In this chapter, the writer will demonstrate the methodology used in analysing consumer motivations to shop for luxury products online. Methodology plays an important role in the academic researches as it concerned with what method need to be used to carry out the study. Collins and Hussey (2003) stated that the use of methodology is the most important part of a research (Collins and Hussey, 2003). The structure of this chapter will display from research philosophy to the data collection methods and discuss the most appropriate methods that will be used in this research. Through explored the available methods via a literature review, the most appropriate research methods for this research that will lead to the most valid, reliable responses.
2.0 Research Philosophy
Research Philosophy is principle to a research which relates to the development of knowledge and the nature of that knowledge (Saunders et al, 2007, p.101). Gill and Johnson (2012) also pointed out that “a philosophical choice regarding the nature of human action and its explanation which has direct methodological implications” (Gill and Johnson, 2012, p.168). It reflects how the researchers view the world and effect on which research strategy and the methods will be use in a research. In this section, 2 major ways of thinking about research philosophy will be stated: Ontology and Epistemology.
Gill and Johnson (2012) defined ontology is “the study of the essence of phenomena and the nature of their existence” (Gill and johnson, 2012, p.228). It refers to the research about the existence or nature and also concerns the question of the world independent of individuals’ knowledge of it. There are 2 aspects of ontology: objectivism refers to “social entities exist in reality external to social actors concerned with their existence” while subjectivism refers to “social phenomena are created from the perception and consequent actions of those social actors” (Saunders et al, 2007, p.108).
Epistemology refers to “general set of assumptions about the best ways of inquiring into the nature of the world” (Easterby-Smith et al., 2002, p. 31). Ontology is the science of theory of being and epistemology is then the theory of knowledge (Sunders et al., 2007). There are 2 main positions: positivist position reflects the individual assume the reality and the world exist externally which are independent and will not be changed by knowledge, while interpretivist considers the most appropriate approaches to enquire the nature of the world (Easterby-Smith et al., 2008). Positivism and interpretivism (Figure 1) are reflected in different research traditions. Positivism is used quantitative to find out what exists and how different elements connect with each other. By contrast, interpretivism is more supported by qualitative as it has to know how and what is knowledge about the existed reality (Gill and Johnson, 2010).
To be able to...