Mixed Methods Research as a Way of Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Tadej Košmerl
Summary: Mixed methods research combines qualitative and quantitative research approaches in a way that yields more valid results than using only one or the other approach. It has been developing markedly over the last three decades and various comprehensive mixed methods designs methods have emerged to date. Among them, the convergent, the explanatory sequential, and exploratory sequential design appear as fundamental. Designs can be predetermined or developed spontaneously during the research process if the need to obtain additional or different (qualitative or quantitative) empirical data appears in order to adequately address the research questions. These are qualitative and quantitative in mixed methods research (they require one or the other type of data) and frequently followed by a mixed methods question that specifically inquires about the contribution of the implementation of mixed methods. In the phases of data collection and analysis, thorough implementation of both qualitative and quantitative methods is crucial in order to enable efficient integration of both types of data in the interpretation phase, which is the key step in mixed methods research. Integration can be accomplished by combining data, explaining one type of data with another, using one type of data to plan the collection of additional data, or with mutual reinforcement. In the research report, integration can be presented descriptively, through transformation of one type of data to another, or with a combined graphical representation of the results.