The term “positivism research philosophy” refers to a reality that must be evaluated based on facts. Scientists, on the other hand, have realised that all observation, including objective reality, is imperfect, leading to the postpositivist worldview.
It must be noted that articulating the positivism research philosophy in a clear and concise manner is difficult. This is due to the wide range of circumstances in which positivism is also applied by researchers. The number of different ways to explain positivism could be equal to the number of authors who have written about research philosophy. Nonetheless, positivism is being based on the premise that science is the sole path to discover the truth.
Positivism research philosophy is also based on quantifiable data that must analyse statistically. It has been the most popular sort of research in business and management disciplines for decades. It takes an essentialist, metaphysical view of the universe, viewing it as a collection of distinct, observable elements and events that interact in regular, easy to predict, and consistent ways.
Only “fact-based” information gained from experience (the senses), including quantification, is considered reliable by Positivism. In positivist investigations, the researcher’s role is also limited to data gathering and objective interpretation. To put it another way, the researcher conducts the study as an unbiased analyst who is free of personal values. In these types of studies, the findings are typically visible and measurable.
Main Concept of Positivism
The following are the five main concepts of positivism research philosophy summarised:
- The logic of inquiry does not differ between disciplines.
- The goal of the study should be to explain and predict.
- Human senses should be able to observe the research. To produce propositions (hypotheses) to be tested during the research process, inductive reasoning should be also applied.
- Science and common sense are not the same thing. The results of the investigation should not be skewed by common sense.
- Science must be value-free and appraised solely based on rationality.
Science as a Foundation for Positivism
Positivism frequently entails the development of hypotheses that will be thoroughly examined during the research process using existing theory. Positivist researchers like to utilise a highly structured research approach so that the same study may be also replicated in the future. In positivist research philosophy, science can be defined as a cornerstone. Positivism is also based on the scientific aspects listed below.
Science is deterministic: The scientific method is founded on the idea that X causes Y in specific situations. When using a scientific approach, the responsibility of the researcher is to determine the specific nature of cause-and-effect interactions.
Science is mechanistic: The mechanical aspect of scientific approach can be also expressed in the following way: researchers make hypotheses that are then proven or rejected using specific research methodologies.
Science uses method: To operationalize theory or hypothesis, selected procedures are mechanically applied. The use of technique includes selecting a sample, taking measurements, analysing the data, and drawing conclusions concerning hypotheses.
Science deals with empiricism: To put it another way, science is limited to what could measure. Science can be viewed as objective from this perspective.
What is Positivism in Qualitative Research?
We can employ qualitative on the ground where quantitative is dominant in positivism research philosophy. For example, you may have three qualitative objectives and one quantitative aim. The qualitative objective will aid in determining the findings’ reliability and validity. As a result, convergent mixed research can be also used.
In the history of science philosophy, positivism has been the dominating approach. Most quantitative researchers in nursing use positivism as their epistemological foundation, which may explain why positivism has been labelled as the epistemology of quantitative research for so long. However, some qualitative research methodologies can be also claimed to reflect positivist ideas. You can also get reliable PhD dissertation help to work on positivism research philosophy.
Examples of Positivism Research Philosophy
Here are some examples of studies that follow the positivism research philosophy:
- A study of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fashion firms’ equity in North America.
- An examination of the effects of foreign direct investment in the information technology sector on GDP growth in the United States.
- A study of the relationship between the diffusion of mobile app innovation and app saturation.
Advantages of Positivism in Research Philosophy
During studies and conversations, positivism follows a well-defined structure. Positivists think that by adhering to established norms and standards, there will be little space for error. Because it seeks to follow certain principles utilising objective mathematical and scientific techniques, this structure leaves little possibility for variance and extreme variable changes, making the study more accurate when it comes to experiments and applications.
The systematic process of creating hypotheses, performing empirical experiments to test these hypotheses, undertaking extensive analysis to analyse the findings, and finally being able to formalize the outcomes in a set of laws and predictions is the strongest point and advantage of a positivist approach.
Quantitative research’s methodologies are more “scientific” than qualitative research’s, making it more reliable. Quantitative data is useful in research because it gives objective information that researchers can utilise to establish scientific hypotheses.
A positivist approach to the social sciences allows for easy comparison and interchange of knowledge with other disciplines that use positivism, such as law, philosophy, and literature. Positivism is a set of philosophical views that aims to explain social phenomena using scientific concepts and methods borrowed from the natural and hard sciences.
Positivism research philosophy has influenced business ideas by making them more scientific and objective-oriented, resulting in conceptions that have helped managers better understand the phenomena that occur in their workplace today. This is because these theories allow organisations to comprehend the causal relationships between what happens in the organisation and individual performance, which leads to specific group behaviours.
It has also improved psychological experiment designs, making them easier to carry out, particularly in controlled situations (i.e., laboratories). Managers can now make more accurate decisions regarding future based on past performance, allowing them to not only remove risky methods but also tailor solutions to the specific needs of each company.