Qualitative studies are inspired by the assumption that reality is socially constructed, unlike quantitative studies, where researchers believe that reality is isolated from social contexts and personal opinions (Stanford & Connor, 2019). However, the past two decades have had a tremendous integration of the two research methods, especially in social sciences and health disciplines. Researchers contend that the mixed method would counter effect some weaknesses of both qualitative and quantitative studies, and enhance the advantages of each.
Some advantages of mixed-method include: The mixed method is powerful since it accounts for both theoretical approaches (world view) and the statistical significance of data (specific view). According to Stanford & Connor (2019), that is a powerful research tool. Secondly, both methods complement each other. For instance, a quantitative study seldom understands social settings or contexts, which a qualitative study does (Aramo-Immonen, 2013). Therefore, results if a mixed-method are often complete and comprehensive.
However, a mixed-method may be very sophisticated for some researchers and may lead to problematic or inaccurate analysis and reporting. For instance, it may be challenging to design a methodology that accounts for the relationship of one finding after another. Hence, one may fail to comprehend their study straightforwardly or overlook the gaps that arise in the course of the study. Besides, it takes longer and more resources to complete a study through the mixed method, unlike its constituent methods.
Some examples of mixed-method research designs include sequential explanatory design, sequential exploratory design, concurrent triangulation, and concurrent nested, among others. Mixed methods designs are useful for both small and mega Project researches since they offer a systematic way to answer research questions.
Aramo-Immonen, H. (2013). Mixed Methods Research Design. Information Systems, E-Learning, And Knowledge Management Research, 278, 32-43. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-35879-1_5
Stanford, C., & Connor, V. (2019). Applied law and ethics for health professionals (2nd ed., pp. 17-31). Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.