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Conference papers

29 APR 2018

Mixed methods research

Research indicates that many construction managers tend to primarily use a quantitative form of research (Fellows and Liu 1997; Dainty 2007; Creswell and Plano Clark 2011), with the minority using a qualitative form of research. Both miss out on the advantages that the opposing paradigms can bring.

This research investigates and highlights the various concepts and the various categories of research and methodologies available that a construction manager can utilise. It differentiates between and explores the various philosophies pertaining to research methods and strategies. It presents the reasons for choosing the mixed methodology as the investigative approach; positioning mixed methods research as the natural balance to traditional qualitative and quantitative research.

Much has been written about the differing schools of philosophy, their relationship with us and the world we live in. A research philosophy is an acceptance or a belief in the methodology in which data for a study should be collected, analysed and used. Research within the construction industry is primarily based on qualitative and quantitative methods, but can include studies that combine both philosophies.

As these methodologies do not study the same phenomena, they cannot, therefore be combined for cross-validation. They can however, be combined for analogous purposes. It is this key feature of mixed methods research, with its differing philosophies, which has the potential to provide high quality research. The research also explains the principles central to mixed methods research and its application to industry. In the construction industry, solutions are generally based on knowledge and experience developed over many years.

The research aids advancement of industry knowledge by adapting methods applied in academia, by providing a robust framework for construction managers, for designing and undertaking mixed methods research. This research demonstrates and strengthens that mixed methods research will become increasingly successful as more construction managers study, use and spread its philosophy.

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