Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Making quantitative research work: From positivist dogma to actual social scientific inquiry
Author(s): Zyphur, Michael
Pierides, Dean
Contact Email:
Keywords: Quantitative research
Quantitative methods
Research design
Data analysis
Inductive inference
Issue Date: Nov-2020
Date Deposited: 10-Jun-2019
Citation: Zyphur M & Pierides D (2020) Making quantitative research work: From positivist dogma to actual social scientific inquiry. Journal of Business Ethics, 167 (1), pp. 49-62.
Abstract: Researchers misunderstand their role in creating ethical problems when they allow dogmas to purportedly divorce scientists and scientific practices from the values that they embody. Cortina (J Bus Ethics., 2019), Edwards (J Bus Ethics., 2019), and Powell (J Bus Ethics., 2019) help us clarify and further develop our position by responding to our critique of, and alternatives to, this misleading separation. In this rebuttal, we explore how the desire to achieve the separation of facts and values is unscientific on the very terms endorsed by its advocates—this separation is refuted by empirical observation. We show that positivists like Cortina and Edwards offer no rigorous theoretical or empirical justifications to substantiate their claims, let alone critique ours. Following Powell, we point to how classical pragmatism understands ‘purpose’ in scientific pursuits while also providing an alternative to the dogmas of positivism and related philosophical positions. In place of dogmatic, unscientific cries about an abstract and therefore always-unobservable ‘reality,’ we invite all organizational scholars to join us in shifting the discussion about quantitative research towards empirically grounded scientific inquiry. This makes the ethics of actual people and their practices central to quantitative research, including the thoughts, discourses, and behaviors of researchers who are always in particular places doing particular things. We propose that quantitative researchers can thus start to think about their research practices as a kind of work, rather than having the status of a kind of dogma. We conclude with some implications that this has for future research and education, including the relevance of research and research methods.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s10551-019-04189-6
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Business Ethics. The final authenticated version is available online at:

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Zyphur_ M_ Pierides_ D. (accepted). Making quantitative research work.pdfFulltext - Accepted Version453.21 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.