The challenge of using a 'non-positivist' paradigm and getting through the peer-review process Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2020

start page

  • 37

end page

  • 48


  • 1


  • 31

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0954-5395

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1748-8583


  • In this study, using the comments made by reviewers of an interpretive article as evidence, I highlight some typical methodological objections to interpretive manuscripts. These objections are focussed on issues such as the way in which the research question must be formulated, the degree of a priori theorisation in a field study, the role performed by the researchers, the goal of triangulation, the desirable number of cases or the standards to be used to assess the quality of the studies. I suggest that qualitative positivism is often used as a ‘template" from which to provide the 'right way' of addressing those issues and that this positivist bias may be hindering and even preventing the introduction of new and alternative ways of seeing and theorising. I conclude the work by advocating for a greater presence of interpretivism within the International human resource management field and offering some recommendations to authors to improve the prospects of getting their work published.


  • Business


  • peer-review process; phenomenological interpretivism; pluralism; qualitative positivism; research paradigms