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Functions of research in the field of human relations

Questions raised by theorists in the field of human relations require constant interplay between observation and explanation of the human relationship phenomenon. The advance of rational explanations involves two related procedures: theory construction and theory testing. Theory construction is usually based on the field-tested observations with the afterward reasoning resulting from the actual “grounded” experiences.

Other researchers call it post factum or ex post facto theories (Fox, 2000). Obviously, this is not enough to simply collect data, for parallel rationalization of the event phenomenon calls for more detailed explanations. The pattern of thought that is involved in building a theory is called inductive reasoning for the researcher builds from the minute details into the rationalized thoughts that are drawn from those observations. According to Gersten, R.

(2001), theory testing uses the deductive reasoning in which the researcher starts with the theory, breaking it down to the practical components to test them in the real world applications. If his or her predictions (hypotheses) are correct that provides the support to the theory. If the hypotheses happen to be wrong that the researcher blames such on either of the three possible causes: 1) the theory conclusions may be wrong in its entirety or presumed to work in the wrong circumstances, 2) the induction process is faulty, 3) the procedures involved in gathering data were faulty.

Thus, theory developing and theory testing are needed to study the specific phenomenon and being able to reason why that phenomenon produces given characteristics. To handle the complexities behind the theory construction and theory testing, especially in the human relations field, the social theorists came up with the specific ways of doing so. It is not difficult to imagine that one and only way to conduct the inductive – deductive continuum is limiting and not inclusive.

One of the research types that are typically used is the descriptive research in which the theorists would ask ‘what’ questions rather than attempt to answer ‘why they are that way. ’ When applied to human relations, the descriptive research can be very specific as to describing each party accordingly to demographics, circumstances, and their environment. Ability to describe those variables well can mean the difference between understanding and not understanding the commonalities and differences and the causal effect among those variables.

For example, when the researcher try to explain the differences in family members interactions during the beginning of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century, he or she would have to provide the best possible descriptives that involve such environmental characteristics as the country politics, economics, prevalent attitudes, demographics, education, and a lot of other variables. Good description of each variable will become a cornerstone and the foundation to the solid inductive theory. It is more of the existential perspective or the way things are. Descriptive research can be done by several different methods.

If the researcher desires to describe the average family 100 years ago, it will be impossible to survey them for people of that era are long bygone. Thus, the inquiry of their contemporaries that might include some historical research is the most logical option. To describe elements of interaction within a family that lives today, the personal survey tools might become very effective. If the method is widely acceptable in the similar type of research it will be usually up to a researcher to which one to choose to best suit his or her time, financial, and other constraints (Hammersley, 2002).

Explanatory research approaches the problem at hand from a different perspective. It deals mostly with causal relationships from the point of view of explanation behind the occurrence of the certain event. To develop a theory from this perspective, the researcher would look at the occurred event from the perspective of what caused it to happen. The causal model that is developed as the result of such an inquiry becomes a theory that needs to be tested to prove or disprove the original tenet.

For example, if the social researcher looks at the increased rate of teenage suicide during the last decade and examines the given phenomenon from the explanatory perspective, he or she would probably start with the events (or relationships) that might cause the occurrence of suicide. The questions of human relations researcher might evolve around the differences in quality or constancy in relationships that the youngsters experience during this decade versus those they did a decade ago. The research focus in this case might be the search for a difference in the youngsters’ relationships and attitude toward those.

Another type of research is qualitative. Myburgh, Poggenpoel & Der Linde (2001) opened a debate of preference in quantitative or qualitative research. Either camp argues its valid points, however, qualitative researchers add one more and very important position: the measure of the personal attitude. The authors pointed out that quantitative researchers when following the quantitative research steps appropriately “objectify the human being” and if the research is about humans and their attitudes and interrelations such is unacceptable.

This additional point argues and accepts our humanity as being the important criteria for making future decisions. The qualitative research thus makes sense when dealing with the human beings (Myburgh et al. , 2001). Perhaps the readers might perceive an important distinction: the quantitative research is necessary but it is better and safer to conduct when the researchers are not dealing with the human beings. There is no point in argument that each of us views the environment (and interactions) using unique perception.

Objectifying such worldview does not and will not serve the scientific purpose neither will be accurate. If the research is about finding the right answers in human relations conundrum, then accuracy is very importance. Thus approaching the human attitudes from the blanket approach defies any logic. Qualitative researchers offer an important tool in their formation of theory: the survey. The survey questions can be designed to any degree of the personal attitude but most importantly bring into the equation the attitudes of the participants rather than that of the researcher.

Such a shift renders the research process to become participant-centered rather than researcher-centered. A researcher can approach almost any kind of human relations research question using qualitative research principles. When forming a theory (using inductive thinking process) it can be very important from which source the inductive thought is derived: from the participants’ reactions to their environment or from the researcher’s interpretations. The latter might (and usually is) is corroded with the researcher’s attitudes and worldviews, and as the result his or her conclusions are subjective.

When the research done with human participants and their relations such contamination can grossly corrupt the concluding statements. For example, studying human relations from negative perspective will always raise a question whose negative perspective is contaminating the popular opinion. Like in, Flower (2004) admits that human relations in its root are mostly unsatisfactory which is due to eithet constraints applied by the society or subjective and aggressive nature of humans.

There were many attempts to understand the grounds behind the conflict between people in different aspects of human life. Accorrding to his secondary sources most human relations are based and grounded to either: the expression of human sexuality or human hunger to posses things while admitting that the thought is currectly directed to view human relations from the lenses of the male-centered scheme. Here, we can stop and pause directing our attention the subjectivity of the last statement.

The male-centerism might exists only within the mind of the beholder but might not be a good explanation of the causal effects. To be more objective, the research in human relations should consider various facets of interrelationships among humans in every aspect of their life. It cannot be isolating (i. e. considering only sexually based human relations or industrial organizational-based relations) but be systemic approach researching the overt and covert causal effects that lead to the relations or is the effect of those.

Designing such research around the participants (participant-centered) will render it more objective than subjective. In such other authors identified the research from either functional, fundamental, or matter-of-fact types of research (Flower, 2004). To contrast with the methodology of the research types that was prentd in the above discourse, this approach directs one’s view into the perspective of the research continuum itself. In such, fundumentalists view the research from the perspective of presumption.

Its blueprint is not restricted by the sensible expediency of the results. It is also intended to recognize the primary ideologies behind individual actions. For instance, one may strive to explain what inspires persons to endeavor into the specific relationship. The researcher, at this thought, would enter a few presumptions that later will be tested by the described methodologies. The subjective nature of such approach might corrode the resuptions because those come from the attitudes of the researcher.

On the other hand, functional research is related to the presentation of how the results can be used or summed up into a number of forms of function. The researcher would focus more on the explanatory chain of events (see above) as those would define function. The researcher would try to get to the bottom of things by looking at the logical chains of cause and effect and seeing them as function of something or to something. And lastly, matter-of-fact research sets off a supplementary pace and relates the results of the specific research to a particular sensible state of affairs.

It also incorporates research data into the unidentified variables and is it is employed when a person is examining a thing, which nevertheless actually does not appreciate every part or is not totally sure what he or she is looking for. As Flower (2004) argued research in the field should not be attempted as an individual’s endeavor but conducted by the groups of various sciences for such a human condition does not belong to one and only field of human endevour. It can be intended at ascertaining, construing, and developing group understanding on various facets of the human race.

It should adapt, therefore, the systemic approach that is the summation and cumulative effect of many inter-relating fileds that study the effect of human relation in various applications of human life. Such should not be dependent on the use of technical standard for relational aspect is the variable that can change any output in the relation equation. However, the logical calculations of the human relation equation are possible on the basis of the handling down the logical data and principles for the account of the characters of humans in connection to the field.

The knowledge, understanding, and experience in human relations of different aspect manifestations is a valuable asset not just of specialists in human resources but also as indirect professional characteristic as a make up of different professions, ranging from educators, to counselors, to management, to sales, to psychologists, to medical practioners, and other numerous human endevour. Each of the above practical applications of human endevour does not specifically limit the practitioner of being skilled in human relations but nevertheless requires at times deep understanding and much experience in such.

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