Methodology is generally a guideline for solving a problem, with specific components such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools [1]. It can be defined also as follows:

  1. "the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline";[2]
  2. "the systematic study of methods that are, can be, or have been applied within a discipline".[2]
  3. the study or description of methods [3]


Relation to methods and theories

Generally speaking, methodology does not describe specific methods despite the attention given to the nature and kinds of processes to be followed in a given procedure or in attaining an objective. When proper to a study of methodology, such processes constitute a constructive generic framework; thus they may be broken down in sub-processes, combined, or their sequence changed.[4] As such, methodology may entail a description of generic processes, philosophical concepts or theories related to a particular discipline or field of inquiry. Similarly methodology refers to the rationale and/or the philosophical assumptions that underlie a particular study or a particular methodology (for example, the scientific method). In scholarly literature a section on the methodology of the researchers is typically de rigueur.

Relation to paradigm and algorithm

In theoretical work, the development of paradigms[5] satisfies most or all of the criteria for methodology. A paradigm, like an algorithm, is a constructive framework, meaning that the so-called construction is a logical, rather than a physical, array of connected elements.


  1. ^ Irny, S.I. and Rose, A.A. (2005) “Designing a Strategic Information Systems Planning Methodology for Malaysian Institutes of Higher Learning (isp- ipta), Issues in Information System, Volume VI, No. 1, 2005
  2. ^ a b Methodology, entry at Merriam–Webster
  3. ^ Baskerville, R. (1991). "“Risk Analysis as a Source of Professional Knowledge”". Computers & Security 10 (8): 749–764. 
  4. ^ Katsicas, Sokratis K. (2009) "35" Computer and Information Security Handbook Morgan Kaufmann Pubblications Elsevier Inc p. 605 ISBN 978-0-12-374354-1 
  5. ^ See, for example, Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago, 1970, 2nd ed.)

Further reading

  • Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • James, E. Alana, Slater, T. and Bucknam, A. (2011). Action Research for Business, Nonprofit, and Public Administration - A Tool for Complex Times . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Guba, E. and Lincoln, Y. (1989). Fourth Generation Evaluation. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications.
  • Herrman, C. S. (2009). “Fundamentals of Methodology”, a series of papers On the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN), online.
  • Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
  • Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, W. A. Neilson, T. A. Knott, P. W. Carhart (eds.), G. & C. Merriam Company, Springfield, MA, 1950.
  • Joubish, Farooq Dr. (2009). Educational Research Department of Education, Federal Urdu University,Karachi,Pakistan.

External links

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  • methodology — [n] methods approach, channels, design, manner, mode, plan, practice, procedure, process, program, style, technique, way; concepts 6,644 …   New thesaurus

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  • methodology — UK [ˌmeθəˈdɒlədʒɪ] / US [ˌmeθəˈdɑlədʒɪ] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms methodology : singular methodology plural methodologies formal the methods and principles used for doing a particular kind of work, especially scientific or academic… …   English dictionary

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