Pathirage, C. P., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2007) The role of philosophical context in the development of research methodology and theory. In: 7th International Postgraduate Conference in the Built and Human Environment, 28-29th March 2007, Salford Quays, UK.. (Unpublished)

The research strategy dictates the major direction of the research and
constitutes one of the important decisions made by the researcher. However, researchers’
understanding on theory at the outset of the research guides the design of the research. The
paper presents an overview of the involvement of theory within different research
philosophies, approaches and methods. The relationship between data and theory is an issue
that has been long debated. Moving from data to theory is commonly discussed in social
constructionism with inductive approach and ideographic methods. However, within
positivism philosophy with deductive approach and nomothetic methods, moving from theory
to data is common. However, the growing concept of philosophical pluralism and
methodological pluralism challenges the polarised views on philosophies and approaches,
which suggests that methodologies are best used in complementary way.


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