Qualitative research is an approach to inquiry that refers to a broad umbrella domain of various research traditions and investigative and analytic practices employed by researchers in a wide range of subject disciplines. One way of understanding the variety is to understand qualitative inquiry from the perspective of three broad philosophical paradigms that represent various worldviews composed of values, beliefs, and methodological assumptions and that bring into focus different domains of study. These can be characterized as modernist, interpretive, and postmodern. Practiced from within the modernist paradigm, qualitative inquiry identifies the facts and causes of particular phenomena to test or develop theory in the context of the real world of work; for example, collecting accounts of the circumstances under which people choose to leave their ...

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