Qualitative Research Methods

Module D - Mixing Methods

Learning objectives

The aim of this course is to provide students with an overview of how different research strategies or methods may be integrated to meet a research aim.

Using mixed methods is increasingly used in business research to enhance knowledge, improve the validity of findings by triangulation or widening of perspectives by complementary knowledge production. A ‘mixed methods’ design refers to a combination of quantitative and qualitative research strategies or methods within a single research project, in which the emphasis may be on either the qualitative component, the quantitative component or the two strategies may be fully integrated. In comparison, a multimethod design may concentrate exclusively on a qualitative or a quantitative approach but use more than one method within this approach.

The focus of this course is on discussing the benefits and challenges of applying a mixed methods approach and how a project may be designed with different or equal emphasis on a qualitative or quantitative research strategy. As basis for designing a mixed method study, the questions of how different research paradigms, theories and diverse data sources may be aligned in a mixed-methods study will be discussed. The module will address the following key questions: Why mix methods? Which methods to mix? How to mix? How to analyse and interpret? Which problems does the mixing of methods solve?

The students will be offered advanced skills to discuss and critically reflect on if and how their own project would benefit from employing a mixed methods approach. In addition, publication strategies with respect to a thesis based on a mixed methods design will be discussed. Based on course literature, discussions and exercises, the students will make individual presentations of a proposed project using a mixed methods approach and hand in a max 3-page outline of the proposal .

Time and place

26-28 May 2021. Please note: Due to the COVID-19 situation, Module D will be taught virtually (online via Zoom).


  • Associate Professor Alice Grønhøj (course coordinator)
  • Professor Liisa Lähteenmäki
  • Professor Irene Pollach

Sequence and topics (may be subject to change)

Day 1:                                

  • Mixed methods designs: Purpose, characteristics and practical implementation
  • An overview of approaches: Convergent mixed methods design, Explanatory sequential mixed methods design, Exploratory mixed methods design, and (several) Complex mixed methods designs
  • Possibilities and challenges in using mixed method approaches in our research 

Day 2:

  • Mixed method designs with an inductive, theoretical drive (QUAL+quan: qualitative and quantitative methods used sequentially with an inductive, theoretical thrust, e.g., focus groups, (n)ethnography and document analysis followed by a cross-sectional survey)
  • Mixed method designs with a deductive, theoretical drive (QUANT+qual: quantitative and qualitative methods used simultaneously with a deductive, theoretical drive, e.g., experiments supported by qualitative interviews)     

Day 3:          

  • Presentations and feedback
  • Dissemination and publication strategies when doing mixed methods research

(may be subject to change)

  1. Creswell, J. W., Plano Clark, V., Gutmann, M., & Hanson, W. (2003). Advanced mixed methods research design: In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social & Behavioural Research (pp. 209-240). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  2. Cresswell, W. and Cresswell, D. (2018). Mixed methods procedures: In Cresswell, W and Cresswell, D., Research design. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage (pp. 213-245).
  3. Greene, J. & Caracelli, V. (2003). Making paradigmatic sense of mixed methods practice: In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social & Behavioural Research (pp. 91-110). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  4. Johnson, R. B. and Onwuegbuzie A. J. (2004) Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33, (7), 14-26.
  5. Morse, J. (2003). Principles of mixed methods and multimethod research design: In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social & Behavioural Research (pp. 189-208). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  6. Pollach, I. (2012). Taming textual data: The contribution of corpus linguistics to computer-aided text analysis, Organizational Research Methods, 15(2), 263-287.
  7. Wiedemann, G. (2013). Opening up to big data: Computer-assisted analysis of textual data in social sciences, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 14(2), http://www.qualitative-research.net  

Blue-print articles (for work in class)

  1. Arnould, E. J. and Price, L. L. (1993) River magic: Extraordinary experience and the extended service encounter. Journal of Consumer Research, 20, (1), 24-45.
  2. Bahl, S., & Milne, G. R. (2009). Talking to ourselves: A dialogical exploration of consumption experiences. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(1), 176-195.
  3. Jehn, K. A., & Jonsen, K. (2010). A multimethod approach to the study of sensitive organizational issues. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 4(4), 313-341.
  4. McAlexander, J. H., Schouten, J. W., et al. (2002) Building brand community. Journal of Marketing, 66, (1), 38-54.
  5. O'Guinn, T. C. and Faber, R. J. (1989) Compulsive buying: A phenomenological exploration. Journal of Consumer Research, 16, (2), 147-157.
  6. Rozin, P., Hormes, J. M., Faith, M. S., & Wansink, B. (2012). Is meat male? A quantitative multimethod framework to establish metaphoric relationships. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(3), 629-643.
  7. Vergne, J.-P. (2012) Stigmatized categories and public disapproval of organizations: A mixed-methods study of the global arms industry, 1996–2007. Academy of Management Journal, 55, (5), 1027-1052.


Application deadline: 19 April 2021. Please download and fill in the application form. The application should be sent by email to: Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, att. Lisbeth Widahl. Please note that your application is binding.


External participants (from outside Aarhus University) will be charged a fee that covers lunches and refreshments (for more information, please contact Lisbeth Widahl). Participants will have to make their own arrangements regarding travel and accommodation.


2.5 ECTS