You are here

Foundations of Multimethod Research
Share

Foundations of Multimethod Research
Synthesizing Styles



August 2005 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Multimethod Research offers an explanation of how a planned synthesis of various research techniques (fieldwork, surveys, experiments, and nonreactive studies) can be purposely used to improve social science knowledge. The authors discuss the many aspects of the multimethod research approach, including the formulation of research problems, data collection, sampling and generalization, measurement, reliability and validity, hyposthesis testing and causal analysis, and writing and publicizing results.

The book is a must-read for beginning to intermediate students and professionals who need to gain a better conceptual understanding of how to do social and behavioural science research more effectively.

`This is a book I wish I had written. Although nearly every page contains an interesting methodological insight, it's the synthesizing nature of the multimethod perspective that I find most satisfying. Instead of a patchwork of precepts and procedures, Professors Brewer and Hunter present a coherent synthesis of the principal quantitative and qualitative research styles' - Kenneth O Doyle, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

`This is a superb resource for anyone undertaking research in the social sciences. Going beyond simple descriptions of how to use each of the individual methods, Brewer and Hunter provide compelling arguments for systematically synthesizing different research styles at each stage of the research process. In doing so, they help us to see social science research as both an art and a science. By focusing our attention on how a multimethod approach can enhance each stage of the research, they avoid the simplistic dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative research and provide us with a much more sophisticated way of looking at the multimethod approach' - Sue R Faerman, University at Albany-SUNY

 
Preface
 
Historical Introduction
 
1. The Multimethod Approach and Its Promise
Four Imperfect But Useful Research Methods

 
A Broader Multimethod View

 
Finding Consensus in a House of Many Mansions

 
A Systematic Approach

 
 
2. A Healthy Skepticism About Theory and Method
Orienting Theory Toward Research and Vice Versa

 
A Healthy Skepticism

 
An Assessment of Four Research Styles

 
The Multimethod Approach: A Fifth Research Style

 
 
3. Formulating Research Problems
The Role of Research Problems in the Research Process

 
The Empirical Unfolding of Research Problems

 
The Role of Theory in Problem Formulation

 
 
4. Collecting Data With Multiple Methods
A Variety of Data-Collecting Methods

 
Validation Versus Exploration

 
Cost/Benefit Analyses of Different Methods of Data Collection

 
 
5. Finding the Objects to Study
The Dilemma of the Few and the Many

 
Units and Variables

 
Types of Sampling

 
Sampling and Generalization

 
 
6. Measuring Concepts and Assessing Measurement Validity
Defining Social Scientific Measurement

 
Judging Measurement’s Success From Facts Rather Than Fiction

 
Designing Validation Studies

 
What to Do if Measurement Fails (and How to Guard Against Failure)

 
 
7. Explaining Social Phenomena Causally
Causation and Causal Explanation

 
Modes of Causal Analysis

 
Assessing the Validity of Causal Research

 
Multitest Validity

 
 
8. A Postscript on Postmodernism
The Postmodern Critique

 
Some Research Examples

 
The Technology of Method

 
 
9. Making Research Public: The Social Context of Multimethod Research
Internal Politics

 
External Politics

 
Multimethod Research in Relation to Society

 
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Authors

This is a superb resource for anyone undertaking research in the social sciences. Going beyond simple descriptions of how to use each of the individual methods, Brewer and Hunter provide compelling arguments for systematically synthesizing different research styles at each stage of the research process. In doing so, they help us to see social science research as both an art and a science. By focusing our attention on how a multimethod approach can enhance each stage of the research, they avoid the simplistic dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative research and provide us with a much more sophisticated way of looking at the multimethod approach.

Sue R. Faerman
University at Albany-SUNY

This is a book I wish I had written. Although nearly every page contains an interesting methodological insight, it’s the synthesizing nature of the multimethod perspective that I find most satisfying. Instead of a patchwork of precepts and procedures, Professors Brewer and Hunter present a coherent synthesis of the principal quantitative and qualitative research styles.

Kenneth O. Doyle
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

This book takes you through various methods of research for one to make an informed decision

Dr Jabulani Makhubele
Social Work, University of Limpopo
May 22, 2013

an ideal text for undergraduate students undertaking research in social sciences and business management. Clearly explaining the concept of multi method resreach

Mr Michael Hall
Management , City College Norwich
July 25, 2011

John D. Brewer

John D. Brewer is President of the British Sociological Association and Sixth-Century Professor of Sociology and former Head of Department (2004-2007) at Aberdeen University, moving from Queen’s University Belfast in July 2004. He was Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy at Queen’s between 1993-2002. He has held visiting appointments at Yale University (1989), St John’s College Oxford (1992), Corpus Christi College Cambridge (2002) and the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University (2003).  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (elected 1998), an Academician in the Academy of Social Sciences... More About Author

Albert D. Hunter

Albert Hunter is professor of sociology at Northwestern University, and is affiliated with Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research and the Transportation Center. He has previously taught at the University of Chicago, Wesleyan University, and the University of Rochester. He has held visiting appointments at Yale, the London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Paris, and the University of Edinburgh. His teaching and research interests include urban sociology, community, ethnicity, culture and literature, urban politics and civil society, and research methods. Hunter has published numerous books and articles,... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9780761988618
$66.00 

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.