This article discusses the philosophical foundations of phenomenology and their relevance for research. A return to the foundations is warranted because of the popularity of phenomenology as a methodological choice in Human Resource Development (HRD). At the same time, there is concern that the groundbreaking philosophical premises of phenomenology are being lost in favor of functionalist misapplications of the method. Phenomenology offers a powerful critique of positivism and provides a way of inquiring into central qualities of human beings and of being human in this world. It focuses on core dimensions of lived experience beneath the surface of everyday life and proposes an approach to deeper understanding and insight. As a research method, phenomenology is grounded in profound and complex philosophical thought. Researchers adopting phenomenology are well advised to move beyond method-focused textbooks and engage with the movement’s primary literature, especially the writing of its founders, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger.
- positivism critique
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management