Understanding the Intersections of Paradigm, Meta-Theory, and Theory in Library and Information Science Research: A Social Constructionist perspective
Researchers rely on theories to guide the research process. Theories provide directions in formulating research questions and in the interpretation of findings. The choice of theory to guide inquiry must relate to research paradigm and corresponding meta-theory. However, many beginning scholars experience difficulty in articulating philosophical paradigmatic assumptions and in identifying meta-theory and theory to guide investigation. The aim of this article is to discuss the relationships between research paradigm, meta-theory, and theory in LIS research and to demystify the differences between paradigm, meta-theory, and theory. The author presents a hierarchical philosophical framework to guide in the choice of theory in research.