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Additional resources for integrationg qualitative and quantitative findings

Posted By: Joseph Maxwell on August 10, 2018
 
This paper addresses an important issue for mixed methods research: how to address divergent results for the qualitative and quantitative components of the study. However, the relevant literature on this issue is much larger than the authors cite. The classic paper on this topic is Maurice Trend (1978); others less often cited are Kaplan and Duchon (1988) and Slonim-Nevo and Nevo (2009). The problems in integrating divergent quantitative and qualitative results are discussed more generally in Greene (2007) and Maxwell, Chmiel, and Rogers (2015).

A second issue if the authors' claim that "the strengths of . . . quantitative methods [are] to examine how often a phenomenon occurs and establish generalizable, empirical associations between variables and outcomes." It is not true (although widely believed) that quantitative results are inherently more generalizable than qualitative ones; the only case in which this is arguable is when the quantitative study is of a random sample of some wider population. For a detailed argument for why the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are not inherently generalizable, see Cartwright and Hardie, 2012; for quantitative methods more broadly, see Maxwell, 2017.

References cited:

Cartwright, N., and Hardie,J. (2012). Evidence-based Policy: A Practical Guide to Doing it Better. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Greene, J. (2007). Mixed methods in social inquiry. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Kaplan, B., & Duchon, D. (1988). Combining qualitative and quantitative methods in information systems research: A case study. MIS Quarterly, 12, 571586.

Maxwell, J. (2017). The Validity and Reliability of Research: A Realist Perspective. In D. Wyse, N. Selwyn, E. Smith, and L. E. Suter (Eds.), The BERA/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research, pp. 116-140. London: SAGE Publications.

Maxwell, J., Chmiel, M., and Rogers, S. (2015) Designing integration in mixed method and multi-method research. In Sharlene Hesse-Biber and Burke Johnson (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Multimethod and Mixed Methods Research Inquiry, pp. 223-239. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Slonim-Nevo and Nevo (2009). Conflicting findings in mixed methods research: An illustration from an Israeli study on immigration. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 3(2), 109128.

Trend, M. (1978). On the Reconciliation of Qualitative and Quantitative Analyses: A Case Study. Human Organization 37:345-354. Reprinted in Thomas D. Cook and Charles S. Reichardt (Eds.), Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Evaluation Research. Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1979.
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 Additional resources for integrationg qualitative and quantitative findings by Joseph Maxwell on August 10, 2018
     
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