Why as it will enable me to understand, for

Why an Interpretivism Philosophy?


         The way a researcher conducts any
empirical study relies on how the researcher perceives the world and know about
it. Some researchers view that every individual experiences the same realty and
that they can observe and generalise it worldwide. However, there is another
school of thought which rejects the above view of an objective reality. They
argue that reality comes into being through one’s experience of the world and
how they make meaning of it. Thus, not everyone experiences the world in a
similar fashion like objects. Individuals have unique experiences which
requires a subjective investigation to understand it in-depth which
characterises interpretivism school of thought.

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study will adopt interpretivism as it will allow the researchers to interpret intertwined
elements subjectively, for instance, the underlying conditions that formed
Hoffice and the characteristics of a hoffice. This philosophy has been
integrated into the study because the interpretation method is based on
criticism of positive social sciences which rejects the idea that reality exists
objective of human presence (Fraser & Pechenkina, 2016). Alternatively, it
is imperative to highlight here that interpretivism is used in the current
study for importance of the research related to the research question, as well
as questions related to the research problem, rather than focusing on the
research method or thinking that interpretivism is better than positivism in
conducting an empirical study.


world is not seen in a unilateral way or pure reality (Walliman, 2015).
Instead, interpretivism research philosophy sees to select the subjective
aspects of research methods that can best answer the study needs.  Therefore, research in this study sought
interpretivism philosophy for collecting and analyzing data as this philosophy
makes a report of the truth that works on a particular example, instead of
emphasizing reality that is independent of the mind. Moreover, interpretivism allows
researcher to discover how and what aspects of a research phenomenon, rather
than making research based on the proposed results. Thus, it is considered
suitable as it will enable me to understand, for example, how hofficer(s)
interact. For the current research issue, interpretivist philosophy aims at
interpreting the various elements of research where the researcher emphasises
on integrating the human aspect in the study (Creswell and Poth, 2017). Based
on this research philosophy, researchers tend to assume that access to social
reality could only be achieved by means of social constructions, such as
consciousness, language, instruments, and shared meanings.


is chosen as it allows the researcher to assess the difference between people
in empirical studies. In addition, interpretivist studies are usually focused
on meaning and can use many methods to reflect different aspects of the matter.
Therefore, the researcher will adopt interpretivist philosophy because this
approach will enable me to investigate an individual’s unique opinion to understand
what led to the success of hoffice(s) in the United Kingdom.


interpretivism seems appropriate to analyse and understand the reasons which
cause growth of Hoffices in UK because the researcher would identify specific
issues regarding the evolution of work in office spaces. These issues would be
determined with the help of already established literature research through which
researcher would look into coworking spaces. Based on using the interpretivist
research approach, the researcher would use inductive research approach
(Saunders et, 2009) because the researcher aims to analyse the data by means of
using empirical observation and then applying these observations to establish
the specific theory that leads to the development and emergence of Hoffices.
These would then be interpreted where interpretivism research approach play an important


The roots of interpretivism can be traced back in the
history of philosophy where Max Weber constructed an ideal type to explore the
social world. In regard to this, the philosophy of interpretivism is chosen
because its various constructs have impacted the development of research
phenomenon and helped the understanding of researcher of the underlying reasons
for Hoffices. The thoughts of Boas are reflected in interpretivism and
anti-positivism to understand the verstehen sociology in the study of social
sciences which is also supported by Georg Simmel and Max Weber (Chowdhury, 2014).
In regard to this, interpretivism is chosen because it has combined both causal
analysis and verstehen in the realm of interpretive sociology of Weber where
the history of using this approach to understand the social world has gained
immense interest. Verstehen depicts a complex process through which individuals
tend to interpret meanings of their actions in routine life and also interpret
meanings of those with whom they interact (Chepp and Gray, 2014).


interpretivism as a paradigm will further allow me to understand the reality of
my research participants i.e. hofficer(s) through the experiences that they had.
For instance, through narratives of their interviews in this case I can aim to understand
why particular individuals joined hoffice and why others didn’t. This is the
focus of hermeneutics which studies experiences of individuals to unravel their
reality. Besides this, symbolic interactionists within the interepretivist
school of thought observes (Ragab and Arisha, 2017) individual actions and tries
to make sense of them through common symbols and meanings. By means of looking
at meanings and symbols, the goal of the researcher is to link what has
happened than to determine the cause of research issue. For instance, this
approach can unravel what type of interactions takes place within hoffice(s) by
allocating common symbols but cannot highlight the antecedents and consequences
of the interaction which is equally important in this particular study. In
addition to this, Lindlof and Taylor (2017) argued that the issue of using
symbolic interaction is despite the fact that researcher tries to communicate
the precise meaning, the potential exact meanings might be claimed by the other
member studying the similar research phenomenon. Hence, it is analysed that
every symbol that appears when communicating with the hosts of Hoffices would
have several different meanings where these symbols could be more likely
interpreted in different ways by different people.



Social Constructivism?


constructivism as a research paradigm is derived from the interpretivist (phenomenological-
Alvesson et al, 2009) research philosophy is considered to be more effective in
understanding the reason explaining the rise of hoffice through its members as this kind of virtual
workspaces are the most nascent, personalised and individualistic (not individualised)
form of workspace. Therefore, the reason to choose
constructivism is to keep up with the position of relativism, which allows for
many different, distinctive and valid realities (Ponterotto, 2005, p. 29).  Also, constructivists maintain the notion that
reality is built in the mind of an individual, rather than being an external
unit. In regard to this, it can be argued that hoffices didn’t exist on their
own rather it gained its existence when individuals came together and
transformed a personal space (like their home) to a workable arena which
further highlights the influence of an individuals’ mind in reality creation.


Ponterotto (2005) argues that often the meanings and knowledge are hidden that
needs to be moved to the surface with profound thinking that can be encouraged
by interaction between the participant and the investigator. Therefore,
constructivist takes on reality as the construction of human mind, and thus,
subjective interaction seems to be the only key access to the real world (Guba,
1990). Similarly, Gergen (1978) emphasized the importance of a reflexive
dialogue to challenge the taken for granted assumptions that may have emerged
through a collective process of knowledge formation. Thus, in regard to data
collection methods, I plan to conduct in-depth interviews (face to face
prolonged discussion) as this will provide me a platform to seek details of hofficer(s)
taken for granted reality which they are not consciously aware of, for instance,
in regard to why they work in hoffice(s). 


addition to the above perspective, Kenneth and Gergen (in Denzin and Lincoln,
1994) argues that the reality is created through subjectively shared meanings, i.e.
the world of knowledge is created through the social exchange between
individuals and society. According to them, knowledge is not abstract or
objective, rather it is always tied to some human practice. In other words, it
emphasises the influence of social, cultural and economic contexts in the
creation of reality. Thus, the study will resort to this particular approach as
it provides a platform to understand the social, economic, and cultural
contexts behind the increase of Hoffices in the United Kingdom.   


reason to use social constructivism is because the research prefers to
intervene both the convenor and the members of Hoffice to understand the
underlying conditions that formed Hoffice, the reasons behind working in a
hoffice, the kind of interaction takes place within a hoffice, and the
antecedents of social interaction within a hoffice. Basically, the study wishes
to understand the reason behind the rise of hoffice from its members. Taking
into consideration all of these research issues, the constructivism research
philosophy asserts that where reality is mind-based, subject-sensitive and
knowledgeable, social demand is worthwhile and value-added. People and
individuals are inevitably affected by their values, which describes what idea
researcher choose for the query, the choice of content which needs to be
learnt, the methods which can be chosen to collect and analyse data, how the
researcher interpret the results, and how the researcher reported the results
(Kukla, 2000, p. 56).


as a constructivist, the researcher in the current context acknowledges the
value-laden nature of the study and explains the proposed connection to the
substance being investigated that may affect neutrality. Another reason that
leads to select this research approach is that the researcher is a social
constructivist in perspective, so it is believed that qualitative researchers
are inevitably subjective and research results are synced between investigators
and respondents. Also, the researcher also has to subscribe the Achilles heel
of the constructivism, the interpretation problem, also known as ‘Why should I
believe in the version of events over someone else’, although, social
constructivism has got an available capture card for it where the researcher
prefers a very socially stimulating learning environment. Based on the research
issue under consideration, the researcher prefers learning about the causes of
development of Hoffice by means of dialogue between the Hoffice members and the


one of the significant reasons to use social constructivism is related to data
quality which works in tandem with this research paradigm. In regard to this,
the approach to quality in this research is focused by the understanding of
researcher regarding socially-constructed world that is Hoffices. It also leads
to development of useful research outcomes. From the constructionist mind set,
qualitative research design leads to new and improved methods of inquiry while
emphasizing greatly on storytelling as well as relationship between participant
and the researcher while carrying out narrative research (Berger and Luckmann,
1991, p. 48). As one of the research questions relates to determining the kind
of interaction that takes place within a hoffice, this could be best determined
when the relationship between researcher and participant is amicable where
participants would significantly focus on depicting responses in a storytelling
form. Hence, social constructivism in this research is not just considered as
one thing, nor single approach or theory, but it is perceived as a creative
research which allows expanded and new ways of thinking along with talking
relating to the concepts.


the use of social constructivism theory will help in uncovering the perception
of hosts in Hoffices about what attracts members to join a particular hoffice,
what are the antecedents and consequences of social interaction within
hoffices, and what are their reasons behind working in a hoffice. Besides, the
social constructivists also focus on the notion that knowledge is built as a
result of understanding which evolved from process of shared agreement which
are connected with language, traditions, as well as community culture (Lin,
2015; Vall Castelló, 2016). Therefore, it is believed that members find
hoffices based on their culture and researcher. Thus, using this approach, will
help to gain better understanding of the hosts’ experiences. On the other hand,
social constructivism approach is chosen because it serves as a vehicle to help
the researcher for maintaining a sense of self-awareness when interacting with
members of Hoffices. Therefore, using this approach was helpful to understand
how the creation of Hoffices has become a social construct for both members and
the society.