Quality & Quantity 32: 419–431, 1998.
© 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis
Using Latent and Manifest Variables
JUDY H. GRAY
and IAIN L. DENSTEN
Department of Management, Monash University, 900 Dandenong Road, Caulﬁeld, East Victoria
School of Economics and Management, University of New South Wales,
Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia
Abstract. The relative virtues of quantitative and qualitative research have been vigorously debated.
Several researchers recommend combining methodologies but there is little evidence in the literature
to suggest how different research methods might be integrated (Bryman, 1988). The current study
addresses this deﬁciency in the research by examining the use of latent variables in quantitative
and qualitative research as a means of blending the two approaches. A study of entrepreneurial
Locus of Control where quantitative and qualitative data were available illustrates the methodological
issues. Analysis of quantitative data was conducted using LISREL (7.20) and qualitative data were
categorised using NUD.IST (Non-numerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching and Theorising
computer software). Detailed comparisons are made between the methods described in this paper
and other approaches to content analysis.
There has been considerable debate concerning philosophical issues and the rel-
ative virtues of quantitative and qualitative research. Berg (1995: 3) states that
quantitative research ‘refers to counts and measures of things,’ while Tesch (1992:
56) deﬁnes qualitative research as ‘predominantly or exclusively using words as
data.’ Quantitative research is based on the gathering of facts, stresses the im-
portance of devising valid and reliable measurement procedures, and adopts the
principles of scientiﬁc method by emphasising the importance of the generalisation
and replication of results (Bryman, 1988). However, qualitative research adopts a
naturalistic approach which aims to retain ﬁdelity to the real world and stresses the
importance of ‘social reality in subjects’ perceptions of their environment’ (Bry-
man, 1988: 70). Thus, the major contrast between the two approaches is evident in
the differing views concerning how social reality should be studied.
There is a tendency among some writers to refer to quantitative and qualitative
research as divergent paradigms (for example, Filstead, 1979; Guba and Lincoln,
1982) which has led to an exaggeration of the differences between the two tradi-
tions. However, a more useful approach which minimises the distinction between
quantitative and qualitative research relies on the selection of techniques according