Epistemological Perspective

Assignment Requirements


Discuss on the write up below while answering the question posed.

You made an interesting assertion that management research problems should address organizational needs and further management theories. I do concur with this point and this raises the question of whether we should rely on the traditional epistemological perspectives (positivism and social constructionism) or if other philosophical viewpoints should be considered. One other philosophical perspective that would fit with organizational research is postmodernism. Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jackson (2012, p. 31 – 32) note that postmodernism is concerned with scientific progress and it’s critical of its impact. It also has roots in architecture and the arts as well as being considered to have relativism ontology. This means that due its philosophical leanings, it is suited to researching organizational dynamics and change, which can aid in determining if management practices are advancing the organization forward, are effective or need to be revised.

As noted by Kilduff & Mehra (1997) postmodernism challenges the status quo and looks for links in what is not easily discernible or can be considered as counterintuitive. While the authors do not that this philosophical persuasion does have its critics, they do add that due to how organizations are typically structured with different facets to consider, postmodernism does offer the process to think outside the box and seek alternative solutions to organizational research problems. In my organization which is multi-national corporation operating in 5 continents thus comprises of different cultures, business environments and perspectives, such a philosophical persuasion would have its merits to being able to understand what makes the company function in the manner that it does.

Would postmodernism as a philosophical perspective to guide your research interests appeal to you?


Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P. (2012) Management research. 4th ed. London: SAGE Publications. VitalSource Bookshelf [e-book reader]. Available at: http://www.vitalsource.com/index/downloads (Accessed: 17 June 2014).

Kilduff, M. & Mehra, A. (1997) ‘Postmodernism and organizational research’, Academy of Management Review, 22 (2), PP. 453 – 481, JSTOR [Online]. Available at: http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.liv.ac.uk/stable/pdfplus/259330.pdf (Accessed: 17 June 2014).


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