Method

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Methodology can be defined as: "the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline";[1] "the systematic study of methods that are, can be, or have been applied within a discipline";[1] or "a particular procedure or set of procedures." [1] Contents [show] [edit]Concept

Methodology can be defined as:

  • "the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline";[1]
  • "the systematic study of methods that are, can be, or have been applied within a discipline";[1] or
  • "a particular procedure or set of procedures." [1]

Concept

For lessons on the related topic of Technique, follow this link.

Methodology includes a collection of theories, concepts or ideas as they relate to a particular discipline or field of inquiry.

Methodology refers to more than a simple set of methods; rather it refers to the rationale and the philosophical assumptions that underlie a particular study relative to the scientific method. This is why scholarly literature often includes a section on the methodology of the researchers. This section does more than outline the researchers’ methods (as in, “We conducted a survey of 50 people over a two-week period and subjected the results to statistical analysis”, etc.); it might explain what the researchers’ ontological or epistemological views are.

Another key (though arguably imprecise) usage for methodology does not refer to research or to the specific analysis techniques. This often refers to anything and everything that can be encapsulated for a discipline or a series of processes, activities and tasks. Examples of this are found in software development, project management and business process fields. This use of the term is typified by the outline who, what, where, when, and why. In the documentation of the processes that make up the discipline, that is being supported by "this" methodology, that is where we would find the "methods" or processes. The processes themselves are only part of the methodology along with the identification and usage of the standards, policies, rules, etc.

Researchers acknowledge the need for rigor, logic, and coherence in their methodologies, which are subject to peer review.

References

Methodology, entry at Merriam–Webster

Further reading

  • Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Guba, E. and Lincoln, Y. (1989). Fourth Generation Evaluation. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications.
  • Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, W.A. Neilson, T.A. Knott, P.W. Carhart (eds.), G. & C. Merriam Company, Springfield, MA, 1950.