In this paper, Frank Crossan argues that the distinction between quantitative and qualitative philosophies and research methods is sometimes overstated, and that triangulation of methods in contemporary research is common. It is, therefore, important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, and this paper aims to provide the novice researcher with a basis for developing that understanding. A descriptive analysis of the philosophies of positivism and post-positivist thinking in relation to research methodology is presented both as an introduction to the philosophical basis of research, and as a sound basis from which to discuss the ‘quantitative-qualitative’ debate.
Nurse Researcher – Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
Published: Oct 1, 2003
Keywords: research methods research philosophy positivism post-positivism quantitative qualitative
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