The aim of this study was to discuss: (1) how methodologies are constructed and perpetuated in the context of research paradigms; (2) what exactly constitutes a paradigm; (3) how the proposed conceptual map of discourse development provides a new and original method for understanding knowledge production.Background.
In nursing research, methodologies are constructed by several external and internal contextually driven influences. Our focus is on how two methodological paradigms – evidence-based practice and mixed methods – continue to impact and be impacted by patterns of knowledge production.Design.
Discussion paper.Data sources.
This discussion is based on our own experiences and supported by literature and theory using examples from the two paradigms to illustrate how discourses are developed, perpetuated and deconstructed and how these have specific impacts on qualitative nursing research.Implications for nursing.
The conceptual map should be used to cultivate an awareness in practitioners, researchers and policy makers of how discourses surrounding research evidence and research practices are generated. This level of awareness will facilitate critical reflection on how certain practices assume dominance, potentially leading to hegemony in nursing research, practice and scholarship.Conclusion.
This research offers a critical examination of the meaning of paradigms and a meta-perspective on the production and practice of methodologies using a conceptual map of discourse development as a heuristic device. We anticipate that these examples will encourage debate and discussion on how methodologies and paradigms are perpetuated in academia and the impact this has on nursing knowledge.