The paper "The Adequacy of Theory, Validity of Method and Reliability of Data" is a perfect example of a finance and accounting assignment. This study points out the quantitative research philosophy, methodology and quantitative methods. This study investigates the philosophy that was grounded for building the quantitative research methods. It also discusses the issues associated with sampling, validity and reliability. I. Background and purpose 1.1 Relevant theoretical frameworks According to Harris (1979), science is 'a a superior way for human beings to attain knowledge about the world in which we live'. Within the social sciences, there are two major theoretical perspectives for the scientific attainment of knowledge: positivism (the natural science paradigm) and phenomenology (Bogdan & Taylor 1975).
The natural sciences, modelling the positivist philosophy, are concerned solely with observations of phenomena. The social sciences are additionally challenged with understanding the meaning of the phenomena, not a readily observable process (Schwartz & Jacobs 1979). Positivism, a deductive process of knowledge attainment, seeks to verify facts and causal relationships stated in existing theories. The true experiment is the classical example of positivism. Phenomenology, and inductive processes, generate theory from facts obtained within the natural setting of the phenomenon.
The distinct contrast in the philosophy of this methodology from positivism is evident in grounded theory. The true experiment is a descendant of positivism and later logical positivism. The logical positivists devised two classes of statements: formal propositions based on logic or mathematics and factual propositions which are to be empirically verified (Harris 1979). In keeping with this philosophy, the true experiment seeks to verify facts or causes of social phenomena with little regard for subjective states of individuals (Bogdan & Taylor 1975).
The goal is the establishment of general laws common to the phenomenon regardless of the setting. Mischler (1979) is particularly critical of the positivist methodology of context stripping. He believes the environment of the phenomenon is meaningful to the causal relationship and the understanding of human behaviour. Mischler accuses the true experimental design researcher of sacrificing meaning only to meet the assumptions of positivism.