Three components of scientific research paradigm.
Before carrying out the empirical analysis of the role of management culture in corporate social responsibility, identification of the philosophical approach and the paradigm on which the research carried out is based is necessary. Therefore, this chapter deals with the philosophical systems and paradigms of scientific research, the epistemology, evaluating understanding and application of various theories and practices used in the scientific research. The key components of the scientific research paradigm are highlighted. Theories on the basis of which this research was focused on identification of the level of development of the management culture in order to implement corporate social responsibility are identified, and the stages of its implementation are described.
- philosophy of scientific research
- values and beliefs
- basic beliefs
- formal and informal factors
1.1. Relevance of the research
Scientific research philosophy is a system of the researcher’s thought, following which new, reliable knowledge about the research object is obtained. In other words, it is the basis of the research, which involves the choice of research strategy, formulation of the problem, data collection, processing, and analysis. The paradigm of scientific research, in turn, consists of ontology, epistemology methodology, and methods. Methodological choice, according to Holden and Lynch , should be related to the philosophical position of the researcher and the analyzed social science phenomenon. In the field of research, several philosophical approaches are possible; however, according to the authors, more extreme approaches can be delimiting. Only intermediary philosophical approach allows the researcher to reconcile philosophy, methodology, and the problem of research. However, Crossan  drew attention to the fact that sometimes there is a big difference between quantitative and qualitative research philosophies and methods, and triangulation of modern research methods is common. It is therefore very important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. This allows preparing for the research and understanding the analyzed problem better. The theories of research philosophy and paradigms, on the basis of which the research in the monograph focuses on identifying the level of development of the management culture in order to implement corporate social responsibility, are presented in figures that distinguish the levels of organizational culture and their interaction, that is, corporate social responsibility stages, which reflect the philosophy and paradigm of this research.
The problem of the research is raised by the following questions: what are the essential principles of research philosophy and paradigm? and how to apply them to form the research position?
The level of problem exploration. The chapter presents the thoughts of the authors who analyze research philosophy [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and paradigm [3, 9, 10, 11], relating them to the key researches of this monograph.
The object of this study is to understand essential principles of research philosophy and paradigm.
The purpose of the research is to analyze the essential principles of research philosophy and paradigm, substantiating the position of the key researches of this monograph.
The objectives of this research are (1) to discuss the fundamental aspects of research philosophy and paradigm; and (2) to substantiate the position of culture management and corporate social responsibility research.
Methods of the research. The descriptive method, analysis of academic sources, generalization, and systematization were used as the methods in this study. Graphical representation and modeling methods were used to convey the position of the research.
2. Philosophy and paradigm of scientific research
2.1. Scientific research philosophy
Each researcher is guided by their own approach to the research itself. It is said that Mill  was the first who called representatives of social sciences to compete with ancient sciences, promising that if his advice was followed, the sudden maturity in these sciences would appear. In the same way as their education appeared from philosophical and theological frames that limited them. Social sciences accepted this advice (probably to a level that would have surprised Mill himself if he were alive) for other reasons as well [3, 13]. Research philosophy can be defined as the development of research assumption, its knowledge, and nature . The assumption is perceived as a preliminary statement of reasoning, but it is based on the philosophizing person’s knowledge and insights that are born as a product of intellectual activity. Hitchcock and Hughes  also claim that research stems from assumptions. This means that different researchers may have different assumptions about the nature of truth and knowledge and its acquisition . Scientific research philosophy is a method which, when applied, allows the scientists to generate ideas into knowledge in the context of research. There are four main trends of research philosophy that are distinguished and discussed in the works by many authors: the positivist research philosophy, interpretivist research philosophy, pragmatist research philosophy, and realistic research philosophy.
The opposite to the above-mentioned research philosophy is the interpretivist research philosophy, when a researcher states that on the basis of the principles it is not easy to understand the social world. Interpretivist research philosophy says that the social world can be interpreted in a subjective manner. The greatest attention here is given to understanding of the ways through which people experience the social world. Interpretivist research philosophy is based on the principle which states that the researcher performs a specific role in observing the social world. According to this research philosophy, the research is based and depends on what the researcher’s interests are.
2.1.1. Scientific research paradigm
The scientific research paradigm helps to define scientific research philosophy. Literature on scientific research claims that the researcher must have a clear vision of paradigms or worldview which provides the researcher with philosophical, theoretical, instrumental, and methodological foundations. Research of paradigms depends on these foundations . According to Cohen et al. , the scientific research paradigm can be defined as a wide structure encompassing perception, beliefs, and awareness of different theories and practices used to carry out scientific research. The scientific research paradigm is also characterized by a precise procedure consisting of several stages. The researcher, getting over the mentioned stages, creates a relationship between research aims and questions. The term of paradigm is closely related to the “normal science” concept. Scientists who work within the same paradigm frame are guided by the same rules and standards of scientific practice. “That is how the scientific community supports itself,” claims Ružas  citing the French post-positivist Kuhn .
The scientific research paradigm and philosophy depend on various factors, such as the individual's mental model, his worldview, different perception, many beliefs, and attitudes related to the perception of reality, etc. Researchers' beliefs and values are important in this concept in order to provide good arguments and terminology for obtaining reliable results. The researcher’s position in certain cases can have a significant impact on the outcome of the research . Norkus  draws attention to the fact that the specialists of some subjects of natural science are able by using free discussion to come to general conclusions the innovations of which are really “discoveries,” some of them are significant and some are not. Such consensus is difficult to achieve in social sciences. Academic philosophers claim this fact by the statement that “multi-paradigmatism” is characteristic to the humanities and social sciences, i.e., the permanent coexistence and competition of many different theoretical paradigms.
Gliner and Morgan  describe the scientific research paradigm as the approach or thinking about the research, the accomplishing process, and the method of implementation. It is not a methodology, but rather a philosophy which provides the process of carrying out research, i.e., directs the process of carrying out research in a particular direction. Ontology, epistemology, methodology, and methods describe all research paradigms [3, 10, 14]. Easterby-Smith et al.  discuss three main components of the scientific research paradigm, or three ways in order to understand the philosophy of research (Table 1).
|Components of research paradigm||Description|
|Epistemology||General parameters and assumptions associated with an excellent way to explore the real world nature.|
|Ontology||General assumptions created to perceive the real nature of society (in order to understand the real nature of society).|
|Methodology||Combination of different techniques used by the scientists to explore different situations.|
The three paradigms (positivist, constructivist, and critical) which are different by ontological, epistemological, and methodological aspects are also often included in the classification of scholarly paradigms . In addition, Mackenzie and Knipe  present unique analysis of research paradigms with the most common terms associated with them. According to Mackenzie and Knipe , the description of the terminology is consistent with the descriptions by Leedy and Ormrod  and Schram  appearing in literature most often, despite the fact that it is general rather than specific to disciplines or research. Somekh and Lewin  describe methodology as a set of methods and rules, on the basis of which the research is carried out, and as “the principles, theories and values underlying certain approach to research.” In Walter’s  opinion, methodology is the support research structure, which is influenced by the paradigm in which our theoretical perspective “lives” or develops. Mackenzie and Knipe  state that in most common definitions, it is claimed that methodology is a general approach to research related to the paradigm or theoretical foundation, and the method includes the systematic ways, procedures, or tools used for data collection and analysis (Figure 1).
Mackenzie and Knipe  state that it is the paradigm and the research question that should determine which data collection and analysis methods (qualitative/quantitative or mixed) would be the most appropriate for research. In this way, the researchers do not become “the researchers of quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods,” but they adapt the data collection and analysis method that is most suitable for a specific research. According to the authors, the use of several methods may be possible to adapt to any and all paradigms instead of having one single method that could potentially dilute and unnecessarily limit the depth and richness of the research project.
The scientific paradigm refers to a range of problems, by presenting ways of their solutions. The methods are detailed and compared in Table 2 with regard to the basic paradigms.
|The whole of theoretical and methodological assumptions (adopted by the scientific community), a specific research of which is based on||Existence theory, focused on what exists, is based on a particular paradigm assertions about reality and truth, and it is a theory about the nature of reality||The theory interested in how the researcher can gain knowledge about the phenomena of interest to him, namely, examination of what separates a reasonable assurance from the opinion||They include systematic ways, procedures, and tools used for data collection and analysis|
|Relativistic reality is socially or experimentally based, local, and specific in nature||The knowledge consists of mental structures that are surrounded by the relative agreements||Case studies, interview|
|Researcher and reality are inseparable||Knowledge is based on the abstract descriptions of meanings, formed of human experiences||Case studies, interviews, phenomenology, ethnography, ethnomethodology|
|Research and reality intertwine||Knowledge is created through social interactions and their resulting meanings||Grounded theory|
|The reality is ambiguous, but based on the language, history, and culture respect||Knowledge is derived from experience. The researcher restores subjectively assigned and “objective” meaning of other actions||Interview, case study, surveys|
|The reality is objective and perceived||Acquisition of knowledge is not related to values and moral content||Survey, experiment, quasi-experiment|
Although the paradigm has already been mentioned, but for the researcher, in order to understand different combinations of research methods, it is necessary to analyze the basic concepts and to perceive the philosophical position of research problems.
Kuhn  introduced the concept of paradigm (gr. paradeigma—example model) in the science philosophy. Kuhn calls a paradigm a generally accepted scientific knowledge achievement which provides the scientists with problem raising and solving methods for a period of time. According to the author, when some old ideas are being replaced by the new ones, i.e., better, more advanced, etc., then the progress in science is stated. In natural sciences, this is going on confirming the hypothesis by logical arguments and empirical research. When the scientific community reaches a consensus, there appears accepted theory on its basis . Bagdonas  describes a paradigm as the whole of theoretical and methodological regulations, that is, regulations adopted by the scientific community at a certain stage of development of science and applied as an example, the model, the standard for scientific research, interpretations, evaluation, and hypotheses to understand and solve objectives arising in the process of scientific knowledge. The transition from one competing paradigm to another is the transition from one non-commensurable thing to the other, and it cannot go step by step, promoted by logical and neutral experience .
A more detailed discussion of ontology requires the emphasis of the insights of various scientists. Hitchcock and Hughes  state that ontology is the theory of existence, interested in what exists, and is based on assertions of a particular paradigm about reality and truth. Other authors  simply identify it as a theory about the nature of reality. Hatch  notes that ontology is related to our assumptions about reality, i.e., whether reality is objective or subjective (existing in our minds). The most important questions that differentiated the research by far are threefold and depend on whether differences among assumptions are associated with different reality construction techniques (ontology) where, according to Denzin and Lincoln , the majority of questions asked are “what are the things in reality?” and “how do they really happen?”. Ontological questions are usually associated with real existence and operation matters , varying forms of knowledge about reality (epistemology), since epistemological questions help to ascertain the nature of relationship between the researcher and the respondent, and it is postulated that in order to make an assumption about the true reality, the researcher must follow the “objectivity and value distancing position” to find out what things are in reality, how they occur , and certain reality cognition techniques (methodology). With the help of methodological questions, the researcher mostly tries to figure out ways by which he can get to know his concerns .
Further analysis of the epistemology terminology presents different interpretations by various authors. For example, according to Brewerton and Millward , epistemology refers to the examination of what separates reasonable assurance from the opinion. According to Walker and Evers , generally speaking, epistemology is interested in how the researcher can receive knowledge about the phenomena of interest to him. Wiersma and Jurs  describe epistemology as a research which attempts to clarify the possibilities of knowledge, the boundaries, the origin, the structure, methods and justice, and the ways in which this knowledge can be obtained, confirmed, and adjusted. Hitchcock and Hughes , talking about the impact on epistemology, emphasize that it is very big for both data collection methods and research methodology. Hatch  highlights the idea that epistemology is concerned with knowledge—specific questions presented by the epistemology researchers are how people create knowledge, what the criteria enabling the distinction of good and bad knowledge are, and how should reality be represented or described? Epistemology is closely related to ontology, because the answers to these questions depend on the ontological assumptions about the nature of reality and, in turn, help to create them. Sale et al. , Cohen et al. , and Denzin and Lincoln  note that epistemological assumptions often arise from ontological assumptions. The former encourage a tendency to focus on methods and procedures in the course of research. Šaulauskas  points out that, in general, modern Western philosophy is a “pure” epistemology establishment, and its systemic dissemination vector is basically the reduction of the whole theoretical vision of gender in epistemological discussion.
It is said that in order to understand the reality there are three main types of paradigms to be employed, namely positivism, interpretivism, and realism. The conception of positivism is directly related to the idea of objectivism. Using this philosophical approach, the researchers express their views in order to assess the social world, and instead of subjectivity, they refer to objectivity . Under this paradigm, researchers are interested in general information and large-scale social data collection rather than focusing on details of the research. In line with this position, the researchers' own personal attitudes are not relevant and do not affect the scientific research. Positivist philosophical approach is most closely associated with the observations and experiments, used for collection of numerical data . In the sphere of management research, interpretivism can still be called social constructionism. With this philosophical point of view, the researchers take into account their views and values so that they could justify the problem posed in the research . Kirtiklis  notes that while positivistic philosophy critical trend encourages strict separation of scientific problems solved by research from “speculative” philosophical problems and thus rejects the philosophy, the other trend, called interpretivism, on the contrary, states that philosophy cannot be strictly separated from social sciences, but it must be incorporated or blended into them. With the help of this philosophy, the scientists focus on the facts and figures corresponding to the research problem. This type of philosophical approach makes it possible to understand specific business situations. Using it, the researchers use small data samples and assess them very carefully in order to grasp the attitudes of larger population segments . Realism, as a research philosophy, focuses on reality and beliefs existing in a certain environment. Two main branches of this philosophical approach are direct and critical realism . Direct realism is what an individual feels, sees, hears, etc. On the other hand, in critical realism, the individuals discuss their experience in specific situations . It is a matter of social constructivism, as individuals try to justify their own values and beliefs.
Analyzing other types of paradigms, in a sense, not qualified as the main, constructivism, symbolic interpretivism, pragmatism should be mentioned. The constructivism paradigm in some classifications of paradigms is called the “interpretative paradigm” . There is no other definition in ontology, epistemology, and methodology; both approaches  have a common understanding of the complex world experience from the perspective of the individuals having this experience. The constructivists point out that various interpretations are possible because we have multiple realities. According to Onwuegbuzie , the reality for constructivists is a product of the human mind, which develops socially, and this changes the reality. The author states that there is dependence between what is known and who knows. So, for this reason, the researcher must become more familiar with what is being researched. Analyzing symbolic interpretivism through the prism of ontology, it can be said that it is the belief that we cannot know the external or objective existence apart from our subjective understanding of it; that, what exists, is what we agree on that it exists (emotion and intuition: experience forms behind the limits of the five senses). Analyzing symbolic interpretivism through epistemological aspect, all knowledge is related to the one who knows and can be understood only in terms of directly related individuals; the truth is socially created through multiple interpretations of knowledge objects created in this way, and therefore they change over time . Pikturnaitė and Paužuolienė  note that scientists in most cases when analyzing organizational culture communication and dissemination examine the behavior, language, and other informal aspects that need to be observed, understood, and interpreted. Pragmatism, as a philosophy trend, considers practical thinking and action ways as the main, and the criterion of truth is considered for its practical application. However, as noted by Ružas  who analyzed Kuhn’s approach , since there are many ways of the world outlook and it is impossible to prove that one of them is more correct than the other, it should be stated only that in the science development process, they change each other.
The theories, according to which this research concentrates on the management culture development-level setting for the implementation of corporate social responsibility, are presented in Figure 2, which distinguishes organizational culture levels and their interaction. Figure 3 defines corporate social responsibility stages that reflect the scientific research philosophy and the paradigm of this survey.
In order to relatively “separate” management culture from organizational culture, one must look into their component elements of culture. For this reason, below organizational culture levels and components forming them are discussed in detail.
According to Schein [45, 46], artifacts are described as the “easiest” observed level, that is, what we see, hear, and feel. The author presents a model that if you happen to go to organizations, you can immediately feel their uniqueness in the way “they perform the work,” that is, open-space office against closed-door offices; employees freely communicating with each other against the muted environment; and formal clothing against informal clothing. However, according to the author, “you should be careful by appealing to these attributes when deciding whether we like or do not like the organization, whether it is operating successfully or unsuccessfully, as at this observation stage it is not clear why organizations present themselves and interact with one another in such a particular way.” Schein [45, 46] elaborates the supported values by considerations that “in order to better understand and decipher why the observed matters happen on the first level, people within the organization should be asked to explain that. For example, what happens when it is established that two similar organizations have very similar company values recorded in documents and published, principles, ethics and visions in which their employees believe and adhere to – i.e., described as their culture and reflecting their core values – for all that, the natural formation and working styles of the two organizations are very different, even if they have similar supported values?” According to the author, in order to see these “imbalances,” you need to realize that “unhindered behavior leads to a deeper level of thought and perception.” In shared mental models, for understanding this “deeper” level of culture, one should study the history of the organization, that is, what were the original values, beliefs, and assumptions of its founders and key leaders, which led to the success of the organization? Over time they have become common and are accepted as self-evident as soon as new members of the organization realized that the original values, beliefs, and assumptions of its founders led to organizational success, that is, through common cognition/assimilation of “correct” values, beliefs, and assumptions. Cultural levels distinguished by Schein [45, 46] can be “transferred” to the organizational culture iceberg levels formed by French and Bel . According to the authors [45, 46, 47, 48, 51], visible organizational structures consist of ceremonies, communication, heroes, habits, management methods, and so on. French and Bel  distinguish between these formal and informal elements of organizational culture: formal—aims, technology, structure, skills and abilities, financial resources; informal—approaches, values; feelings—anger, fear, frustration, etc.; and interaction group rates. Franklin and Pagan  detail the formal and informal structure of organizational culture factors, allocating them into tangible and intangible factors. Tangible factors (formal or officially authorized) are socialization and/or acculturation experience (if the organization takes care of timely and detailed orientation, it is more likely that the manager will use the process of formal discipline); written documents (if the manager is presented with the relevant policy and relevant procedures, it is more likely that the manager will use the formal discipline process); training (if the organization organizes training on discipline issues, it is more likely that the manager will use the formal discipline process); and structure of the organization (if the organization provides the power to the manager and if the manager has more control, it is more likely that the manager will use the formal discipline process). Intangible factors (informal or informally developed)  include problematic employees (if the employee does not have good professional skills or high position, it is more likely that the manager will use the formal discipline process); socialization/acculturation which manifests itself in the human resource management subdivision activities (if the manager’s solutions are supported and not devalued by organizational management, it is more likely that the manager will use the formal discipline process); the same social status people (if other managers focus on formal discipline process, it is more likely that the manager will use the formal discipline process); groups outside work (if systems of values, partly overlapping, cherished by groups outside, strengthen the organizational culture-supported expectations, it is more likely that the manager will use the formal discipline process). Krüger  formed the change management iceberg which deals with both visible and invisible barriers in the organization. With the help of this iceberg, there is an attempt to force the management to look into the hidden challenges that need to be overcome in order to implement changes in the organization. Iceberg model is relevant to the submitted research presented in this book in the way that implementation of corporate social responsibility is considered as a strong change in the activities of the organization. As stated by Krüger , the change management iceberg is best perceived by managers who understand that the most obvious change obstacles that need to be overcome, such as cost, quality, and time, are only the top of the iceberg, and more complicated obstacles, which have more influence, lie below. The foundation of change management theory is based on the fact that many managers tend to focus only on the obvious obstacles, instead of paying more attention to more complex issues, such as perceptions, beliefs, power, and politics. The theory also distinguishes implementation types (based on what change must take place) and the strategy that should be used. Another aspect of this theory is the people involved in the changes and to what extent they can promote changes or contradict them. So, Krüger  argues that the basis for change is directly related to the management of perceptions, beliefs, power, and politics. If managers understand how this is related to the creation of obstacles, according to the author, they will be able to better implement the changes that they want to perform in their organizations.
It is not enough to analyze only a single component of management culture without evaluation of the entirety. Management culture analysis and changes require a systematic approach, on the basis of which management culture system is presented in the research and its diagnostics is carried out. Having discussed the management culture through formal and informal organizational culture elements, it is appropriate to introduce imputed corporate social responsibility development stages. Figure 4 presents the corporate social responsibility implementation guidelines and corporate social responsibility application plan , together with the supplements of the authors of the book that extend implementation guidelines identified in the plan for the preparation aiming for corporate social responsibility establishment and management system evaluation, which are significant in further process of corporate social responsibility implementation.
Although the plan recommended by Ruževičius  is meant for the companies managed by the public sector, it is estimated that it was prepared in accordance with standards applied in companies operating in the free market, regardless of the origin of the capital. Control system evaluation, which is associated with the previously discussed management culture, is an important process chain because the volume of resource use, cost amounts, and timing as well as ultimate effect depend on its functionality. In addition, it is proposed to assess the possibility of the organization's retreat from corporate social responsibility (shareholders’ change, company restructuring, economic conditions and other relevant circumstances, changes influencing decisions), but it could be part of separate research that this study does not develop.
When preparing the research, it was based on academic literature and the insights of experts by using the original questionnaires made by the authors. The employees of two groups of companies, having different socio-demographic characteristics, occupying different positions in organizations are interviewed, and the data obtained are analyzed statistically and interpreted. In this study, the reliability of a specially developed research instrument is argued, and the main focus is on the factors of management culture that influences the implementation of corporate social responsibility at organizational level, as well as evaluating the corporate staff reactions and participation in processes. During the interviews with managers, the management culture as a formal expression of the organizational culture aiming at implementation of corporate social responsibility is revealed.
In this book, great attention is paid to statistical verification of instruments and model in order to be able to make recommendations to the organization management practitioners.
Philosophy of expert evaluation is based on the increasing demand of the versatility of the compiled instrument, and its content suitability for distinguished scales and subscales. The target of this research is to determine the surplus statements, not giving enough necessary information, as well as setting the statements where the content information not only verifies the honesty of the respondent, but also obviously reiterates. Philosophy of expert assessment is based on the research instrument content quality assurance, so that it would consist of statements, revealing in detail the research phenomena and enabling the achievement of the set goal of the research.
The philosophy of expert evaluation is based on the need to increase the versatility of the compiled instrument and its content suitability for derived scales and subscales. This research aims to determine the methodological and psychometric characteristics of the questionnaire with respect to a relatively small sample size, representing the situation of one organization. After eliminating the documented shortcomings during the exploratory research, the aim is to prepare an instrument featuring high methodological and psychometric characteristics, suitable for further research analyzing the cases of different sample sizes and different organizations.
The basic (quantitative and qualitative) research philosophy is based on perception of research data significance, importance for the public, and the principle of objectivity. In order to minimize subjectivity and guarantee reliability and the possibility of further discussions, quantitative research findings are based on conclusion (statistical generalization) and qualitative contextual understanding (analytic generalization). Both research results are presented in detail, openly showing the research organization and implementation process.