SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: This article seeks to move beyond typologies of the ways in which quantitative and qualitative research are integrated to an examination of the ways that they are combined in practice. The article is based on a content analysis of 232 social science articles in which the two were combined. An examination of the research methods and research designs employed suggests that on the quantitative side structured interview and questionnaire research within a cross-sectional design tends to predominate, while on the qualitative side the semi-structured interview within a cross-sectional design tends to predominate. An examination of the rationales that are given for employing a mixed-methods research approach and the ways it is used in practice indicates that the two do not always correspond. The implications of this finding for how we think about mixed-methods research are outlined.
Abstract: In recent years evaluators of educational and social programs have expanded their methodological repertoire with designs that include the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods. Such practice, however, needs to be grounded in a theory that can meaningfully guide the design and implementation of mixed-method evaluations. In this study, a mixed-method conceptual framework was developed from the theoretical literature and then refined through an analysis of 57 empirical mixed-method evaluations. Five purposes for mixed-method evaluations are identified in this conceptual framework: triangulation, complementarity, development, initiation, and expansion. For each of the five purposes, a recommended design is also presented in terms of seven relevant design characteristics. These design elements encompass issues about methods, the phenomena under investigation, paradigmatic framework, and criteria for implementation. In the empirical review, common misuse of the term triangulation was apparent in evaluations that stated such a purpose but did not employ an appropriate design. In addition, relatively few evaluations in this review integrated the different method types at the level of data analysis. Strategies for integrated data analysis are among the issues identified as priorities for further mixed-method work.