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Epistemology: Reply

Epistemology is one of the basic hypotheses, along with ontology/methodology/others, to discuss
philosophy and the starting point to construct any nature/science research. Epistemology explores
topics like what is the nature of knowledge/fact, how are they acquired, the boundary between
experiential/critical knowledge and what is the criteria to evaluate knowledge (Harmon & Mayer,
1986). Various concepts are drawn upon to address these topics. For example rationalism,
empiricism and criticism are used to discuss the nature & source of knowledge, idealism & realism to
discuss the very existence of object that knowledge interacts with (how do we know what we know)
and dogmatism, scepticism & positivism to sense the boundary of acquiring knowledge (is it possible
to have knowledge at all). By contrasting & discussing epistemological stance certain knowledge
constructs its theory upon, more critical understanding of the limitation & possibility of the
knowledge/authors can be acquired (Easterby-Smith, et al, 2008)

Epistemology: Reply

In this post, the student is spot on by stating that epistemology is one of the
fundamental hypotheses, along with ontology and methodology, for discussing philosophy
and is in fact the basis for constructing science or nature research. Generally, methodology is
concerned with the research techniques and tools, and ontology focuses on people’s
suppositions with regard to the nature of things and how the world is made up (Burrell &
Morgan, 2011). Conversely, epistemology is concerned with people’s beliefs with regard to
how a person may discover knowledge regarding the world (Harmon & Mayer, 1986). In
essence, epistemology is a core area of philosophy that is focused on the limits, sources as
well as nature of knowledge; this is something which the student has rightly pointed out in
the post. To add on what the student has stated in the post, epistemology focuses on issues to
do with the creation as well as dissemination of knowledge (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe &
Jackson, 2012).
In addition, the student’s area of research interest, which is the applicability of
operation model simulation in complicated situations where there is a great deal of human
interventions, is actually an exciting area of research. This topic is really fascinating since it
will allow the researcher to delve into the twin concepts of positivism and social
constructivism which embed the epistemological standpoint. While positivism offers the
basis from a phenomenon and data mining view, social constructivism offers understanding
from a knowledge, expertise or interest interaction stance between different parties. Finding a
common ground between social constructivism and positivism may present benefit to
operation improvement, and may as well allow the researcher to determine particular
prospect of human-machine interactive relationship (O’Gorman & MacIntosh, 2015). As
such, the topic which the student identified will be a very interesting one to look into.


Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P. (2012) Management research, 4th ed. London:
SAGE Publications
Harmon, M. M., & R. T. Mayer. (1986), Organization Theory for Public Administration,
Boston: Little, Brown
O’Gorman, K. D., & MacIntosh, R. (2015). Research Methods for Business and Management,
2nd Edition, Goodfellow Publishers Ltd: Oxford.
Burrell, G., & Morgan, G. (2011). Sociological paradigms and organisational analysis:
Elements of the sociology of corporate life. Heinemann: London

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