The discussion of the most controversial social and historical issues requires their proper analysis according to a range of contemporary approaches to the research. Multi-method research can be considered as one of the most effective designs for the development and study of the most problematic questions.
Multi-method research design is the use of a great number of various techniques to come up with solution of a definite research question. To present the efficient study of the problem, it is necessary to examine it from different points of view. Multi-method research design allows doing this while using only one approach.
Thus, to complete their thorough investigations, researchers choose a number of multiple points in any inquiry process because the process should reflect the aim, its design, methods and approaches, sampling and data sources, data storage, data analysis, and the overall interpretation. “Methodological triangulation can also occur by combining qualitative and quantitative approaches in a single study” (Thurmond 2001, 253).
There are various values which are attributed to multi-method research design. The use of the triangulation ensures that errors and disadvantages which can occur while using various methods of the data collection and analysis are minimized. The main intention of using the triangulation is to decrease, negate and counterbalance the deficiencies connected with any single method.
Multi-method research design and its approaches are the most suitable for the researches when they work with definite paradigms. With varying social constructions from historical, cultural and economical factors, communities display paradigms. The paradigm is based on the belief system and views of people performing these researches.
Using the data sources triangulation helps to identify similar patterns at different places, time, situations, and people. Multi-method research designs provide perfect logical ways for researchers to choose which of the available methods they can mix as per their requirements. A specified research aspect or social problem can be used to choose the method to be used in the study.
The situation in the Middle East usually attracts the researchers’ attention, and there are a lot of approaches to its study. However, multi-method research design with the combination of the principles of the pattern recognition and the computational approach can be considered as one of the most popular ones.
For instance, Clarence Henry in his work of 1995 The Iraq-Kuwait Crisis, a Critique of United States Policy 1990-91 used this design in order to examine all the peculiarities of this controversial subject and present the most complete discussion of the issues (Henry 1995).
Multi-method research design is required when it is significant to concentrate on different points such as the discussion of the political situation in the region, on the position of the governments of these two states, on the position of the third force in solving the conflict.
Thus, the pattern recognition and other peculiarities of the design can be used in such works efficiently.Nevertheless, there can be a lot of difficulties with their interpretation because the most data for the research was collected before 1995, and there are a lot of questions connected with the currency of the research.
However, the development of such a complicated topic is almost impossible without using the triangulated approaches.
Multi-method research design provides the explanation to conflicting results which can arise from using different methods in the data collection and interpretation. This approach is more suitable for the study of controversial issues.
Thurmond, Veronica. 2001. The Point of Triangulation. Journal of Nursing Scholarship 33 (March): 253-258.
Henry, Clarence C. 1995. The Iraq-Kuwait crisis, a critique of United States policy 1990-91. PhD diss., University of Birmingham.