Researchers employing the positivistic paradigm assume that social reality lies within the domain of the research and has to be measured to understand it. On the other side of the continuum are phenomenological mindsets that focus on the meaning rather than on the measurement of social problems (Collis & Hussey 2003:53). According to Collis and Hussey (2003:78), the use of different research approaches, methods, and techniques in the same research study is known as triangulation. Triangulation can overcome the potential bias and sterility of a single-method approach. Given the nature of the problem, the positivistic approach seems most appropriate to gauge the potential mismatch of expected and provided safety measures to employees of various companies in China.
From the above, it should be evident that the positivistic research paradigm and its associated statistical data collection and analysis methodologies are more suitable to test the hypothetical models. The phenomenological paradigm is not relevant for this research because the research objectives and hypotheses are not focused on the meaning of the relationships but rather on relationships as specified and tested for differences.