Mixed methods research : creating fusion from the QUAL and QUAN Data Mosaic

EAVES, Sally and WALTON, John (2013). Mixed methods research : creating fusion from the QUAL and QUAN Data Mosaic. In: MESQUITA, Anabela and RAMOS, Isabel, (eds.) Proceedings of The 12th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies. Reading, UK, Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 118-126.


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There is no single recommended means of discourse for presenting and discussing mixed methods research, with lack of data synthesis and process transparency a frequently cited criticism. This paper addresses the deficiency and explores inventive means of data collection alongside innovative approaches to integrating, analysing and articulating qualitative and quantitative sources. A pragmatic philosophy, supported by theoretical and methodological bricolage is advocated and justified. A panoptic empirical study to elucidate the knowledge sharing influences of middle management in leading UK communication sector operators provides context. A sequential-exploratory and equally weighted QUALQUAN design was selected, incorporating emergent evaluation and integration. Innovative qualitative techniques were adopted, namely STRIKE - STRuctured Interpretation of the Knowledge Environment, photographic analysis and word cloud visualisation, alongside cultural-web focus groups. This facilitated rich, nuanced and multi-textured data capture to aid the instrument fidelity of a quantitative cross-operator survey. Triangulation was undertaken across all sources to assess areas of corroboration, elaboration or dissonance. It is demonstrated that this approach enables a multiplicity of perspectives to build successive deepening of understanding; supports transparency, traceability and synthesis; benefits credibility and validation and provides evidence of methodological robustness. This dynamic approach towards the design, conduct, fusion and presentation of mixed methods research therefore addresses a challenging lacuna: to combine rigour with responsiveness, texture with breadth and communicability with complexity. This can foster reflexivity and sensemaking for the researcher and further, can facilitate understanding, engagement and connection for the audience.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Identification Number: 2049-0968
Depositing User: John Walton
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2013 08:48
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 01:35
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7228

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