This unit introduces students to contemporary philosophical thought concerning the nature of scientific knowledge and its generation. It presents an overview of philosophical issues underlying scientific inquiry in business research. The unit juxtaposes logical positivism, interpretivism, and critical theory by comparing the accepted assumptions within each of these traditions as they pertain to ontology, epistemology, and the nature of human beings. In doing so, the unit addresses a range of topics: the nature of scientific development; the relationship between theory and data; modes of scientific explanation; and the relationship between science and society. The unit is designed to promote critical thinking by encouraging students to discuss, debate, analyse, and synthesise the presented issues rather than accepting them at face value.
1X 3h lecture/week over the course of six weeks
reflective essay (25%); reflective essay (25%); integrative essay (50%)
For MPhil and PhD students only.