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Aligning theory and methodology in mixed methods research: Before Design Theoretical Placement


Alavi, M and Archibald, M and McMaster, R and Lopez, V and Cleary, M, Aligning theory and methodology in mixed methods research: Before Design Theoretical Placement, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 21, (5) pp. 527-540. ISSN 1364-5579 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/13645579.2018.1435016


When a theoretical framework (and its components) is not clearly linked to research methods, researchers risk designing flawed studies, wherein the stated research question is inconsistent with the research design. Explicitly identifying one’s theoretical orientation can provide an orderly schematic for linking observations from separate investigations (i.e. qualitative, quantitative) thereby facilitating understandings and guiding research designs particularly in fields of social and health sciences where complex phenomena are an aspect of the subject of inquiry. Although this has been established, how researchers might position their research theoretically to guide mixed methods research is less clear. In this paper, we propose the Before Design Theoretical Placement as a general guide for specifying and locating studies in a broader theoretical grounding, and discuss how it may inform overall study considerations. We then use this approach to illustrate how theories and methods can work together to facilitate professional knowledge development from a relational perspective.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:health science, knowledge generation, mixed methods research
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:McMaster, R (Professor Rose McMaster)
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
ID Code:124175
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2018-02-12
Last Modified:2018-11-28

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