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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2000

Marilyn Healy and Chad Perry

Aims to address a gap in the literature about quality criteria for validity and reliability in qualitative research within the realism scientific paradigm. Six…

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Abstract

Aims to address a gap in the literature about quality criteria for validity and reliability in qualitative research within the realism scientific paradigm. Six comprehensive and explicit criteria for judging realism research are developed, drawing on the three elements of a scientific paradigm of ontology, epistemology and methodology. The first two criteria concern ontology, that is, ontological appropriateness and contingent validity. The third criterion concerns epistemology: multiple perceptions of participants and of peer researchers. The final three criteria concern methodology: methodological trustworthiness, analytic generalisation and construct validity. Comparisons are made with criteria in other paradigms, particularly positivism and constructivism. An example of the use of the criteria is given. In conclusion, this paper’s set of six criteria will facilitate the further adoption of the realism paradigm and its evaluation in marketing research about, for instance, networks and relationship marketing.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2022

John W. Cadogan and Nick Lee

This study aims to correct errors in, and comment on the claims made in the comment papers of Rigdon (2022) and Henseler and Schuberth (2022), and to tidy up any…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to correct errors in, and comment on the claims made in the comment papers of Rigdon (2022) and Henseler and Schuberth (2022), and to tidy up any substantive oversights made in Cadogan and Lee (2022).

Design/methodology/approach

The study discusses and clarifies the gap between Rigdon’s notion of scientific realism and the metaphysical, semantic and epistemological commitments that are broadly agreed to be key principles of scientific realism. The study also examines the ontological status of the variables that Henseler and Schuberth claim are emergent using emergence logic grounded in the notion that variables are only truly emergent if they demonstrate a failure of generative atomism.

Findings

In scientific realism, hypothetical causal contact between the unobserved and the observed is a key foundational stance, and as such, Rigdon’s concept proxy framework (CPF) is inherently anti-realist in nature. Furthermore, Henseler and Schuberth’s suggestion that composite-creating statistical packages [such as partial least squares (PLS)] can model emergent variables should be treated with skepticism by realists.

Research limitations/implications

Claims made by Rigdon regarding the realism of CPF are unfounded, and claims by Henseler and Schuberth regarding the universal suitability of partial least squares (PLS) as a tool for use by researchers of all ontological stripes (see their Table 5) do not appear to be well-grounded.

Practical implications

Those aspiring to do science according to the precepts of scientific realism need to be careful in assessing claims in the literature. For instance, despite Rigdon’s assertion that CPF is a realist framework, we show that it is not. Consequently, some of Rigdon’s core criticisms of the common factor logic make no sense for the realist. Likewise, if the variables resulting from composite creating statistical packages (like PLS) are not really emergent (contrary to Henseler and Schuberth) and so are not real, their utility as tools for scientific realist inquiry are called into question.

Originality/value

This study assesses PLS using the Eleatic Principle and examines H&S’s version of emergent variables from an ontological perspective.

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2021

David Eriksson and Annika Engström

Operations and supply chain management (OSCM) is a theoretically and philosophically fragmented field. Researchers must consider how they use theory and explain empirical…

Abstract

Purpose

Operations and supply chain management (OSCM) is a theoretically and philosophically fragmented field. Researchers must consider how they use theory and explain empirical phenomena. This paper aims to use critical realism to introduce more coherence into this fragmented field.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on existing critical realism and abduction literature and this study uses a research process from two PhD projects to investigate critical realism’s role in OSCM research. This paper uses a narrative approach to collect data over a long timeframe, capturing data not commonly used in OSCM research.

Findings

Research that struggles to bridge the gap between theory and data benefits from critical realism, which provides a philosophy and associated methods to identify a suitable theory and guide researchers when they encounter obstacles. While clear steps often outline established methods, researchers are sometimes unable to identify when their research process has reached an obstacle. This paper argues that such obstacles can be treated as “crossroads” offering new research opportunities when correctly evaluated and addressed.

Research limitations/implications

Importantly, researchers should be able to reflect upon their own research processes, enabling a better understanding of these processes and the discovery of new research directions. Researchers can use critical realism, abduction and systematic combining to bridge the divide between theory and data in OSCM.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the field’s discussion regarding the roles of critical realism and abduction, synthesizing multiple academic sources, highlighting critical realism’s importance and providing a novel means of addressing difficulties in navigating an eclectic research area. This paper offers a philosophical alternate to the field, which is often instead considered from a positivistic standpoint. The paper is valuable to researchers in the OSCM field, who can use the research to improve their selection of data and theories, as well as their understanding of their own research processes.

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Rana Sobh and Chad Perry

The aim of this paper is to apply principles of the realism paradigm within qualitative research projects.

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to apply principles of the realism paradigm within qualitative research projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper starts by establishing the usefulness of realism research for investigating marketing management phenomena, and then considers the implications of the realism paradigm for research design.

Findings

Issues such as the level of prior theory required, the use of replication logic and triangulation are discussed. In addition, guidelines for realism data analysis and reporting are developed.

Originality/value

This paper provides an explicit set of principles for realism research design and data analysis that is different from those in other types of research.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Making Sense of Ultra-Realism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-170-0

Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2022

Liyun Wendy Choo

This chapter addresses current trends regarding how the meta-theory of critical realism (CR) frames comparative and international education research and practice. It

Abstract

This chapter addresses current trends regarding how the meta-theory of critical realism (CR) frames comparative and international education research and practice. It introduces the key tenets of CR and explores how these ideas have been and can be applied in educational research. It demonstrates how CR provides a valuable alternative to the positivist, interpretivist and constructivist paradigms, and leverages elements of all three to provide new approaches to develop knowledge that is free from the dualisms embedded in their ontological assumptions. I argue that by offering a dialectical understanding of structure and agency, as well as the material and ideational dimension of social reality, CR provides an ontological framework that does not do conceptual violence to the reality we seek to research. This ontological basis is particularly valuable to the social justice agenda of educational research in general because it allows researchers to work beneath the surface of empirical research to disclose the field of possibilities for social action.

Details

Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2021
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-618-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 October 2019

Jane Baxter and Wai Fong Chua

The purpose of this paper is to respond to Modell’s arguments regarding the relative usefulness of critical realist philosophy in relation to actor-network theory.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to respond to Modell’s arguments regarding the relative usefulness of critical realist philosophy in relation to actor-network theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors outline the challenges in applying critical realism to critical accounting. The authors then consider Modell’s criticisms of actor-network theory, providing a counterargument highlighting the methodological choices distinguishing actor-network theory from critical realism.

Findings

The authors argue that critical realism, whilst providing an interesting addition to the critical accounting research project, confronts challenges disentangling intransitive and transitive forms of knowledge. Actor-network theory is presented as a way of examining accounting practices as local associations, providing practical opportunities to study (the assembly of) “the social”.

Research limitations/implications

Methodological diversity is to be explored, acknowledging the ontological politics of our choices.

Originality/value

This paper is an original commentary contributing to critical accounting research.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 30 December 2020

Louise Brøns Kringelum and Jacob Brix

This study aims to investigate the implications of applying critical realism to the study of organizational learning. It considers critical realism as an alternate…

2682

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the implications of applying critical realism to the study of organizational learning. It considers critical realism as an alternate theoretical science foundation to the domains of empirical realism and social constructivism that characterize most of the field of organizational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts the approach of a philosophical/conceptual discussion.

Findings

This study finds that the critical realist approach makes it possible for organizational learning researchers to apply a prescriptive change agenda. It requires researchers to study the context in which organizational learning occurs. These two features enable the researcher to propose what the world must be like for organizational learning to occur. Hence, a critical realist foundation moves organizational learning theory a step closer to its theoretical sibling, the learning organization.

Originality/value

This study reveals the potential in applying critical realism to the study of organizational learning and identifies its related strengths.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Timothy Rutzou

The relationship between ontology, realism, and normativity is complex and contentious. While naturalist and realist stances have tended to ground questions of normativity…

Abstract

The relationship between ontology, realism, and normativity is complex and contentious. While naturalist and realist stances have tended to ground questions of normativity in ontology and accounts of human nature, critical theories have been critical of the relationship between ontological and normative projects. Queer theory in particular has been critical of ontological endeavors. Exploring the problem of normativity and ontology, this paper will make the case that the critical realist ontology of open systems and complex, contingent, conjunctural causation deeply resonates with queer theory, generating a queer ontology that both allows for and undermines ontological and normative projects.

Details

Critical Realism, History, and Philosophy in the Social Sciences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-604-0

Keywords

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