Pragmatic is a philosophy that aims to provide a framework for research and analysis that addresses real world problems. The pragmatist approach to research emphasizes practical solutions over theoretical ones, and allows researchers to incorporate both their observations and concepts from other areas of knowledge. The pragmatic model provides a methodological framework for gathering and analyzing data that can be used to solve complex problems in organizational settings.
Pragmatist research focuses on the process of developing an empirical research plan and selecting appropriate methods to collect data. It consists of a cycle of designing the problem, collecting data, reflecting on the results and revising the research plan (Morgan 2014a). This methodological approach provides a flexible and adaptive method to gather relevant information from the actual experiences of respondents. This is a distinct feature of pragmatism that sets it apart from the more traditional and static approaches to research such as deductive or inductive reasoning.
Unlike semantics, which focuses on the literal meaning of words and sentences, pragmatics examines how context plays a role in understanding communication. Examples of a pragmatic theory include politely hedged requests, turn-taking norms in conversation and navigating ambiguity in context. The latter is especially important because language can be ambiguous and people don’t always say what they mean.
Teaching pragmatics involves incorporating classroom activities that relate to the function of the language and culture. Pragmatics lessons may be taught as a standalone unit, or they can be integrated into other content area learning. For example, students can practice apologizing in different situations and cultures through an activity called “Luck of the Draw (Pragmatics).”
The pragmatist approach to research encourages reflective practice by allowing the researcher to take notes throughout the research process and reflect on the results of their findings. This type of reflection enables the researcher to make changes to the study as needed and ensure that the research is meaningful and contributes to positive social change. This is an important feature of pragmatism that differs from other paradigmatic models such as postpositivism and constructivism.
In the field of marketing, pragmatic approaches can be applied to product testing and customer feedback. For example, a manufacturer might create a prototype and take it to a group of customers to test the product before releasing it into the market. The manufacturer could then re-design the product based on the feedback from their audience. This is a form of pragmatic marketing that helps companies adapt their products to meet customer needs and avoid costly mistakes. It also allows them to identify and address the most critical market issues first. This is a more efficient and cost effective way to develop and market products than using traditional research methodologies such as inductive or deductive reasoning.