Positivism is a more dominant approach in natural science and is concerned with causal explanation such as patterns and regularities in events. As such, this is an important methodology in the social sciences and particularly in business research. Within a positivist methodology, the ontological assumptions view the social world as an external environment, where definite structures affect people in similar ways, and where people understand and react to these structures in similar ways. The epistemological assumptions in this approach are that the researcher is independent of what is being researched and their role is to observe and measure social structures. A positivist approach is therefore deductive in nature; for example, taking a theory from literature and researching it to confirm or refute the proposition.

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