Lessons learned: advantages and disadvantages of mixed method research

Mary A. Malina, Hanne S.O. Nørreklit, and Frank H. Selto
Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 8 Iss: 1, pp.59 – 71

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is first, to discuss the theoretical assumptions, qualities, problems and myopia of the dominating quantitative and qualitative approaches; second, to describe the methodological lessons that the authors learned while conducting a series of longitudinal studies on the use and usefulness of a specialized balanced scorecard; and third, to encourage researchers to actually use multiple methods and sources of data to address the very many accounting phenomena that are not fully understood.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper is an opinion piece based on the authors’ experience conducting a series of longitudinal mixed method studies.

Findings – The authors suggest that in many studies, using a mixed method approach provides the best opportunity for addressing research questions.

Originality/value – This paper provides encouragement to those who may wish to bridge the authors’ ideological gaps and to those who are actively trying to do so.