Mixed Methods Research in Organizational Leadership

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Mixed research is a research that aims at applying more than one methodology when tackling a research question including the previous studies. Although this method is time-consuming, it enables the researcher to focus on the research question in a multi-dimensional manner incorporating an in-depth qualitative research and the quantitative research methodology (Chai & Xiao, 2011). Consequently, it gives comprehensive results that cannot be obtained from a single methodology. This aspect of combination is not an all-purpose methodology (Crain-Dorough, 2008). This implies that it can be used in some instances only.

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Appropriateness of Mixed Research

Dual Data

In some researches, the researcher might consider a research question that results to quantitative and qualitative data. In that instance, relying on qualitative research alone would neglect the aspects of quantitative data. On the other hand, using quantitative research methodology would lead to neglecting qualitative data obtained during data collection (Hafdahl, 2011). As a result, the researcher must include the two approaches in the research design to satisfy the elements of the research and obtain reliable results. In this case, it is important to state that this condition is developed by the nature of the research rather than the willingness of the researcher on deliberate bases.

Existence of Multi-level Research

In principle, most studies have more than one level of research including cognitive, biological, and social levels among others. This means that a research question that envisages the three aspects cannot be tackled from a single point of view. In this light, focusing on one of the aspects and ignoring another one can result to biasness that compromises the reliability of the outcomes (Maxwell, 2010). This case, therefore, calls for application of mixed research that can conduct a research incorporating all the levels leading to holistic outcomes.

Deliberate Multidimensionality

It is understandable that we cannot ignore the preferences of researchers when they are conducting research because a research starts when the researcher perceives a problem. This perception validates the preferences of the researcher in the process of conducting the research. For example, a researcher can decide to determine the correlation between people’s opinions and the factual incidences because opinions might be different from fact (Newell, Mitchell, & Hayes, 2009).

In other words, the researcher will aim at determining whether the people’s opinions match with the factual statistics. This case requires the researcher to conduct a comparative research between the opinions and the actual statistics. Consequently, the researcher must conduct a mixed research that involves qualitative and qualitative research in order to parallel result for comparison (Newell, Mitchell, & Hayes, 2009).

Expansive Views in Decision Making

Although it looks simplistic, relying on a single view is misleading because the views are focused to one factor while it holds the other factors constant. However, realistic incidences tend to happen simultaneously leading to a multivariable condition. It is, therefore, inadmissible to focus on a single variable while holding the others constant since the variables, which are held constant, are still influential to the behavior of their counterparts.

As a result, it becomes important to incorporate all the variables that appear in the study and adopt a multivariate approach to the research (Perreault, 2010). The comparison of the views ensures that the researchers can compare the results and reach to a compromise considering that all the linear factors have been incorporated. In fact, this is the most effective approach of making ethical decision when an administrator is confronted by an ethical dilemma (Shi, 2010). Otherwise, a single approach design is biased because it seeks to support the views of a single party at the expense of others.

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Although this methodology can be used in other instances, the situations that are discussed above are the most significant ones. The instances call for the application of the methodology without any other alternative. Attempting to apply quantitative or qualitative methodology alone would lead to unreliable results that can possibly mislead the concerned parties. Lastly, previous research shows that the mixed methodology can suit many research studies (Shi, 2010).


Chai, K., & Xiao, X. (2011). Understanding Design Research: A Bibliometric Analysis Of Design Studies (­­­2010). Design Studies, 3, 234-245.

Crain-Dorough, M. (2008). Media Review: Ridenour, C. S., & Newman, I. Mixed Methods Research: Exploring The Interactive Continuum. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 3(2), 197-198.

Hafdahl, A. R. (2011). Article Alerts: Items From 2010, Part I. Research Synthesis Methods, 2(2), 131-138.

Maxwell, J. A. (2010). Book Review: Bergman, M. M. (Ed.). Advances In Mixed Method Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 3(4), 411-413.

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Newell, B. R., Mitchell, C. J., & Hayes, B. K. (2009). Missing The Target: A Reply To Koehler & Macchi. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 7, 56-64.

Perreault, K. (2010). John W. Creswell, Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, And Mixed Methods Approaches (third Ed.), Sage Publications. Manual Therapy, 7, 114-120.

Shi, Y. (2010). The Research Trend Of Information Technology And Decision Making In 2009. International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making, 09(01),1.

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