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Normative Theories and Their Influence on Empirical Research

Sylke Meyerhuber

Abstract

The author is a social psychologist, inviting the reader into an exploration of the normative system underpinning her research work as a scientist. From the viewpoint of qualitative research and in favour of issues concerning social sustainability in organisations, she first delineates general normative theory frameworks that influence her empirical work. Furthermore, the author reflects in which respect paradigms and methods provide parts of the normative theory influencing the work of research; foremost by example of the not yet internationally introduced “Core-Sentence Method” which operationalises research ideals in the tradition of symbolic interactionism. Overall, she perceives several “layers of normative theories” or more simply put, value-and-belief systems - rooted in personality, field of expertise, further professional and research paradigms, and concrete methods -, culminating in a guiding compass for scientific professionalism and identity.

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