets.


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