Mixed method research: phoenix of the paradigm wars

Document Type


Publication details

Cameron, R & Miller, P 2007, 'Mixed method research: phoenix of the paradigm wars', paper presented to 21st Annual Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference, Sydney, NSW, 4-7 December.


A new era in research methods is emerging and has been quietly lauded by several emerging authorities in the field of mixed methods research. The paradigm wars of the 1980s have been replaced by a ‘paradigmatic soup’ (Buchanan & Bryman 2007) and multimethodolgy or methodological pluralism has become a dominant part of the research landscape. Like the mythology of the phoenix, mixed methods research has arisen out of the ashes of the paradigm wars to become the third methodological movement. The fields of applied social science and evaluation are among those which have shown the greatest popularity and uptake of mixed methods research designs. This paper provides an overview of the rise of mixed methods research, its usage in business and management fields and its relationship to the notion of triangulation and the philosophy of pragmatism. Typologies of mixed methods are discussed and a case study of a mixed method research design in the Human Resource Management field that used a sequential mixed model research design is presented.