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Pros and Disadvantages of Mixed Methods Research

Keywords: combined methods research advantages

For every job or task there is a specific tool befitting such work. Similarly, every researcher after having determined the scope of the research must apply a specific method of research to be able to attain the best results. Interestingly, there are some ways of research that when applied or used mutually the bought results will be forthcoming. Hence the idea of blended methods in research, it identifies application of both quantitative and qualitative techniques in a single study. Currently, the fundamental study techniques which can be trusted are quantitative, qualitative and merged methods.

Qualitative study entails evaluation of data, like different interviews, videos, pictures and objects such as artifacts. It is the descriptive data from observation or interviews which are not structured (Taylor, 2009). Quantitative research, on the other side, is the analytical development of figurative data from different areas. The disjointing of into quantitative and qualitative is a very common difference; the trend has been because of the desire to link quantitative methods with an all natural research (positivist) and qualitative methods with a cultural technology (interpretivist) (Mingers, 2006).

Nevertheless, the easy distinction hasn't gone down well with a lot of research workers, many analysts basing their distinctions on having less clarity on the issues of validity and exactness. Matching to Yin (2007), the difference between quantitative and qualitative methods pertains to data rather than so much in to the methodology. Other researchers believe the main paradigms are incompatible. Blended method is the combination of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies; it is the third research paradigm after qualitative and quantitative. The debate to utilize both quantitative and qualitative modes in one research has been predicated on over theoretical approach to research within the cultural sciences. (Jones, 2004)

According to Fieldman (2005), in the comparison of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the features of the latter have been misidentified. The discussion has been premised on the fact that the relationship between positivist paradigm and quantitative research have been blown out of proportion. Glaser and Strauss (2007) think that the association of qualitative research with grounded theory is an outstanding exemplory case of such misunderstanding. On the other hand, there has been the utilization of the exploratory factor examination in the quantitative research. This has caused a whole lot of quarrels within researchers and therefore the outcry for the necessity to adopt the utilization of merged research method. Glaser (2009) has further blurred the idea by stating that the grounded theory emanated from quantitative work and that it's some kind of general technique for use on both qualitative and quantitative work.

Tashakori and Teddie (2008) assume that the variation between qualitative and quantitative ways of research is largely manufactured. The view that is quite clear is that there surely is need some kind of paradigm wars over the adoption of the methodologies used in explaining the two ways of research.

Pragmatism takes on a pivotal role in the comprehension of combined method as a study method. (Howe, 2009) The compatibility thesis postulates that both quantitative and qualitative methods are in reality compatible, meaning that the two can be utilized within an individual review. Pragmatism on the other hands, was started out by Charles Sanders Peirce, William Adam and John Dewy promulgated that experts should apply or use an assortment of techniques that co-ordinate best in a real-life situation. Therefore, what is most effective in a specific situation should be used for the reason that scenario no matter any assumptions that can happen in relation to that particular situation.

Nowadays researchers apply a simple principle of mixed research. This important concept requires from the researcher to use a mixture or combo of methods which may have some degree of complementary pros and cons both which are overlapping. In order to understand the merged method research it is vital to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative, qualitative and merged methods.

Qualitative research


Qualitative research has a great deal of talents which describe why it continues to be a popular option for many researchers to use. Firstly, it concentrates the data accumulated on the individuals' groups of explaining or expounding this meaning within the study. Secondly, a whole lot of analysts have heaped accolades on this method of research owing to its suitability for the study of the very least number of cases in depth. Finally, in so far as describing complicated phenomena can be involved; it is the best technique for the job.

Fourthly, at the stage where the researcher must explain a specific section of the analysis by dissecting individual circumstance information, qualitative research method offers a much better clarification point than other ways of research. Fifthly, it is great in so far as conducting cross-case examination and analysis can be involved. Sixthly, it provides a better focal point in so far as providing a knowledge and explanation of people's personal encounters of certain phenomena that occurred to them. Seventhly, it can be used to describe a wealthy and well articulated as it is specifically situated and located within local contexts.

Eighthly, by adopting qualitative method of research the user can study energetic processes or assist in the paperwork of sequential patterns and change. Nine, the researcher may use the qualitative method of grounded theory to inductively create a tentative but descriptive theory about an incident. Ten, it is utilized to regulate how the members' of the analysis interpret self-esteem, I Q and so forth. Also, the info collected under this technique of research is performed so in naturalistic settings. In addition, the approaches implemented within this technique of research are specially responsive to the many changes that usually occur within a report, mainly if the study requires a lot of extensive fieldwork, and it facilitates to change the focus back to the analysis.

Furthermore, qualitative data in the words and categories of individuals' lend themselves to exploring how and just why particular occurrences happen. Also, owing to its variant intrinsic features the researcher may use an important circumstance to clearly demonstrate phenomena to the general audience and more particularly the visitors of the ultimate statement. Finally, qualitative research supports the conviction of idiographic causation or the determination of factors behind particular proceedings.


Sadly despite so many positive features, qualitative research also fails in its search for a perfect research method. To commence with, the info produced from research conducted on the foundation of qualitative technique might not generalize to other folks or other options. This is because some factors will stay unique in one individual to the next. Secondly, researchers who utilize this method usually find it difficult to make quantitative predictions. Further, since qualitative research ahs its tenets premised within large pools of participants, it makes it very difficult to test hypotheses and theories generated from the study.

In addition, some commissioners of certain programs and administrators find qualitative research method to have low levels of credibility. Also, compared to its counterpart, quantitative research method, it is additional time consuming as it pertains to the assortment of data. A similar scenario applies when it comes to data evaluation. Finally, because of its requirements of researcher and personal engagement, the data gathers is mainly plagued with biasness and idiosyncrasies.

Quantitative Research

In range with Denscobe (2007) "the quantitative analysis is all about the quantifying interactions between factors. " In the cultural sciences, quantitative study is the organized empirical analysis of the quantitative properties and their associations. Mathematical models, ideas and other different hypotheses are used in the process. The dimension development is central along the way, as it offers the fundamental interconnection between your empirical observation and the mathematical expression of all quantitative romantic relationships.

In the spheres of psychology, anthropology, sociology and politics knowledge the quantitative review method is utilized regularly. Within the sphere of mathematics and physics which are "quantitative" by the definition it is used, however the term is different in the context. Regarding the interpersonal sciences, the word relates to immediate and empirical methods, and most crucial it bargains in both philosophical positivism and arithmetical findings, and in many ways it is a primary contrast with the qualitative study methods. The qualitative techniques produce the data of the particular case studies that are assigned to the analysis and all other hypotheses are only standard conclusions. The techniques may be used to verify in different aspects (Denscobe, 2007).


Many research workers find quantitative research methods better in program to their particular studies since it allows them to validate and test already designed theories about how exactly and just why some occurrences happen. Also, it gives the researcher some border in the real research because they can test the hypotheses that are designed before the actual data is collected. Moreover, analysts are in a better position to simplify research findings when the data is founded on arbitrary examples of sufficient mass.

In addition, experts are better off when they use quantitative strategy because of its ability so they can simplify research conclusions when it has been used and repeated on so many different populations and sub-populations. Unlike qualitative research method the data collected can be utilized for purposes of quantitative predictions. Also, the researcher, under quantitative format of research, has the capacity to construct a situation that reduces the bewildering sway of many variables, allowing a number of plausibly accepted cause-and-effect relationships.

Furthermore, in so far as pace is concerned; data collected under this method of research is a lot faster than qualitative strategy. More so, the data collected is more specific, concise and undoubtedly quantitative. As preceding highlighted, research of data under this method of research will be a lot less time consuming. Unlike qualitative data, this method of research allows the results compiled to be more in addition to the researcher and hence they are simply of statistical significance. Further, in as far as individuals in ability are concerned; data collected under quantitative research method can find favor and liking to such individuals who fund the study programs. Quickly, it does apply in the study of people.


Similarly, quantitative research methodology also falls brief in so far as being completely credible in the study world. Mainly, researchers discover that the categories they use do not usually reveal local constituencies' understandings. Furthermore, the theories propagated by researcher operating under this technique of research might not as well reveal the local constituencies' understandings.

Furthermore, due to the requirement of a lot of concentrate on the idea and hypotheses era, researchers usually miss out on the going on of particular occurrences. Finally, the information gathered under this method of research might be too theoretical and basic for direct appliance to particular real-life situations, contexts and people.

Mixed Method Research

Qualitative review is a kind of scientific research. Generally speaking, in any Corresponding to Hesse-Biber (2010), "there is actually an investigation which looks for answer of a specific question. " The examiners systematically use a pre identified set of techniques to find the closest answer of the question. Collecting evidences and even more crucially different kinds of data are two very vital aspect of the study. Finally, a qualitative research aims to produce different findings that were not generally "determined in advance, as well as the finding can be relevant beyond the immediate boundaries of the analysis" (Hesse-Biber, 2010).

In addition to all or any these the qualitative research techniques tries to understand a given study problem or topic from the point of view of the general inhabitants with whom the analysis is mainly included. The qualitative study method is quite effective in acquiring the specific social data about the "values, views, behaviors and other different cultural contexts" (Hesse-Biber, 2010) of a specific society. Creswell (2009) indicated that whenever the results of qualitative research are coupled with quantitative techniques it can help to interpret and better understand the intricate reality of any given situation, combined with the implications of quantitative data (Creswell, 2009).

The results from the qualitative review can often be extended to people who have characteristics which are very similar to those in the analysis population, which profits a wealthy and complex knowledge of a specific interpersonal context or phenomenon, which typically takes precedence over eliciting data that can be really generalized to other geographical areas. For the reason that light it is clear that qualitative review is slightly not the same as the scientific study progression generally speaking (Nachmias-Frankfort & Nachmias 2008).


The third and more preferred method of research has an array of strengths that appeal to numerous researchers. To begin with, the merged talents of both quantitative and qualitative research can be found when using this technique of research. Further, terms, pictures and narratives may be used to add connotation to figures. In addition, when using mixed methods of research, researchers have benefit of using numbers to add accuracy to words, pictures, and narratives. Another advantage of applying the mixed method in research is that analysts can generate and actually test a grounded theory.

Applying the blended approach to research allows the researcher to handle a broader and a far more complete selection of research questions due to the actual fact that the researcher is not limited within the tenets of a specific approach to research. Furthermore, researchers have the ability to use the effectiveness of one technique of research to counter or overcome the weaknesses in another method. Quite simply it incorporates the idea of complementarity.

In the introduction of a researcher conjuring up a summary under this technique of research, they can be in a better position to provide better evidence in the conclusion little bit through convergence and collaboration of findings. Furthermore, the method of research allows the researcher to add insights and methods that could be omitted when only a single method is followed. Similarly, the method allows the researcher to simplify to boost the straightforwardness of the results. Finally, because the mixed methods of research is all about the incorporation of both qualitative and quantitative methods of research, the researcher can produce more complete knowledge necessary to inform theory and practice.


Unfortunately, this technique of research also offers a few shortcomings despite its frustrating support from research workers. Firstly, owing to its duplicity content, the use of the mixed technique in one research can establish difficult to take care of by anybody single researcher. This is the case in particular when the researcher has two apply two or more techniques concurrently.

Furthermore, a researcher choosing to rely on this approach to research must learn about multiple methods and solutions and understand how to appropriately mix them. In the same way, a lot of research workers are of the view that any one researcher should work within either the qualitative or the quantitative method. Furthermore, the mixed approach to research is more expensive and frustrating than any method of research because of its duplicity content. Finally, since it is a mixture of two relatively different methods of research, a lot of research workers and methodologists have up to now to totally workout problems of interpreting conflicting results, quantitative data and the paradigm mixing.

Justification of merging qualitative and quantitative methods

The paradigm war of both methods of research has generated a great deal chaos. On each side of the argument are proponents of 1 particular type of research method, well armed with reason and cases why it is better than the other research method. Such arguments caused the creation of some sort of middle ground, combining the two types of research methods, the effect, mixed methods research.

So what is the justification for amalgamating the two types of research methods? The explanation for the creation of your common earth was concretized and coded. The coding mirrored each side's reputable views and by so doing the weakness of each side was exposed. A scheme was made to tabulate the justifications for the necessity to join the two methods of research.

First, triangulation: which promulgated that there was need for some sort of convergence or corroboration since by so doing the emphasis would be shifted from the dissimilarities and moved into the amalgamation of the study methodologies. Subsequently, complementarity: which seeks the elaboration or the results obtained in one method with the results of another method. Finally, development: which highlights the need to use the results acquired from one solution to either inform or develop the contrasting method. Fourthly, initiation: it seeks the unearthing of irony and incongruity, the remolding of questions from results obtained in one method with the replica of the other method of research. Fifthly, extension: This looks for to increase the period and variety of enquiry by adopting different options for different inquiry components. (Niglas, 2004)

Design within the blended methods

Researchers usually face a intimidating task while constructing a model design that'll be ideal for their analysis. Nevertheless, it is imperative to point out that model designs do not exhaust the rationale of options. (Creswell, 2003) However, their necessity and classification append to the thoroughness of mixed methods designs in principal health care research.

Instrument Design Model

Under this design the priority is directed at quantitative data collection and research. Execution is premised in a two-phase job that starts off with qualitative data collection and analysis and proceeds to quantitative device design and tests. Incorporation happens at the data analysis stage, then after research workers dissect the qualitative data and utilize this information to develop a tool for information collection.

The main use because of this model is to come up with a device that is inlayed in the views of the members, instead of using a musical instrument that might not actually mirror the thoughts of the participants. The approach used makes the use of the device design model logical and simpler to carry out. Nevertheless, a lot of expertise is required to not only code the qualitative data but to also review it. In addition a psychometrically reasonable instrument is eventually developed. (Kutner et al, 2008)

Triangulation Design Model

This particular kind of design model is utilized mainly in major good care research. However, it is more challenging to incorporate set alongside the sequential device design model because of the need never to only reconcile but to also recreate quantitative and qualitative information. The central use of this kind of design model is to triangulate or somewhat bring both qualitative and quantitative methodologies concurrently, and to combine the two paradigms of research to be able to best comprehend the study situation accessible (Tashakori A. & Teddie C. , 2008).

Concisely, this specific kind of design model creates an equal program for both qualitative and quantitative methods of research, both which in other types of research are usually within separate columns which may or may not be set on equal footing. Furthermore, the triangulation design model usually combines the information accumulated from both qualitative and quantitative methodologies into one last thorough and all-inclusive survey. It's important to notice that the same can either be summarized one bottom line, interpretation or results phase.

The triangulation design model is set up in a manner that accommodates both qualitative and quantitative data albeit in several sections. Exactly the same format will make an application for the evaluation results for the two methodologies. This is then followed by an in-depth talk of both data results which is summarized under neo realization heading. It really is no wonder that he researchers adopting this kind of design model present both results under different methodologies as conflicting information for results. Otherwise, the research workers can also convert one form of data under a particular methodology into another form so that they can conglomerate the results accumulated. (Baskerville et al, 2007 and McVea et al, 2009)

Data Change Design Model

This type of design model is specifically preferred by the primary health care researcher since it incorporates co-relational designs. Observational designs that are usually found under this kind of design model are studies on retrospect, prevalence and prospective matters. It is imperative to note that this kind of design model usually favors qualitative data over quantitative data. It allows the investigator accumulate qualitative information; dissect in tries to understand codes and styles underlining it. All this is done consistent with a predetermined code book or conceptual format. In addition, the codes and styles there under are counted numerically.

The foregoing notwithstanding, the look model can be formatted to also prefer quantitative data compilation and evaluation. The incorporation of the results is concurrent and the assimilation of the same happens at the info analysis stage. (Mcllvain, 2008).

The above three models of design cause the possibility of experiencing combined methods models within the construction of primary attention. Moreover, it's important to highlight the actual fact that the three models do not at all exhaust all the model designs available. Others not dealt with are the explanatory design model and the nested design model. Within the past a pioneer quantitative level is conducted in order to gather empirical or statistical results. (Creswell, 2006) The next stage is made for the researcher to acquire qualitative information that he'll use to expound or describe the quantitative results. (Tashakori A. & Teddie C. , 2008).

The nested design model differs from the explanatory method for the reason that, a lesser qualitative information gathering stage is assimilated or comprised within a more substantial quantitative disturbance trial. In as much as this kind of model fits the requirements for a synchronized and quantitative design, it still signifies to some extent, a disparity where the bigger element addresses one concern and for the reduced components another issue.

Using a blended models method, which is inculcated into a strenuous design composition, makes one assume that the study has all the correct know how required in understanding a specific study. Such knowledge is important when conducting research over a certain research. Further, it facilitates the researcher in knowing which design will best suit the analysis. Using mixed methods research is not only time consuming but and yes it is very tasking on the average person conducting the study. This is the case because blended methods apply multiple variants in its data format and collection. (Goering PN, 2007)

Grounded theory

Sociologists Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss (1967) have comprehensively articulated the grounded theory on the backdrop of social research. The main reason for grounded theory is to include theories about interpersonal phenomena, meaning, to develop some level of comprehending which is more grounded in organized data. The grounded theory is the most all-inclusive qualitative research strategy available. Grounded is looked at by many analysts and methodologists as a problem-solving endeavor concerned with understanding action from the perspective of the real human agent. It really is a procedure for making use of qualitative research, for the reason that its methods are neither numerical, nor quantitative in some other manner. It initiates its improvement by targeting a particular area of study and collects information from numerous resources, for example personal interviews and field observations.

Grounded theory is more suitable when is dealing with social interact s or experience which are motivated to explain a process. After collection of the needed data, the same is analyzed using coding hypothetical sampling steps. Then after ideas are borne from the results garnered and interpretive procedures, having concluded that part everything is concretized and presented. Glaser and Strauss view grounded theory as a general theory of technological method worried about the era, elaboration, and eventual validation of communal research supposition. They further believe grounded theory should meet the accepted canons for doing good knowledge. However, the main reason for applying grounded theory in ones research is to construct theories to be able to comprehend occurrences.

The key top features of this theory are so it must have an iterative analysis format, purposive sampling and a plan research. An iterative analysis design encompasses cycles of simultaneous information collection and analysis. A good grounded theory must meet up with the following conditions; it must be inductively produced from data, put through hypothetical amplification and judged sufficient to its area with considering a number of evaluative conditions. (Kennedy, 2006)

Purposive approach

Under this process which is extremely advantageous in the docket of quantitative research. The problems or issues for research are chosen predicated on similar characteristics that they portray. The method it uses is quite simple, when taking a part of the test, reject or ignore the members who do unfit the required profile for the analysis. This process usually starts with a rationale in mind, the sample was created to are the people who fit the standards of the research and exclude those members who neglect to achieve this concentrate on.

This method is favored by experts who use quantitative methodology since it offers results that tend to be more concise and specific. However, since it is subject to non-probability it is vunerable to partiality and inaccuracy. For instance, marketing investigators adopt this type of procedure when they are in mission of support because of their new product. They'll obviously start with persons in the roadways, first getting close to only likely suspects and then move ahead onto excluding people who do not match their particular criteria.


This paper has outlined and dissected the tenets that determine the world of the study domain. Initially, there used to be only two methods of research, namely qualitative method and quantitative method. However, over time, the proponents of either part therefore the need to incorporate the two so that they can bolster each other's weaknesses. The result was the blended methods research. The second option is a study design encompassing a way and a technique.

As a strategy, it entails collecting, inspecting and amalgamating quantitative and qualitative methods from the original to the final outcome periods of both. As a way, it deals with the collection, analyzing and subscribing to qualitative and quantitative information into one analysis. This function of research strategy highlights and stimulates the gathering of more in-depth proof for research problems. Furthermore, it assists in the answering of questions that could not previously be replied under either qualitative or quantitative methods. In addition, it can away with any form of adversarial connections that previously been around between the two modes of research.

Mixed methods strategy is more advantageous because it aids in multiple world views, besides, many experts have deemed it more practical and simpler to apply in research. Additionally, it is applicable to the study situations of today since they are more complex and intricate. Its practical nature helps in exemplifying issues to greater audiences. It is continuing to grow through lots of stages: a formative level, a paradigm competition, the procedural stage and the evolving fascination with federal endowment, journals, disciplines, and unique workshops.

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