Creating Knowledge of Need: A Methodological Framework for its Abductive Inference

Publication: ThesisMaster's thesis


The main goal of this master thesis is to develop and propose a consistent methodological framework to generate explicit knowledge of need (especially for group settings). For this enterprise, an abductive and qualitative approach supported by heterogeneous paradigmatic views will be employed to foster the knowledge creation process. The starting point of this framework are the individuals who express their conscious wishes, dreams, ideas, objects, etc. they demand for (referred to as satisfier). By following the methodological framework, it should be highly likely for researchers to infer the underlying needs abductively from this data and, thus, generate hypotheses. At the end, its again up to the individuals to transform the bunch of proposed hypothesis into verified knowledge about needs. The question at hand is how researchers can look "behind" a satisfier at the underlying need; so, it's about making explicit what might be implicitly defining our acting.
This master thesis is organized in three parts: First, the necessary theoretical foundations of human needs will be reviewed from a philosophical point of view. Additionally, two influential models on human needs from different disciplines will be presented and discussed. Grounded on the insights of the first part, in the second, the methodological framework will be developed and described in detail. Necessary theories and references to different fields will be given and included into the conceptual work. Lastly, it will be shown how the methodological framework has been tailored and successfully used in a large scale project.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Vienna
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 509018 Knowledge management
  • 501011 Cognitive psychology

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