Research is a complex and nuanced concept which means that one approach might not, in and of itself, answer the full scope of one's research questions. This is why it can sometimes be useful to combine Quantitative and Qualitative research strategies. This can help to provide a multidimensional perspective on a given research problem. The text by Bennett & Braumoller (2006) refers to the combination of these approaches as a Mixed Methods research strategy.
The use of Mixed Method research strategies is based on the view that researcher can produce greater on a subject by varying the approaches which are used to collect data. The idea that both qualitative and quantitative data gathering processes can produce a more expansive data set is driven by the understanding that there are often distinct limitations in the conclusions we can make from narrowly framed research investigations. (Bennett & Braumoller, p. 1)
Alternately, Bennett & Braumoller (2006) describe the greater research flexibility created by the use of mixed methods, reporting that "formal models can provide deductively valid and counter-intuitive insights, but they are not an empirical method and must be combined with either statistical or case studies to become so. Case study methods can use process tracing to look for detailed evidence on causal mechanisms and causal processes within cases, but they face limitations in generalizing these results to cases not studied. Statistical studies can identify patterns and correlations, but they cannot readily examine the operation of causal mechanisms in particular cases. When methods are used in combination, they can help offset the limits of…
Sources Used in Document:
Bennett, A. & Braumoller, B. (2006). Where the Model Frequently Meets the Road: Combining Statistic [al,] Formal and Case Study Methods. APSA manuscript.
Media Relations. (2004). Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet. American Association of Colleges of Nursing
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