Research philosophy in Management Research: a Critical Realist perspective
Abstract: There are a number of approaches to management research. They include Positivism, Realism, Critical Realism, Interpretivism, Constructionism and Subjectivism (Maylor and Blackmon, 2005). Adopting a critical realist perspective has both ontological and epistemological implications. The ontological position adopted is neither fully objective nor subjective. The epistemological position for the critical realist will be critical. According to Ackroyd and Fleetwood (2000), critical realism assumes the existence of different entities which are independent of us and any investigation into them. Benton and Craib (2001, p.120-121) recognise four key features of critical realism: it assumes that something exists independently; it incorporates representation and the philosophy of reflexivity; it regards surface meaning as being potentially misleading and it is falliblist in that interpretation will be open to further correction in the light of new evidence. According to Thompson (2002, presentation), critical realists believe that “any methods are in principle capable of explanatory power. The focus is instead on broader issues of research design”. This presentation will discuss the key concepts of critical realism and how this approach may be used in hospitality, tourism, leisure and events research.
Biography: Andrew Jenkins is currently a Senior Lecturer in Hospitality Management and Research Coordinator in the Division of Hospitality and Events Management, at the University of Huddersfield, and is Honorary Secretary of the Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME). After graduating with a Master of Science degree from the University of Strathclyde, and having worked for the Ross and Cromarty Tourist Board, Andrew worked as a researcher at Oxford Brookes University before joining the CHN University in the Netherlands as lecturer, senior lecturer and coordinator of school (faculty). In 1999, he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Hospitality Management at the University of Huddersfield. In 2002 he returned to the University of Strathclyde to undertake a part-time doctorate and graduated with a Doctor of Business Administration (Executive PhD) in July 2008 for research in the Department of Human Resource Management (a CIPD Centre of Excellence). The title of his doctoral thesis was “Perceptions of age discrimination in hotel employment”.