Epistemology Vs Ontology

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Ontology is concerned with assumptions about the variety of phenomena in the world. It is said to be a theory of the nature of reality (Delanty and Strydom, 2003); it is a theory of being and is concerned with issues of what exists and also refers to the claims that a particular paradigm makes about reality or truth (Hitchcock and Hughes, 1989). According to Hitchcock and Hughes (1989) “ontology is about what exists, what it looks like, what components make up and how it the components interact with each other”. Likewise, as with epistemology, these issues can sometimes have a major impact on methodology, and any contrasting ontology of human beings in turn, can sometimes demand different research methods (Burrell & Morgan, 1979; Cohen, et.…show more content…
While Guba (1990) asserted that positivism holds the objectivist assumption that reality is independent of human cognition. Positivists postulate that the world exists as a system of observable variables waiting to be discovered (Maguire, 1987). Similarly, positivists believe that the use of scientific methods of inquiry can assist in discovering the true meaning of reality (Crotty, 1998; Guba, 1990; Maguire, 1987). In this regards, scientific methods are those research methods that lack human involvement in arriving at the meaning of reality. The aim is to avoid the researchers’ bias in the research process and produce scientifically verified knowledge (Guba, 1990). The results of such investigation generate rules and theories that help to explain and sometimes provide a guide for understanding social behaviour (Maguire, 1987). The current research aims to apply scientific methods in the development of the model. Also to bring about the social construct that will lead to Health and Safety compliance in the Ghanaian construction industry. Subjectivist interpretation, reality is not discovered but it is constructed by human beings as they engage with the world they live (Crotty, 1998). In that way understanding and interpretation of reality occurs when human beings interact with their environment and others and assign meaning to the world around them (Crotty, ibid). Thus, in research, meaning of anything is “ ……an expression of the manner in which the researcher as a human being has arbitrarily imposed a personal frame of reference on the world …..” (Jean, 1992: 89). Section 8.3.2 will look into ‘how’ reality or knowledge is created as the extension of the discussion of philosophical suppositions that influence researchers’ choice of

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