Handbook of Research Methods in Corporate Social Responsibility
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Handbook of Research Methods in Corporate Social Responsibility

Edited by David Crowther and Linne Lauesen

Corporate social responsibility now touches upon most aspects of the interaction between business and society. The approaches taken to research in this area are as varied as the topics that are researched; yet this is the first book to address the whole range of methods available. The book identifies the methods available, evaluates their use and discusses the circumstances in which they might be appropriate. It also includes forward-thinking guidance from experienced academics on the future directions of research in the area.
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Chapter 27: From positivism to social constructivism: an emerging trend for CSR researchers

Martin Samy and Fiona Robertson


The theme of this chapter is to develop an argument shifting from positivism to social constructivism in corporate social responsibility (CSR) research. In this journey the research design is arguably biased towards a phenomenological approach that encompasses abductive paradigms. The philosophical position of an individual should be the guiding force in developing the methodology that suits the research problem. That guiding force is inherent in the mindset of the researcher and it is based on values and beliefs and most of the time is enveloped by their experiences and exposure to the real world. In this process the authors introduce the hallmarks of research design based on the premises of a case study. When undertaking a case study, it is vital to adopt a systematic approach incorporating reliability and validity of data collection and analysis. We anticipate that future research in CSR would arguably have an impact on society if researchers undertake in-depth analysis by adopting a critical realism design to document, investigate and highlight contributions made by individual corporations.

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