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TAYJ028 Mixed Methods Research 2 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Postgraduate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Yliopiston yhteiset tohtoriopinnot
Doctoral School

General description

Background and Course Objective

Arguments are increasingly being advanced for combining qualitative and quantitative methods in empirical research in organisation and management studies. Such research has many advantages, especially as it provides possibilities for reaping multiple benefits of “traditional” approaches based solely on qualitative and quantitative methods. One example of this is how mixed methods research can assist researchers in at least partly overcoming the trade-off between depth and breadth in empirical research. Another key motivation for mixed methods research is that it provides an opportunity for triangulation or combination of dissimilar methods to enhance the validity and applicability of research findings through the reduction of common methods bias.

The objective of this course is to provide a broadly based introduction to mixed methods research and its application to organisation and management studies. We also discuss the methodological challenges facing scholars undertaking such research and debate the philosophical foundations of mixed methods research.

Course contents and teaching

The course takes a relatively applied approach in that it aims at conveying an understanding of how mixed methods research may be used in practice, but also how such research can contribute to theory development and testing. The ambition is to support participants in their choice of methods, whether their research projects are of a predominantly qualitative or quantitative nature, and point towards potential ways of extending “traditional” research approaches within both these genres. Considerable emphasis will be placed on the use of triangulation for addressing the three “classical”, positivist criteria of external, internal and construct validity. We will also discuss the practical and philosophically tuned critiques of triangulation as a validation technique and explore how mixed methods research can be extended beyond the positivist tradition dominating such research such that it straddles traditional paradigmatic division lines. The teaching takes the form of lectures, group exercises and presentations and discussions based on these presentations.

Room: Pinni A3098

Running schedule

17.8.2015 at 9-16

-    Lecture introducing the rationale for mixed methods research, choice of mixed methods approaches, the notion of triangulation and its implications for the validity of mixed methods inquiries.   
-    Group work aimed at evaluating the research design of a selected number of mixed methods studies.
-    Presentation and discussion of group work.

18.8.2015 at 9-16

-    Lecture introducing various critiques of mixed methods research and research approaches emerging in response to such critiques such as meta-triangulation and mixed methods approaches underpinned by pragmatist and critical realist positions.
-    Group work aimed at evaluating emerging debates around these approaches and their implications for theory development. Specific attention will be paid to the implications of these debates for the PhD work of the course participants.  
-    Presentation and discussion of group work.


Active participation in lectures, group work and discussions.

Course requirements: Students taking class should have a basic understanding of both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as fundamental issues around ontology/epistemology.

Maximum amount of students is 15. Selection method is draw.

Course Convenor

Professor Sven Modell, e-mail: sven.modell@mbs.ac.uk

Reading Instructions:


Basic Readings

Brewer, J. and Hunter, A. (1989) Multimethod Research: A Synthesis of Styles, Thousand Oaks, Sage (revised 2nd edition published by Sage in 2005).
Note: This is a comprehensive text providing a broadly based introduction to mixed methods research in the social sciences. It should be seen as a basic resource complementing the more specific themes covered during the course and discussed in greater detail in the journal articles listed below.

Edmondson, A.C. and McManus, S.E. (2007), “Methodological fit in management field research”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 1246-1264.

Jick, T.D., 1979.  Mixing qualitative and quantitative methods: triangulation in action, Administrative Science Quarterly, 24, 602-610.

Modell, S. (2005) Triangulation between Case Study and Survey Methods in Management Accounting Research: An Assessment of Validity Implications, Management Accounting Research, 16, 231-254.

The special issue of Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management on “Mixed methods research in accounting” (2011, Vol. 8, No. 1), especially the lead article by Grafton, Lillis and Mahama.

Required Pre-Readings for Group Exercise

Eisenhardt, K.M. and Bourgeois, L.J. (1988) Politics of strategic decision making in high-velocity environments: toward a midrange theory, Academy of Management Journal, 31, 737-770.

Ittner, C. and Larcker, D. (1997) Quality strategy, strategic control systems, and organizational performance, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 22, 293-314.

Moores, K. and Yuen, S. (2001) Management accounting systems and organizational configuration: a life-cycle perspective, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 26, 351-389.


Basic Readings

Lewis, M.W. and Grimes, A.I. (1999) “Metatriangulation: building theory from multiple paradigms”, Academy of Management Review, 24, 672-690.

Modell, S. (2009), “In defence of triangulation: a critical realist approach to mixed methods research in management accounting”, Management Accounting Research, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 208-221.

Modell, S. (2010), “Bridging the paradigm divide in management accounting research: the role of mixed methods approaches”, Management Accounting Research, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 124-129.

Required Pre-Readings for Group Exercise

Hoque, Z., Covaleski, M.A. and Gooneratne, T.N. (2013) “Theoretical triangulation and pluralism in research methods in organisational and accounting research”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol. 26, No. 7, pp. 1170-1198.

Modell, S. (in press) “Theoretical Triangulation and Pluralism in Accounting Research: A Critical Realist Critique”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal.

Enrolment for University Studies

Max. 15 students will be selected to the course. The selection method is draw. The participants of the course will be announced in the beginning of June.

Please use the following link/address to enrol instead of clicking the "To enrolment" button! (The button leads to NettiOpsu, which won't accept enrolments to next academic year yet.)

Enrolment time has expired


Modell Sven, Teacher responsible


17-Aug-2015 – 18-Aug-2015