African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4092


A review of philosophical assumptions in management research

  Kee Mun WONG*, Ghazali MUSA and Edward Sek Khin WONG      
  Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 August 2011
  •  Published: 23 November 2011




Epistemology, a branch of philosophy, examines and contributes as a theory of knowledge by considering the nature and definition of knowledge as being truth within certain limitations while ontology defines the nature of being, entities that can exist and their categories in groups, hierarchies, or divisions. The main aim of this paper is to embrace on the pre-understanding of epistemology and ontology, regardless of their schools of thought as it will provide them the proper guidance and a philosophical dualist perspective. Four domains of epistemic assumptions have been identified but one is incoherent due to the mismatch between epistemology and ontology. Though each epistemic assumption has its own interpretation in management research, there is no particular domain that can be considered right or wrong, perfect or imperfect. A proper and effective research design is the major concern in management research, where the researcher’s epistemic and methodological self-directed actions or reflexivity may put an essence in it.
Key words: Philosophy, epistemology, ontology, reflexivity, management research.