DISMANTLING THE QUANTITATIVE – QUALITATIVE DIVIDE Comments On Hypothesis Testing, Induction, Statistics, Fiction And Epistemological Anarchy. Presentation at the 3rd International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Prato, Italy, July 2008
DISMANTLING THE QUANTITATIVE – QUALITATIVE DIVIDEComments On Hypothesis Testing, Induction, Statistics, Fiction And Epistemological Anarchy
Presentation at the 3rd International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Prato, Italy, July 2008
Michael Wood ([email protected]) and Christine Welch
Portsmouth University Business School, UK
There is a revised draft paper at http://userweb.port.ac.uk/~woodm/QualQuant.pdf
and this presentation is at
We suspect this presentation may be a bit of a mess because it’s largely about things which don’t make too much sense. So we’ll try and impose a clear framework …
Which do you think will be the winner?
Generalisation through statistics
Research progresses through hypotheses and deductions
Large random samples
Generalisation through theoretical abstraction
Research progresses through rich data and induction
Observer part of study
Small purposive samples
Etc, etcPerspective 1: Two kinds of research
Based loosely on Easterby-Smith et al (2002: 30). They list 8 dimensions. Other authors may use different labels for the two types: commonest probably Quantitative vs Qualitative.
Often suggested that researchers need to choose one or the other.
… but is this a genuine dichotomy?
Easterby-Smith et al (2002) list 8 bipolar dimensions: this leads to the possibility of 28 or 64 types of research.
Use different approaches in one project …
“ …” indicates vague terms we don’t like
Is this one dimension?
Deductive (e.g. applying a model)
Using a framework or paradigm
to define questions
Much research is neither hypothetico-deductive nor inductive. There is no obvious linear dimension here, which is why we’ve made the layout of this slide a bit of a mess.