Page 121 - Crossing Cultural Boundaries - Cees den Teuling
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purpose, there is a scientific position taken on generalisations and causal explanations. The researcher’s role can be defined as from a distant stance and taking an impartial position. Objectivity is the ultimate working condition.
The qualitative paradigm represents the position that reality is a social construct and emphasises the primacy of the subject to be researched (Cresswell & Miller, 2000; Merriam, 2002). Measurement of variables is often difficult since they are intertwined and complex. Researcher’s position is located inside the research area. He/she takes the position of an insider and represents the internal point of view. The outcome of the research can be characterised as not clearly directed since a generalisation is commonly not unambiguous and fuzzy. Interpretation can be consensual, while actor’s perspectives are understood and occasionally supported. Researcher’s role has a personal stand, implementing involvement and often with partial understanding and empathy.
However, there is a position that lies somehow in-between. Pluralists share positions from both sides. They claim that there is a real world “out there” (so they are objectivists) and that it is possible to make causal statements. However, “not all social phenomena, and the relationships between them are directly observable. There are deep structures that cannot be observed and what can be observed may offer a false picture of those phenomena/structures and their effects. So, pluralism combines elements from both positivism and interpretism” (Lloyd, 1994, p. 53).
Both quantitative and qualitative paradigms have their strengths and weaknesses. It is necessary to recognize and justify which is the most suitable method to be applied to a certain research project. The possible strengths and weaknesses of the approaches noted could be identified from inference.
As the object of the current research – the KT process - is “one real entity”, it is of a single dimension and the researcher takes the position of an objectivistic ontology. The second conclusion leads to the epistemology: it is aimed at measuring the influence of organisational sub-cultures on KT processes. In this case the positivist epistemology should be used, since it makes it possible to acquire unmediated knowledge about the world with no interferences. In view of these two conclusions, the researcher should, therefore, be in the positivist tradition rather than in the interpretism. In the meantime, AR corrects and compensates the deviancies of the positivist approach (Hammersley, 2004). It allows taking pluralistic stance to the research by introducing and including the interpretists’ angle in interpretation of the result.
To conclude, for the study at hand both the quantitative and qualitative methods are implemented for the data-collection in a Multi Method (MMR) format. The

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