In both project examples, an important part of the analytical process involved the documentation of field-notes or emergent findings, which included new evidence collected through repeat interviews or updated documentation, as the case study NGOs enacted the practices that were under investigation. The pragmatists believe that there is a single real world but different people can have different views about that real world. The principles are drawn from existing literature and similar categorizations of pragmatist methodology developed by theorists such as Friedrichs and Kratochwil (2009) and Morgan (2014b). Pragmatism, particularly questions around the usefulness of data from the perspective of diverse respondents, and the fact that respondents were actively involved in the inquiry process, guided an increased depth of analysis and contributed to the validity of findings. Unfortunately, this has led to a great divide between quantitative and qualitative researchers, who often view themselves as in competition with each other. Kuhn (1962/1996) is responsible for the use of paradigms as an approach for summarising researchers’ beliefs and practices that relate to how they create knowledge. evaluation and the findings it generates’ (p. 66). Create a link to share a read only version of this article with your colleagues and friends. Morgan, D. L. (January 2007). Keywords: paradigms; pragmatism; research methodology F or the past two decades, much of the discussion in social science research methods has focused on the distinction between Qualitative Researchand Quantitative Research. This paradigm is associated with action, intervention and constructive knowledge. Pragmatism holds that the value and meaning of opinions and ‘facts’ captured in research data are assessed through examination of their practical consequences; this gives them a ‘warranted assertibility’ (Dewey, 1938). At the design state, this principle enabled us to unpack the research problem and identify elements of the problem that were the most relevant. In both project examples, the adoption of a pragmatist approach was closely intertwined with establishing research objectives. When applied to pragmatist inquiry, Morgan (2014a) suggests that this view of practical, real-world inquiry encourages researchers to ask, ‘what difference would it make to act in one way rather than another?’ (p. 28). This principle was particularly valuable in guiding our sampling strategies; helping us identify information-rich respondents most likely to provide useful practice-based knowledge, as well as ensuring the sampling process uncovered a range of perspectives. The pragmatic paradigm is useful for guiding research design, especially when a combination of different approaches is philosophically inconsistent. This has reverberations for the relevance and utility of our research findings, not only for NGOs but also for the wider organizational research discourse. At each stage of the research process, we interrogated and evaluative our ideas and interpretations in terms of their practical functioning. By building in scope to explore the diverse experiences of different individuals at the level of the research questions, we were able to identify more facets of the research problem than if these were solely framed around the theoretical literature, formal NGO documentation or our existing understanding of NGO processes. Kelly, 2017, 2019a; Kelly and Smith, 2017; Rogers et al., 2019). The other researcher (Project example 1) aimed to compensate NGOs for their time by providing them with ongoing resources, peer review and contacts as applicable. A pragmatist approach, with its epistemological focus on the inquiry process and practicality, was found to be more useful than research philosophies that lay a sole emphasis on abstraction or philosophical theory-generation. Hence, it was important for the researchers to develop a relationship of openness to surface new perspectives rather than prompt or direct respondents. Had the researchers adopted a more theory-testing methodology or one based purely on structured, close-ended methods, it would have been unlikely for the projects to contribute to validate ‘practical understandings’ (Patton, 2005: 153) of the study phenomena. In recent years it has been observed that pragmatic paradigm is the most suitable paradigm to be used in social science research. He argued that, when applied to philosophical debates, the pragmatic maxim does not typically show that these lack content; but instead the maxim reveals hidden and substantial issues that are at stake. Clarifying the three principles of pragmatism helped us target data collection and strengthen the depth and quality of analysis. The pragmatist principles provided guidance to investigate these ‘unseen’ processes and evaluate the success of their practical application. In other words, by emphasizing the principle of actionable knowledge right through the research process, researchers can holistically address the knowing, acting and experience occurring in NGOs. Moreover, by encouraging organizational stakeholders to trace out the likely consequences of different understandings or actions, we were able to gain a more detailed understanding of the phenomena under investigation. Leanne M Kelly has over 15 years of experience as a practitioner, researcher and evaluator in social services and community development non-government organizations (NGOs). 12, No. Presenting his basic ideas of pragmatism in the series Illustrations of the Logic of … This tenet was central to both projects as we embarked on these research projects with the aim of finding respondent-driven solutions to real-world problems. The use of these techniques in both the research projects meant that analytical processes were flexible and adaptive to capture the actual experiences of NGOs as they implemented and amended organizational practices. The aim of this article is to evidence ways in which pragmatism is useful for researching organizational processes. Finally, a facet of pragmatist research is its focus on research transferability. We suggest that pragmatism is a particularly worthy paradigm to guide research that seeks to provide a public good by improving practice and policy while remaining true to the quality-driven rigours of academic research. ‘We were there too’: There is much to learn from embedding auto/biography in the ... Practising reflexivity: Ethics, methodology and theory construction. Qualitative research is often associated with interpretivism, but alternatives do exist. Pragmatic approach combined quantitative and qualitative approach in one methodology. Besides critical research and sometimes positivism, qualitative research in information systems can be performed following a paradigm of pragmatism. Following Dewey, pragmatism has contributed to movements such as symbolic interactionism, action research and grounded theory. This survey focused on practitioners’ experiences of NGO performance measurement processes and decision-making processes, enabling comparison with formal documentation, as well as the views of NGO leaders and boards. Pragmatism as a research paradigm refuses to get involved in the contentious metaphysical concepts such as truth and reality. Both type of research cannot be solved using one paradigm. In Project example 2, this principle enabled practical decision-making around the choice of analytical strategies for different components of the data collected. Through pragmatism, we could be flexible and adaptive throughout the research process as iterative inquiry, experience, knowing and acting informed ways to improve the research projects’ usefulness and value. discussion of the appropriateness of pragmatism as a paradigm for conducting BAR. Knower and known are interactive, inseparable. Thirdly is the mixed methods approach associated with the pragmatic paradigm and strategies that involve collecting data in a simultaneous or sequential manner using methods that are drawn from both quantitative and qualitative traditions in a fashion that best addresses the research … And theory-driven the most suitable paradigm to be multi-disciplinary to provide context Business ;! Was inextricably linked with its experiential consequences when investigated work of smaller NGOs to the right answers of social... Version of this article which research takes place in addition to identifying and including new evidence, reality. The choice of analytical strategies for different components of the weakness in existing organizational research from the list and..., Subjectivism is a single real world but different people can have different views about that real world our. 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