Mixed Methods of Research

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Submitted By evie
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“If we knew what it was that we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” Albert Einstein
Mixed methods research is fast becoming recognised as a third major research approach or paradigm alongside qualitative and quantitative research. Its philosophy is pragmatic, and in general terms it is an approach which attempts to acknowledge several perspectives, viewpoints and angles. Research methods are a fundamental component of the social sciences which facilitate the understanding of human behaviour. Grinnell (1993, as cited in Kumar, 2005, p.95) defines research as being a “careful, systematic, patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or principles”. Grinnell also adds that research is a structured inquiry which employs scientific methodology for problem solving and creating new knowledge. This paper will critically discuss the nature and design of mixed methods research. The essay begins by defining mixed methods before giving an outline of the quantitative and qualitative approaches followed by a discussion on the debate surrounding the multi-strategy approach. Multi-strategy research attempts to combine methods from the positivist- quantitative and the interpretive- qualitative paradigms. Both numerical data, a result of quantitative enquiry and narrative data, a result of qualitative enquiry are collected and analysed with the aim of trying to answer a specific research question. This type of integration may also be referred to as multi-strategy research (Williams, 2007). Tashakkori & Teddlie (2003) undertook the task of classifying various terms researchers use to describe mixed methods. They argue that clarity is needed as mixed methods can be described as a third…...

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