THE DIALECTIC OF RIGOUR AND GENERALIZATION: A CONTENTIOUS DEBATE AMONG PROPONENTS OF QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESEARCH PARADIGMS
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Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State.
The philosophical paradigms underpinning quantitative and qualitative research methods are founded on diverse traditions and approaches of investigation. The two methodological approaches having come from different paradigms are expected to come up with diverse understandings and explanations that aligns solely with the individual epistemology guiding each. The purpose of this paper is thus to examine the dialectic of rigour and generalization of quantitative and qualitative research methods and how this has led to the contentious debate swirling in the literature. To achieve the aforementioned objectives, a systematic and critical review of literature was conducted and discussed. Our findings suggest that the approaches of quantitative and qualitative research methods do not lend credence to the assertion that one research approach is more scientific than the other, instead, it afford a deeper understanding of reality, uncover the way people make meaning about social world and their experiences. Consequently, the supremacy argument between quantitative and qualitative methods is unnecessary, unproductive and is misguided. The paper therefore concluded that the dichotomy of supremacy quarrel among the proponents of quantitative and qualitative research has generated a growing debate for too long. We hereby suggest that the argument that one research approach is more rigorous and generalizable than the other should be disregarded while faced with the task of picking an appropriate research method for a study; instead, researchers should adopt methods that would foster a deeper understanding and exhaustive account of the phenomena under investigation and where necessary integrate the two approaches to advance knowledge and business practices
Qualitative research, quantitative research, rigour, generalization, methods, reliability, validity.
Journal of Economics, Management and Social Sciences, Federal University, Wukari, Vol. 5(1).