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“Mixed Methods” in Evaluation Research – Working with the Opportunities and Boundaries of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART102412

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Abstract

This article introduces the Mixed Methods approach which has gained growing importance in the debate about social research methods in recent years. Advantages of mixed methods designs for evaluation and evaluation research will be discussed in detail. The crucial idea behind mixed methods is to identify and to cope with specific limitations and methodological problems of qualitative and quantitative methods by drawing on procedures and concepts of the respective other tradition. To clarify this point, different problems of qualitative and quantitative research which can be dealt with by using mixed methods designs will be addressed with the help of empirical examples. It will be shown, that there can be an exit in the dead end street, in which the debate between adherents of qualitative and quantitative methods has got into, if mutual methodological criticism is no longer ignored, but used as a resource for a constructive development of methods instead.

Keywords
Methods of Social Research, Mixed Methods, Qualitative Methods, Quantitative Methods