Mixed methods research design is a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods or use of several qualitative or quantitative research methods. Therefore, it consists of several research methods rather than depending on a single method. The design allows the research to offset the drawbacks of one method with the strengths of the other. The approach reduces the level of biases that are associated with a single research method. There are five characteristics of the mixed research designs and one of them is the collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data.
The second is the framing od the procedures within the theoretical or the philosophical research models. The third is the integration of the data when being collected, analyzed and discussed. The fourth is the use of a rigorous procedure during collection and analysis of data sufficient for the method. The last is the utilization of the procedures that implement quantitative and qualitative components both or either sequentially or concurrently with the same or different samples.
Cross-sectional research design is different from other designs in three distinctive ways. One of them is that the selections of groups is not based on random allocation but on the existing differences. Secondly, the design does not rely on the change preceding the intervention but on the existing differences. The third distinctive feature is that the design has no time dimension. These three features distinguish the design from other research designs hence setting it uniquely.
Cohort research design is mostly applied in the medical sciences and applied social sciences. A cohort is a group or a unit. Hence, a cohort research design is a study conducted over time over a group of people in a population of interest. The focus is on a cohort that is representative of the population. Such a cohort is united together by a common factor or characteristic. The prominent type of data on a cohort research design is observation and the design can either be closed or open.
Descriptive research design answers the questions about how, when, who, where and what linked to the research problem under study. Sadly, the study cannot ascertain the answers to the question of why. Rather, the study design is suitable in gathering data on the current status of a phenomenon and offer a description to what exists in regard to the variables under study. besides, the descriptive research design studies a phenomenon under a completely natural and unchanged natural environment. Due to its shallow nature, descriptive research designs acts as precedence to a more quantitative research design.
In an experimental research design, the researcher conducts an experiment comparing several groups to determine the response of the introduced factor. It is mostly used where a cause leads to an effect with a great magnitude of correlation. There are two groups namely the control and the experimental group where the researcher analysis to establish or predict the possible occurrence. An independent variable is administered to the experimental group and then compared to the control group which has nothing administered.
However, the dependent variable is the same in both the experimental and control group. Three basic elements are identifiable in an experimental research design and these include control, randomization and manipulation. The researcher controls the situation and hence able to answer the question regarding what causes something to take place. Also, the researcher is able to evaluate the relationship between the cause and the effect of an occurrence.
An exploratory research design is exploratory in nature as it entails gaining insights and familiarity on an investigation. It explores a problem that has little information to the public. Very few or not study at all have been conducted on the research problem, and hence the exploratory study seeks to explore the area for better knowledge and insight. The researcher familiarizes with the concerns, the settings and the details about the problem, and understands the grounded picture of the entire situation. With little information known, the researcher comes up with new ideas, develops tentative theories and coins assumptions and hypothesis. It also enables the researcher to determine is future studies will be feasible. Exploratory design further aids in refining of a systematic investigations and formulation of new research questions.
A longitudinal research design is done over time through which repeated observations are made. The study interviews one group of people over time at regular intervals. The researcher can, therefore, track the changes as time elapses and link the them to the variables hence enabling the explanation and understanding of the relationships. The results of the study allow the researcher understand the patterns of change making it necessary to establish the direction and magnitude of the causal relationships. Each of the variable is monitored at different time intervals hence allowing the researcher to measure the change that variables undergo over time.
A case study provides an in-depth exploration of the research problem under probe rather than sweeping a statistical survey. The study is specifically suitable when narrowing down from a broad field to a narrow field of research. Besides, the case study method is applied when the researcher intends to test if a specific theory and model are applicable to the phenomena and observations in the real world. The figure below shows the systematic process that a researcher follows when carrying out a case study.
For instance, in this study, the researcher aims at exploring the theory that satisfaction creates motivation and a motivated workforce leads to better quality of work. Case study is hence a suitable research design when exploring if the theory is applicable in the higher learning institutions. The case study research design is specifically useful when little is known about the phenomenon. This makes it suitable for this study since little is done about the motivation of lecturers in the higher learning institutions particularly in China.
The case study research design tells the audience that the approach is successful in understanding the complex issue through an in-depth analysis of a limited number of events or conditions as well as their relationships. Besides, the design allows the researcher to use a range of methodologies rather than one. It also allows one to make use of various sources to probe the research problem and answer the research questions under study. Case study is a suitable research design that enables the researcher extend the experience as well as add the strength to the existing pool of knowledge established through previous studies.
The social scientists stand a greater chance to benefit and utilize the case study design in examining the contemporary real -life situations and occurrences. Through that, the social scientists offer a basis for the application of the concepts, extension of methods, theories and frameworks. The applications enable the researcher explain better the occurrence of the phenomenon in the real world. As a result, a there is better understanding of the world in which we live. Another crucial benefit of the case study design is that it offers the researcher an opportunity to gift the audience with detailed descriptions of the specific and rare cases in the world.
No design offers the best solution without drawbacks. Case study research design is not an exception and has a hip of things it does not reveal or unravel to the audience. One of the drawbacks is that a case study design can rely on a small number of cases or a single case which does not provide sufficient basis for establishing reliability of the findings. Besides such a small number of cases is not sufficient to generalize the findings to a wider population of things, places, or people. Another shortcoming of the case study research design is that it entails an intense exposure to study of the case and this may introduce bias in the researcher's interpretation of the study findings.
In certain instances, the researcher intends to understand the cause and the effect of certain factors in the real world. However, the case study does not enable the researcher establish or assess the causes and the effects of the relationships existing among the variables. Case studies are also prone to lack of vital information necessary to make significant decisions. As a result, the researcher finds it difficult to interpret the case.
Due to the lack of certain information and the scanty of cases available, the few cases may not be representative or typical of the entire population. As a result, the case fails to capture the larger problem under investigation. The criteria for case selection may differ depending on the situation. Hence if the criteria is based on the representation of a very unusual or a unique phenomenon or the problem under study, the implication is the findings will not have a clear interpretation and only that particular case is applicable. The figure below summarizes the case study research design.
Research method has been found to be a very critical part of any research work since they determine three vital aspects namely, reliability, validity and success. The present study seeks to understand the motivation factors among the lecturers in the higher learning institutions. Understanding the motivation factors entails understanding how people behave under certain circumstances that trigger their actions. Thus, the study deals with the study of the human behavior and features a wide range of sociological aspect. Social scientists rely on qualitative research to understand human behavior as well as accumulate a wealth of account on their beliefs within the context they manifest.
Qualitative research uses numerical data which seeks to explore and describe the quality as well as the nature of people's way of understanding, behaving and experiencing under certain conditions. Qualitative research has been applauded not only for linking the actions and beliefs of people but also its potential in formation of the hypothesis. As a result of its suitability qualitative data is widely and often used by researchers. The most commonly used qualitative research methods are questionnaires and interviews.
As a data collection technique, interviews are some of the most preferred research methods used in sociology and in determining the relationship between specific intended behavioral factors. An interview is a technique suitable for verbal communication between the participants and the researcher who is the interviewer. Saunders et al. (2006)...
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