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Qualitative Research

Gareth Morgan and Linda Smircich

– Pennsylvania State University

Abstract – Debates regarding research methods in the social sciences are linked directly to assumptions about ontology, epistemology, and human nature. After reviewing a range of positions relating to these assumptions, we argue that the dichotomy between quantitative and qualitative methods is a rough and oversimplified one.

Contemporary social science is dominated by commitments to research methods almost as ends in themselves, resulting in abstracted modes of empiricism based on both quantitative and qualitative methods. Qualitative research is an approach rather than a particular set of techniques, and its appropriateness derives from the nature of the social phenomena to be explored.

Ref: http://amr.aom.org/content/5/4/491.short

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