The Nature of Research Methodologies

The Nature of Research Methodologies

Ben Tran (Alliant International University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7659-4.ch044


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 range 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).

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