The Importance of Qualitative Methods in Mixed Methods Studies

The Importance of Qualitative Methods in Mixed Methods Studies

Jacquelynne A. Boivin (Bridgewater State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7600-7.ch015
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This chapter presents a thorough review of the literature dedicated to learning more about mixed methods research design. Explanatory sequential mixed methods studies and exploratory sequential mixed methods studies are the two types of mixed methods research design models that this chapter presents in detail. To contextualize different ideas related to research design, the author provides examples of research studies that exemplify different research designs falling within mixed methods. The main objective of this chapter is to highlight the important role that qualitative research design plays in mixed methods research. Such a presentation of the literature aims to argue that qualitative data substantiates quantitative data as a means to heighten the regard which the qualitative methodology receives.
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Mixed Methods Research

Mixed methods research is, in summary, a combination of both qualitative and quantitative research design. As Maxwell (2016) explained in his article, mixed methods research design occurred in academia well before it had the label of “mixed methods.” Studies that utilized a combination of qualitative and quantitative research design have been documented since the 1950s (Maxwell, 2016). Onwuegbuzie, Johnson, and Turner (2007) contented that integrative research, multimethod research, multiple methods, triangulated studies, mixed research, and blended research are a few labels given to mixed methods research. Regardless of the label, mixed methods studies share many commonalities.

Onwuegbuzie et al. (2007) summarized mixed methods research design as consisting of four central domains. The first domain is philosophical perspectives and the second domain is logistics surrounding inquiry. The third domain is procedural guidelines and the fourth is ideas surrounding socio-politics. These four domains were used to create a board definition of mixed methods research. Onwuegbuzie et al. (2007) wrote that mixed methods research is, “an intellectual and practical synthesis based on qualitative and quantitative research; it is the third methodological or research paradigm (along with qualitative and quantitative research” (p. 129). This definition properly reflects ideas by Cameron (2011).

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