According to Denzin “no single research method adequately solves the problem of rival causal factors, thus the mixed methods approach is expected to create reliable explanation through triangulation”. Nevertheless, mixed research has its share of complications in terms of what extent of quantitative and qualitative plans are employed in mixed research. Thus, this paper will discuss the extent that mixed methods research is a combination of half-quantitative plan and half-qualitative plan and some limitations of mixed-method research.
Bryman reckons that there are limited guidelines about ‘how, when, and why different research methods are combined’. Subsequently, researchers have identified stages where quantitative and qualitative methods are integrated namely: formulation of research questions, sampling, data collection, and analysis. In most cases, Mixed-method research does not combine half quantitative plan and half qualitative plan. Generally, mixed-method can be predominately qualitative with components of quantitative; conversely, a research method can be predominately quantitative with components of qualitative. Essentially, the choice of the dominant method depends on the condition and purpose of the study.
Thus, a combination of quantitative and qualitative research takes many different forms, which are either sequential or parallel. In sequence mixed-method, one method precedes the other, while in parallel mixed method quantitative and qualitative components occur concurrently. Instead, researchers develop their research plan based on the best method that answers the research question. Indeed, in some mixed-method research, some research method is prioritized over the other method.
Moreover, whenever a mixed method is used for complementary purposes, elaboration of results from one method with the result from another method, one research method is utilized more than the other. Similarly, mixed methods are attributed to unrelated research results since mixed-methods fail to address the methodological limitations of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Furthermore, evaluating the quality of mixed methods is difficult especially when different methods of relatively equal importance are integrated.