The Nature of Research Methodologies

The Nature of Research Methodologies

Ben Tran (Alliant International University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch585
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In the nature of research methodologies, quantitative research and quantitative research data are static through time, compared to qualitative research and qualitative research data. Across the globe, the Internet and mobile technologies are providing unprecedented access to markets and individuals. Such technologies ranges from high-definition video conferencing and instant communication around the world to the ability to reach participants on their mobile devices and access to demographics that are traditionally hard to reach, the Internet is providing technology based research methods like blogs, webinars, virtual intercepts, and virtual reality. The nature of the problem then plays the major role in determining what approaches are suitable. The purpose of this chapter is to cover the three types (trends) of research methodologies: the traditional (quantitative, qualitative), the universal (mixed-methods), and the trends (blogs, webinars, virtual intercepts, and virtual reality).
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Brief History Of Research Methodologies

Before the advent of mixed methods, many studies used multiple methods to achieve the benefits of triangulation (Galton & Wilcocks, 1983) without restricting themselves to any paradigmatic membership or methodological category (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003). Thus, during the last 50 years, writers have used different names, making it difficult to locate articles that might relate to mixed methods research. Mixed methods has been called multitrait/multimethod research (Campbell & Fiske, 1959), integrated or combined (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004, p. 17; Steckler, McLeroy, Goodman, Bird, & McCormick, 1992), and quantitative and qualitative methods (Fielding & Fielding, 1986). It has been called hybrids (Ragin, Nagel, & White, 2004), methodological triangulation (Morse, 1991a), combined research (Creswell, 1994), and mixed methodology (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998). It has also been called the third methodological movement (Tashakkori &Teddlie, 2002, p. 5), the third research paradigm (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004, p. 15), and a new star in social science sky (Mayring, 2007, p. 1). Nevertheless, the beginning of mixed methods is cited by some (Creswell & Plano-Clark, 2007, p. 5; Johnson, Onwuegbuzie, & Turner, 2007) to Campbell and Fiske (1959) as multitrait of multimethod research, a concept later formalized by Webb, Campbell, Schwartz, and Sechrest (1966) as triangulation (Greene, Caracelli, & Graham, 1989), and is often cited as having methodological superiority over single methods (Johnson et al., 2007; Tran, 2014a). For the first 60 years or so of the 20th century, mixed research can be seen in the work of cultural anthropologists and, especially, the fieldwork sociologists (Gans, 1963; Hollongshead, 1949; Jahoda, Lazarsfeld, & Zeisel, 1931/2003; Lynd & Lynd, 1929/1959).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Qualitative Data: Consists of open-ended information that the researcher gathers through interviews with participants.

Mixing Data: There are three ways in which mixing occurs: merging or converging the two datasets, connecting the two datasets by having one build on the other, or embedding one dataset within the other.

Within-Methods Triangulation: Refers to the use of either multiple quantitative or multiple qualitative approaches.

Qualitative Research: Is much more subjective than quantitative research and uses very different methods of collecting information, mainly individual, in-depth interviews, and focus groups.

Triangulation: Is the combination of methodologies in the study of the same phenomenon. The four types of triangulation: (1) data triangulation, (2) investigator triangulation, (3) theory triangulation, and (4) methodological triangulation.

Paradigm (Research): Is a common body of beliefs, assumptions, and rules that govern research.

Quantitative Data: Quantitative data includes closed-ended information such as that found on attitude, behavior, or performance instruments.

Mixed-Methods Research: Is an approach to knowledge that attempts to consider multiple viewpoints, perspectives, positions, and standpoints.

Quantitative Research: Refers to the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols, and descriptions of things.

Between-Methods Triangulation: Involves the use of both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

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