This study adopts a post-positivist philosophy as the backbone throughout this study. Post-positivism uses a more integrated approach and produces a comprehensive explanation of a specific phenomenon (Adam, 2014). Meaning, the sole usage of statistical methods seen in positivism is insufficient for the production of valid empirical evidence (ibid). Post-positivist also believes that all theory is revisable (Moutinho & Hutcheson, 2011), whereby the studies conducted on a basis of reality are not perfect. Moreover, even though research can be explained through evidence, post-positivism argues that any kind of scientific research is likely to be affected by certain levels of possible error and bias in their experiments and testing (Grix, 2004). This can occur especially in positivism research whereby the methodology can sometimes be one-sided and quite restrained. Therefore, post-positivism does not reject quantitative methodology, rather it attempts to harness a more complex research design by upgrading positivism through the use of both qualitative-quantitative approaches. This philosophy suits the context of this study as this research used the Contingency theory and past studies that associate with strategy implementation to propose and empirically test an improved framework of strategy implementation particularly in Brunei Darussalam public sector context.
Exploratory sequential research design (figure 2) developed by Creswell (2014) will be used in this study. The exploratory sequential design will start with a qualitative phase in a form of an interview and then will build to a second quantitative phase in developing the measurement of constructs for the survey questionnaire. In this design, the qualitative and quantitative methods are connected through the development of the instrument items. The rationales for using this design are three-fold. First, the exploratory design was particularly suited for the purpose of instrument design. This enables the identification of important variables to study quantitatively and also to explore a phenomenon in depth and measure its prevalence (ibid). In the exploratory instrument design, the qualitative results at the first phase, which will help to develop the instrument. Second, qualitative approach is usually preferred to explore the under-studied phenomenon, hence it becomes necessary to then generalize it using quantitative approach. Notably, it can also be used to test aspects such as an emergent theory or clarification as strategy implementation is still an underdeveloped research area. Since there is minimal literature reported on the status of strategy implementation in public sector especially in Brunei Darussalam, it is important to identify and confirm the variables, first in a qualitative manner, then the information shall be investigated in a large scale using quantitative, to produce generalizability in the context. Hence, by means of post-positivism, this research design would be able to upgrade positivism through the use of both qualitative-quantitative approaches to reduce bias and error and also to revise the Contingency theory.