Analysisng Consumer Motivations to Shop for Luxury Products Online

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2.2 Epistemology

Epistemology refers to “general set of assumptions about the best ways of inquiring into the nature of the world” (Easterby-Smith et al., 2002, p. 31). Ontology is the science of theory of being and epistemology is then the theory of knowledge (Sunders et al., 2007). There are 2 main positions: positivist position reflects the individual assume the reality and the world exist externally which are independent and will not be changed by knowledge, while interpretivist considers the most appropriate approaches to enquire the nature of the world (Easterby-Smith et al., 2008). Positivism and interpretivism (Figure 1) are reflected in different research traditions. Positivism is used quantitative to find out what exists and how different elements connect with each other. By contrast, interpretivism is more supported by qualitative as it has to know how and what is knowledge about the existed reality (Gill and Johnson, 2010).

(Figure 1)

To be able to analyse consumer motivations to shop for luxury products online the writer has chosen to follow the interpretivism and its consequent epistemological prescriptions. The choice was based on the fact that the writer is not only describing the motivations but also to explain why consumers prefer to purchase luxury product online rather than in-store, which the
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