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Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research ALTERNATIVES TO SCIENCE Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright, 1995-2002 1 Invitation to Research ALTERNATIVES TO SCIENCE Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright, Invitation to Research ALTERNATIVES TO SCIENCE Roger Clarke, Xamax Consultancy, Canberra Visiting Professor, CSIS, Uni of Hong Kong Visiting Fellow, Australian National University /30-AltAppr.ppt ebs, January 2003

2 Copyright, The Baseline Alternative Approaches Conventional Scientific Research Contemplative Research Interpretivist Research Critical Theory-Informed Research Engineering Research

3 Copyright, Contemplative Research Idealistic, i.e. if concerned with the Real World at all, then at best indirectly Focussed on new ideas, or on interpretation of old ideas or information in new ways Non-empirical, in the senses of: not being directly based on real-world data not being tested against the real world

4 Copyright, Conventional Scientific Research Meta-Physical Assumptions There is a Real World The phenomena in that Real World are stable Data gathered by observing the Real World are factual, truthful and unambiguous The domain of study is not affected by either the research, or the researcher The language in which Theory is expressed is unambiguous, and contains no value judgements

5 Copyright, Interpretivist Research Meta-Physical Assumptions The Observer's Perspective is a Factor: in the selection and formulation of Theory in the formulation of Hypotheses in choices made in the Research Design process in the selectiveness of observation in the process of observation

6 Copyright, Conventional Scientific Research Data Assumptions Data must be Objective Objective means relatively proximate to Truth Subjective means relatively distant from Truth The notion of Objectivity presumes: the existence of Truth its accessibility by humans Objective Data is Quantified Data, i.e. expressed in terms that place it on a scale

7 Copyright, Interpretivist Research Data Assumptions Objectivity, in the sense in which it is used in Scientific Research, is meaningless, because: it presumes the existence of a unitary Truth it presumes that Truth to be accessible by humans it overlooks the fact that entities within the domain think they can exercise free will An Alternative Interpretation: Try to identify Researcher Biases Try to avoid or allow for Researcher Biases Enable evaluators to assess Researcher Biasses

8 Copyright, Critical Theory-Informed Research A More Extreme Reaction against Positivism Examines Phenomena within Context, rather than artificially isolating them Study of Social Life with the intentions of: demystifying technological imperatives challenging managerial rationalism revealing hidden agendas, the exercise of power, and manipulation Attempts Disciplined Reflection

9 Copyright, Engineering Research Make Artefacts To enable effective interventions to be undertaken in a particular domain Break Artefacts To identify the limits of their applicability, effectiveness or usefulness


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