Module 4 – Case
EPISTEMOLOGY AND ONTOLOGY
In the required background readings, Dr. Ron Weber (2004) shared his personal reactions to the ways in which he felt that “positivists” were being caricatured by “interpretivists”. Toward the end of his article he wonders “why the rhetoric of positivism versus interpretivism has persisted” (p. X) and says that “I no longer want to be labeled as a positivist researcher or an interpretevist researcher. It is time for us to move beyond labels and to see the underlying unity in what we are trying to achieve via our research methods” (p. XI).
In this Case Assignment you will:
Compare and contrast three alternative theoretical rationales as explanatory mechanisms for why the rhetoric of positivism vs. interpretivism has persisted.
Give a brief overview of the framework that Becker and Niehaves (2007) (from the required background readings) provide.
Describe how the overarching context that their framework establishes relates to Dr. Weber’s concerns.
Apply that framework to briefly assessing, comparing, and contrasting the epistemological bases for the following three articles (from the required background readings) as potential theoretical explanations for the persistence of the positivism vs. interpretivism rhetoric:
Labeling theory: Ashforth and Humphrey, 1997
Perspective making and taking in communities of knowing: Boland and Tenkasi, 1995
Realistic group conflict theory: Jackson, 1993
Assess the degree to which each of the three potential theoretical explanations fits the nature of the problem that Dr. Weber posed (i.e., “why the rhetoric of positivism versus interpretivism has persisted”), and the context(s) within which it is situated
Argue for and support your choice of one of the three, or some combination of two or all three of the theoretical explanations, in terms of best fit and potential explanatory power as to why the rhetoric of positivism vs. interpretivism has persisted.
Make sure you articulate your understanding of each term that you employ (i.e., don’t just say “inductivism”—define it, and provide evidence to support your contention as to why you believe that the author(s) is/are assuming an inductivist methodological aspect).
Length: 5–6 pages of double-spaced, 12-point text, plus cover and reference pages.
Structure: Narrative style, including a brief introduction in which you provide an overview of your paper.
References; Follow Campion’s (1997) rules for references (see background page).
Style: APA format.
Proofread your paper before uploading it.
Upload your paper by the module due date.