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Integrating the Major Research Methodologies Used in Sustainable Development

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Posted By: yschachter Views: 261
Date Added: Thu, Sep 07 2006

By Barrett Brown

Keywords: quadrants, phenomenology, structuralism, hermeneutics, ethnomethodology, autopoiesis, empiricism, social autopoiesis, systems theory, research methodologies, Integral Methodological Pluralism, sustainable development

Eight major research methodologies for sustainable development are explained. An integration of the knowledge from each is claimed to provide the most comprehensive and inclusive understanding of sustainable development initiatives which is available to date. The eight major methodologies are: structuralism, phenomenology, empiricism, autopoiesis, ethnomethodology, hermeneutics, systems theory, and systems autopoiesis. The meta-methodology of using them all is called Integral Methodological Pluralism (IMP), and is part of Integral Theory, as developed by Ken Wilber. Seven other research methodologies are explained and contextualized within IMP. They are: quantitative and behavioral science research; ethnography; action research; evaluation research; comparative-historical inquiry; theoretical inquiry; and critical social science. The conclusion is that each of the eight methodologies of IMP provides unique, valid, and reliable data for sustainable development research and practice. To ignore any of them is to potentially risk overseeing forces or important dynamics that can support or thwart any sustainable development initiative. To include all of them is proposed as the next evolutionary step in sustainable development research and practice, one that is considered necessary if humanity is to achieve social, ecological, and economic sustainability worldwide. [Co-Director’s note: this paper involves the following elements of Integral Theory: quadrants of development. The paper focuses on the framework of Integral Methodological Pluralism. – Barrett]


BarrettBrown said:

If you ever wanted to better understand what Integral Methodological Pluralism is, this is the place to start.
Fri, Mar 30 2007 6:55 PM
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