“Methodology refers to more than a simple set of methods; rather it refers to the rationale and the philosophical assumptions that underlie a particular study, it consists of an analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline or within a particular study. Research methods, according to Bernard (2000) can be discussed at three different levels: epistemology, strategy and execution. The first level, epistemology, relates to the study of the nature of knowledge, particularly its foundations, scope and validity. One of the founding considerations of any epistemological standpoint is an associated ontological stance and questions raised regarding either field are highly inter-related. The second level refers to strategic choices; which methods or structure of methods would be best suited to the research topic, ensure rigour, validity and consistency and how these methods and organising structures might relate to anticipated outcomes. The third level is used to describe the execution of particular methods and refers to the specific techniques being employed. Decisions at all three levels will influence the quality and significance of the research outcome.”Bernard, H.R.
Bernard, H.R. (2000) Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.