Empirical research in OM: three paradigms


Steenhuis, Harm-Jan and Bruijn, Erik J. de (2006) Empirical research in OM: three paradigms. In: .

open access
Abstract:Over the past 20 years, several articles have appeared in the operations management literature
that have suggested that the link between operations management academics and operations
management practitioners has been weakened. It has been suggested that to improve this link,
more empirical research is required. However, there are different methods for conducting
empirical research. In this paper we discuss three different paradigms for empirical research in
operations management: the positivist & postpositivist paradigm, mostly aligned with surveys;
the interpretivist paradigm, mostly aligned with in-depth case studies; and the design paradigm,
mostly aligned with solving practical problems. We discuss the different objectives and the
different evaluation criteria for studies in each paradigm. We conclude that although the
(post)positivist paradigm is probably the most interesting for the development of science due to
the ability to generalize, the design paradigm is likely the most relevant for making the
connecting with practitioners
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS)
Research Group:
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/73618
Organisation URL:http://www.poms.org/
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