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Write a narrative explanation for a research proposal. You will need to state and justify how you have matched each of these elements:
– ontological approach
– assumptions about you (the researcher)
– the purpose of the research (whether it is explanatory, descriiptive, or exploratory)
– a theory you could use as a framework for investigation
– the research question(s), and
– research method you intend to use, including data collection and analysis
Here is an example from the teacher:
As a research paradigm, pragmatism typically refutes top-down ontological stances in favor of understanding truth as it is oriented toward solving ‘real-world’ problems through practical research methods. This allows a researcher to develop action-focused research. I believe the regulation of unregistered healthcare workers by Health Complaints Entities (HCEs) through the application of the National Code of Conduct4 (the Code) is a technical specialized administrative process. Pragmatism, therefore, offers the opportunity for this research to be constructed through an ontological relationship between knowledge as knowing and action.
Pragmatism has been considered in literature as ontologically-lite, unclear or intersubjective in its conceptualization of reality as both objective and subjective at any one time. However, this research grounds its ontological foundation in the concept of a ‘reality-cycle,’ whereby a singular reality is perceived contextually by multiple social actors. This ontological grounding allows the research to view and explore the interdependence of a continuous reality with both individual and environmental contexts and behaviors. This provides the research an epistemological lens of knowledge as both unobservable and observable according to researcher orientation, creating the opportunity for critical appraisal and potential selection of both quantitative and qualitative research methods appropriate to the ‘problem’ at the crux of the research.
Taking a pragmatic approach to this research meant I was able to put aside the issue of merit in state-based regulation and consider the Code as an accepted regulatory tool to be explored. From here, identifying reality cycles as an ontological grounding allowed me to position the Code as a singular reality evolving relative to the legislative context and organizational behaviors in each Australian jurisdiction. This easily translated to an epistemological construction of knowledge as both unobservable and observable. From here, I found it simple to combine public interest regulation theory, which accepts regulation as having inherent worth, with grounded theory to recognize my aim for the flexibility to develop theory from data analysis. Accordingly, I began to think about which conceptual frameworks are applicable as practical tools of regulation. This led me to responsive regulation. Responsive regulation is a set of principles and thresholds used to guide the practice of regulators across multiple relationships. Once I had embedded this framework, I was able to position relationships in my research questions and identify which methods of data collation and analysis would facilitate broad exploration of these.