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Article: The baby and the bathwater: Research methods in construction management

TitleThe baby and the bathwater: Research methods in construction management
Authors
KeywordsEpistemology
Interpretative approach
Research methods
Issue Date1998
PublisherRoutledge. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/01446193.asp
Citation
Construction Management And Economics, 1998, v. 16 n. 1, p. 99-104 How to Cite?
AbstractThis note is written in response to Seymour, D., Crook, D. and Rooke, J. (1997) Construction Management and Economics, 15(1), 117-19. We argue against their narrow focus on the interpretative approach. Also, Seymour et al. are incorrect in implying that the 'rationalist approach' is necessarily quantitative. Our contention is that the choice of research approach in construction management depends on the nature of the problem. However, whatever choice of approach is adopted, it is important that the problem and associated key concepts are defined clearly and that the methods used, underlying assumptions and limitations are transparent and defensible. It is difficult to argue in favour of any single approach based purely on epistemological grounds as what constitutes knowledge is still an unsolved philosophical issue. Since construction management is a practical subject, we suggest that the choice of approach should be a pragmatic one: the approach that is likely to generate practical solutions should be adopted. Seymour et al.'s suggestion serves only to limit our choice of research tools. Furthermore, a lot of the research issues in construction management are practical problems which involve generalization of experience and formulation of hypothesis that can generate empirically testable implications. For problems of this nature, testability of hypothesis and reproducibility of results are important, and the naturalist approach (which is labelled 'rationalist paradigm' in Seymour et al.) of discovering causal relationship is more likely to produce general practical solutions. However, this does not deny the value of the interpretative approach, as it may be more suitable for certain types of problem. Moreover, in practice, an understanding of human behaviour 'from within' often provides useful insights for formulation of empirically testable hypotheses, despite the philosophical incompatibility of the interpretative and naturalist approaches.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/81695
ISSN
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.967
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWing, CKen_HK
dc.contributor.authorRaftery, Jen_HK
dc.contributor.authorWalker, Aen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T08:20:57Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T08:20:57Z-
dc.date.issued1998en_HK
dc.identifier.citationConstruction Management And Economics, 1998, v. 16 n. 1, p. 99-104en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0144-6193en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/81695-
dc.description.abstractThis note is written in response to Seymour, D., Crook, D. and Rooke, J. (1997) Construction Management and Economics, 15(1), 117-19. We argue against their narrow focus on the interpretative approach. Also, Seymour et al. are incorrect in implying that the 'rationalist approach' is necessarily quantitative. Our contention is that the choice of research approach in construction management depends on the nature of the problem. However, whatever choice of approach is adopted, it is important that the problem and associated key concepts are defined clearly and that the methods used, underlying assumptions and limitations are transparent and defensible. It is difficult to argue in favour of any single approach based purely on epistemological grounds as what constitutes knowledge is still an unsolved philosophical issue. Since construction management is a practical subject, we suggest that the choice of approach should be a pragmatic one: the approach that is likely to generate practical solutions should be adopted. Seymour et al.'s suggestion serves only to limit our choice of research tools. Furthermore, a lot of the research issues in construction management are practical problems which involve generalization of experience and formulation of hypothesis that can generate empirically testable implications. For problems of this nature, testability of hypothesis and reproducibility of results are important, and the naturalist approach (which is labelled 'rationalist paradigm' in Seymour et al.) of discovering causal relationship is more likely to produce general practical solutions. However, this does not deny the value of the interpretative approach, as it may be more suitable for certain types of problem. Moreover, in practice, an understanding of human behaviour 'from within' often provides useful insights for formulation of empirically testable hypotheses, despite the philosophical incompatibility of the interpretative and naturalist approaches.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherRoutledge. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/01446193.aspen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofConstruction Management and Economicsen_HK
dc.subjectEpistemologyen_HK
dc.subjectInterpretative approachen_HK
dc.subjectResearch methodsen_HK
dc.titleThe baby and the bathwater: Research methods in construction managementen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0144-6193&volume=16&issue=1&spage=&epage=&date=1998&atitle=The+Baby+and+the+Bathwater:+Research+Methods+in+Construction+Managementen_HK
dc.identifier.emailWing, CK:hrrbckw@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityWing, CK=rp00993en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0344237341en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros35374en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0344237341&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume16en_HK
dc.identifier.issue1en_HK
dc.identifier.spage99en_HK
dc.identifier.epage104en_HK
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWing, CK=24830082500en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridRaftery, J=7004558123en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWalker, A=7403909976en_HK

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