When you begin writing your PhD you'll need to get to grips with some academic language. Your degree title is a Doctorate in Philosophy and this suggests that a minimum requirement is that you are conversant with the philosophy of research. In particular, you need to get on top of three very important concepts.
Methodology ... to do with the tools and techniques of research
Ontology ... to do with our assumptions about how the world is made up and the nature of things
Epistemology ... to do with our beliefs about how one might discover knowledge about the world
Whilst there are some philosophical traditions that problematise these concepts, most research students need to articulate their position in relation to each term individually and collectively ... even if it is simply to refute the need to do so because you are subscribing to a view of the research process which denies our ability to subdivide in this way.
These three words form relationships to each other in that your epistemological and ontological positions should have some bearing on the methods that you select for your research. In the social sciences getting on top of these individual concepts and their relationship(s) to each other is vital if you want to (a) be able to write articulately for publication and (b) want to avoid social gaffes in your viva. The Methods Map is a clear and structured approach which links these concepts in a way that is easy to follow. You can download a free chapter which explains the Methods Map by clicking here. Even better, you can build your own Methods Map using the free, interactive tool which is available in multiple languages by clicking here. If you like the Method Map tool please share the link with others.
There are several books that set the territory out for you and many PhD programmes include smaller taught elements that cover this material. If you haven't done it yet, get hold of one of the following books and begin your journey into the murky realms of the social science research debates.
Some helpful reading might include ...
O'Gorman, K. D. and MacIntosh, R. (2015) Research Methods for Business and Management, 2nd Edition, Goodfellow Publishers Ltd: Oxford.
Burrell, G. and Morgan, G. (1979) Sociological paradigms and organisational analysis: Elements of the sociology of corporate life. Heinemann: London
Whereas, the following journal article offers a masterly overview of the terms in relation to the field of management research ...
Tranfield, D. and Starkey, K. (1998) ‘The Nature, Social Organisation and Promotion of Management Research: towards policy,’ British Journal of Management, Volume 9, Number 4, pp 341-353.
If you can read and follow the Tranfield and Starkey paper you're making progress and you should follow up some of the references it cites. If it reads as a foreign language then you've got some work still to do.
This is the most popular posting on the site ... if you've found this helpful don't forget to look around at the other posts as they form something of an interconnected set of ideas that underpin doctoral standard research.