Why Mixed Method Research is done?
With the development and perceived legitimacy of both qualitative and quantitative research in the social and human sciences, mixed methods research, employing the combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, has gained popularity. The problems addressed by social and health science researchers are complex, and the use of either quantitative or qualitative approached by themselves is inadequate to address this complexity. The interdisciplinary nature of research contributes to the formation of research teams with inviduals with diverse methodological interests and approaches. Moreover, there are more insights to be gained from the combination of both qualitative and quantitative research than either form by itself.
Types of Mixed Method Strategy
- Sequential Explanatory Strategy
- It appeals to researchers with strong quantitative skills.
- It is characterized by the collection and analysis of quantitative data in a first phase of research followed by the collection and analysis of qualitative data in a second phase that builds on the results of the initial quantitative results.
- Pros: useful when unexpected results arise from a quantitative study and the qualitative data collection then follows to examine these surprising results.
- Cons: not suitable for short duration projects and when there is paucity of funds.
- Sequential Exploratory Strategy
- The first phase is qualitative data collection and analysis here followed by a second phase of quantitative data collection and analysis.
- Pros: suitable for initial exploration of a phenomenon and in building a new instrument.
- Cons: requires a substantial length of time
- Concurrent Triangulation Strategy
- The most familiar and traditional of the major mixed method models.
- Both qualitative and quantitative data is collected concurrently and then the two databases are compared to determine convergence, differences or some combination.
- Pros- familiar to most researchers, shorter data collection time period.
- Cons: difficult to comprehend and compare a phenomenon with two separate methods, lack of clarity as to how to resolve discrepancies that arise in comparing the results.
- Concurrent Embedded Strategy
- Multilevel design; one method is embedded within a framework of the other method.
- Use of one data collection phase, during which both quantitative and qualitative data are collected simultaneously). For example, if an intervention is evaluated or studied, project beneficiaries could be studied quantitatively, community members could be interviewed qualitatively, and entire village/cluster could be studied quantitatively and so forth.
- Pros: time and cost saving as two types of data are collected simultaneously, perspectives can be gained from the different types of data or from different levels within the study.
- Cons: the data needs to be transformed in some way so that they can be integrated within the analysis phase of the research. Because the two methods are unequal in their priority, the approach may result in unequal evidence within a study.
Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research Design. Sage Publications: Delhi.
Kroll, T. and Neri. M. (2009). Designs for Mixed Method Research. https://www.bwgriffin.com/gsu/courses/edur7130/qualitative/16_Mixed_Methods_Kroll_Neri_2009b.pdf
Author: Dr. Chandni Tyagi, Sr. Manager – MLE, DevInsights