Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods Essay

  • Length: 3 pages
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  • Subject: Education
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #91276064

Excerpt from Essay :

Consider how qualitative and quantitative research methods complement one another, and consider the role of mixed methods designs.

Quantitative and qualitative social science study techniques have, for long, remained discrete, barely overlapping, spheres. But, of late, innovations have shed light on quantitative and qualitative techniques’ complementarity (Maxwell, 1998). Complementarily employing both methods offers broader understandings besides facilitating research findings’ confirmation or triangulation using different techniques, thus improving overall result validity and making the research more useful for targeted entities. However, the quest for genuinely complementary research techniques is also a greatly challenging task as it implies extra expenses, in terms of human as well as monetary resources, in addition to the development of ethical quandaries pertaining to follow- up and a need for collaboration and respecting diverse epistemological and methodological stands (Maxwell, 1998).

Using a qualitative process prior to engaging in survey work is, without a doubt, the most widely considered form of multi- technique complementarity. It can involve employing qualitative techniques to serve a general descriptive purpose, or to improve insights into how emic definitions differ from etic ones utilized in the research, or to provide context- specific data vital to questionnaire creation within the quantitative research, or to offer a general context wherein one can accurately interpret quantitative findings, or to formulate distinct hypotheses (Maxwell, 1998).

Mixed methods
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studies necessitate familiarity with qualitative as well as quantitative research techniques. A large number of researchers lack training in qualitative and quantitative methodologies, which requires finding and hiring additional research workers having expertise in the specific fields. Nummela and Hurmerinta- Peltomaki (2006) reviewed research works published on the subject of mixed methods studies in business to examine the approach’s value within the business field. The study concluded that mixed methods research added value through increasing findings’ validity, informing the second information source’s collection, and facilitating knowledge creation. The integration element is a second value- adding aspect of the mixed methods technique. This element provides readers with increased confidence in outcomes and conclusions arrived at in the course of the research (O’Cathain, Murphy, & Nicholl, 2010). Additionally, mixed methods aids scholars in developing research ideas for the future (O’Cathain et al., 2010), besides being the sole means of being confident of interpretation and findings (McKim, 2017).

Would it ever be viable to consider only quantitative or only qualitative methods for a research study?

No clear- cut boundaries exist between the diverse kinds of mixed techniques or between mixed method and single method designs (Sage, 2015). Even a cursory examination of innumerable qualitative and quantitative study designs will typically lead to one finding certain facets of the other class of methods. One reason for…

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