Relevance of Mixed Method Research Design
Mixed method research design involves the use of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis approaches in a given study (Creswell & Plano 2011). In this study, the primary focus of the researcher is to investigate cost optimization techniques and strategies in organizations within the oil and gas sector. ADMA-OPCO (Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company) is the focus of the study. Using mixed method approach will be very appropriate because it will enable the researcher to have empirical data to support the claims and have descriptive statistics to further elaborate on the findings.
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Strengths and Weaknesses of the Method
Using of mixed method research design has number factors that can be considered its strength. According to Tashakkori and Teddlie (2008), this method enables the researcher to use both descriptive and statistical data when conducting the analysis. The statistical data will help in explaining the magnitude of the factors being investigated while the descriptive data helps in explaining why a given phenomenon took place in a given manner. As Creswell (2013) states, mixed method makes it possible for a researcher to give a detailed explanation of an event and then back it up with data. The main weakness of this research design is that it may be time consuming to collect qualitative and quantitative data.
The researcher would proceed with the adoption of mixed research method because it will make it possible to understand cost optimization techniques and strategies used by the firm in details (Tashakkori & Teddlie 2010). The method will enable the researcher to understand how and why this firm uses specific strategies and the impact of the strategies on its general performance. Through this method, the researcher will go beyond explaining the magnitude of a given phenomenon. It will be possible to explain why the phenomenon occurred and why the impact was felt in such a given way.
The researcher expects a number of barriers to data integration at this stage of the research, top of which is analytical tool that can be used to analyze both qualitative and quantitative data simultaneously. The most commonly used analytical tools can only analyze the data either qualitatively or quantitatively. It will force the researcher to use analyze data using different methods and come up with a way of integrating the outcome after analysis. It may also be complex to develop effective qualitative question for every quantitative question when planning to collect data.
According to Benz and Newman (2008), mixed method research design is often popular when conducting detailed study that requires investigation of a wide geographic area and large population. However, this project is a relatively short research that will last less than nine months. It is important to appreciate that given the small size of the research project a number of limitations may be met when adopting the mixed methods approach. One of the main limitations is that it will require a large amount of data for the analysis to be completed. The researcher may be forced to expand scope of the study for there to be an effective data analysis based on both qualitative and quantitative data analysis designs. The researcher will be forced to spend more time during the process of collecting and analyzing the data. This is so because for every statistical value that is presented during the analysis, there must be an accompanying detailed explanation to support it.
Benz, C & Newman, I 2008, Mixed methods research: Exploring the interactive continuum, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.
Creswell, J & Plano, C 2011, Designing and conducting mixed methods research, SAGE Publications, Los Angeles.
Creswell, J 2013, Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Cengage, New York.
Tashakkori, A & Teddlie, C 2008, Foundations of mixed methods research: Integrating quantitative and qualitative techniques in the social and behavioral sciences, SAGE Publication, London.
Tashakkori, A & Teddlie, C 2010, Sage handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research, SAGE Publications, Los Angeles.