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21 JULY 2013

Validity Concepts in Research: an Integrative Approach

"Research involves drawing upon elements and relations from three basic domains: (a) a conceptual domain, which includes concepts and relations considered in abstract form, (b) a methodological domain, which includes instruments and techniques for obtaining observations and for relating sets of observations; and (c) a substantive domain, which includes events, processes, and phenomenon in the 'real' world.

Any research project must contain elements and relations from each of these domains. Thus, it is not possible to conduct research, without some method, some concept (or set of concepts), and some event or process. Elements and relations from each of these domains are not all combined simultaneously. Research generally proceeds by combining two of the domains, to form some structure, and subsequently incorporating (i.e., integrating) the third domain with the developed structure. With three domains, there are at least three patterns for combining the domains. Those three ways represent three distinct research paths; and they pose different advantages and limitations for the investigator."

(David Brinberg, 1982)

David Brinberg (1982) ,"Validity Concepts in Research: an Integrative Approach", in NA – Advances in Consumer Research Volume 09, eds. Andrew Mitchell, Ann Abor, MI : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 40–44.


1982 • abstract form • academic research • advantages and limitations • analytic technique • Association for Consumer Research • concepts and ideas • concepts and relations • conceptual domain • David Brinberg • events • forms of validity • instruments and techniques • integrative scholarshipintegrative techniqueinterrelationships • investigator • knowledge domain • measuring device • methodological domain • obtaining observations • phenomenon • processes • real world • relating observations • relationsresearch designresearch method • research paths • research processresearch projectresearch strategiesresearcher • substantive domain • theory buildingUniversity of Marylandvalid knowledgevalid scholarshipvalidity


Simon Perkins

Boyer's Scholarship of Integration

"The scholarship of integration has at least three main aspects. First, there is integration, within a discipline or field of study, of knowledge claims derived by different research approaches, or at different times or in different parts of the world. This sort of 'integrative scholarship' is vital, and involves an intimate familiarity with the traditions and major lines of development in the field, as well as a high degree of intellectual sophistication. In a post–modern world characterised by fragmentation and an over–abundance of information, such integration provides much–needed synthesis and offers a platform both for the conduct of further inquiry and for practical application of consolidated outcomes and insights.The second aspect of integration involves the incorporation of new knowledge acquired in real–world settings into the intellectual apparatus of the disciplines. This in turn can be particularly useful in training people for the professions. In his paper on entrepreneurial universities, Formica writes: 'The holistic model moves away from the notion of technology transfer as a one–time handout from the university and research institutions to the firm, replacing it by a broader vision, which encompasses an ongoing multiway exchange between the partners' (1996, p. 255). In the case of university partners, the incorporation of such insights and new knowledge developed by industry is part of the scholarship of integration. Third, and finally, integrative scholarship may involve drawing together insights from different disciplines or fields of study. Most real–world problems do not present themselves neatly labelled according to a discipline, which, after all, is little more than a conventional way of dividing up the complexity of the world into administrative or cognate areas of study. Instead, real–world problems span several different disciplines and solutions are often found through the juxtaposition of those fields. Moreover, it is also true that fruitful lines of inquiry and speculation often arise in multidisciplinary or cross–disciplinary teams, thus integrative scholarship can throw up productive new insights which can be of use to more than one field of practice at a time. Clearly, integration is a hallmark of much knowledge work both inside and outside universities, and the intellectual capabilities and organisational infrastructure required are virtually the same in both cases. FORMICA, P. (1996). Innovative players of economic development: 'Learning' companies and 'entrepreneurial' universities in action within territorial and business ecosystems of innovation. In M. Guedes & P. Formica (Eds.), The economics of science parks (pp. 233–268). Brazil: Faculdade de Tecnologia, Universidade de Brasilia. Higher Education Research & Development, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2000"

(Philip C. Candy, 2000)

[In his book "Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate", Ernest Boyer describes what he sees as four major, complementary aspects of an academics scholarly work: the scholarship of discovery; the scholarship of application; the scholarship of integration; and, the scholarship of teaching.]

Candy, P. C. (2000). "Knowledge Navigators and Lifelong Learners: producing graduates for the information society." Higher Education Research & Development 19(3): 273–274.


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