Perspectives on constructive research approach : in search of the basis for validation
1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Accounting, Accounting
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, )|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201301241010
|Publish Date:|| 2013-01-24
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
Already for some time there have been discussions about the relevance of scientific research in the fields of operations management and management accounting. Due to the applied nature of these fields, the research should produce theories that meet the requirements of scientific bodies and are valuable for practitioners too. Constructive research approach is a research approach where these objectives are built-in characteristics and thus it is an optimal remedy for reducing the gap between science and practice. However, this or any kind of research must be able to meet the standards of science in order to penetrate the scientific publishing arenas and to be accepted into the scientific body of knowledge. Although constructive research can be categorized as a fairly established research approach already, the writings on it have concentrated more on the practical issues of the research inquiry instead of contemplating on the philosophical premises of the approach. In order to confirm its status as a credible scientific research approach, the latter task is seen at least as important as the former. This thesis seizes upon this challenge and concentrates on the validity issues of constructive research. The objective of this thesis is to figure out how the validation of constructive research ought to be conducted. To achieve this aim, the composition of constructive research approach is delved into to form a ground for the suggestions about its validation. An important part of the research process is exploring the concept of validity in order to define what it means in general. Only after that it is possible to suggest what it should mean in constructive research and, thus, figure out how a researcher could find out about the validity i.e. validate his research accordingly. Results of this thesis suggest that validity of constructive research is a property of the means by which the research results were produced. Thus it is not the property of the developed construction that determines the validity of the research as previous studies suggest. In constructive studies where some kind of functionality test is conducted, the validation falls upon the testing procedure. In studies where a proper test cannot be conducted, validity of the research depends on validity of the means by which the construction was constructed. This thesis is conducted as a philosophical inquiry that rests upon the wide use of literature and the author’s own reasoning.
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