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3.1. Research philosophy

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All research has a philosophical perspective. Neumann (1997) describes three approaches to social science research which can be classified as positivist, critical or interpretivist. A positivist philosophical perspective is based on formal propositions, quantifiable variables, tested hypothesis and drawn conclusions; reality is objectively described by measurable properties. A critical philosophical perspective is an action oriented approach that attempts to allow individuals to transform their situation for the better. Whereas, an interpretive philosophical perspective is based on hermeneutics and phenomenology and supposes that the access to reality is through shared meanings, language and consciousness. When implementing an interpretivist philosophy, the research methodology needs to focus on utilising the complexity of human understanding of the process and the context of information system.

As a result of the variety of literature on offshoring and because of the specific economic context of Morocco, it would be far too complex to try to theorize this phenomenon by definite ‘laws’. Therefore, my research is incline to align with the interpretive philosophical perspective. Interpretivism would argue that generalisability is not of crucial importance (Saunders et al., 2003, p84). This means that no dependant or independent variables are predefined and that scenarios I will be studying may be unique to their particular circumstances.

In addition, the main explorations of my findings will be based on interviews with a small number of companies and I won’t be able to draw general statement about the drivers that lead companies to offshore their IT work to Morocco or about how Moroccan companies could take advantage of this trend. Nevertheless, since the phenomenon is relatively new, observation of few firms may be sufficient to understand the general aspects of the practice and to comprehend research participants’ motives, actions and intentions. Saunders et al (2003) advise that it’s necessary from the interpretivist position to explore the subjective meanings motivating people’s actions in order to be able to understand these.

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