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633-5622-1-SP.doc - MIXED METHODS RESEARCH IN THE SOUTH...

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MIXED METHODS RESEARCH IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES: AN INVESTIGATION OF TRENDS IN THE LITERATURE ABSTRACT Mixed methods research (MMR), which is touted as a third methodological movement is increasingly becoming a popular approach in several fields as a result of the promise it holds to providing a better and balanced investigation of research problems in context. In spite of that, there is limited knowledge about its pervasiveness in economic and management sciences in South Africa. Based on a content analysis of 332 articles published in The South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences from 2003 to 2011, the main purpose of this quantitative study is to explore the prevalence of MMR in SAJEMS . Although methodological advances have been made in the field of economic and management sciences as reflected in the articles in SAJEMS , the findings reveal that scholars employ quantitative and qualitative methodologies than MMR. Given the paucity of MMR in the field, this study underscores the potential benefits of embracing methodological pluralism as it offers methodological and theoretical benefits. First, the use of MMR provides the possibility for researchers to obtain a comprehensive picture of a phenomenon under investigation and achieve their research purpose effectively. Secondly, its utilisation may also contribute to theory development and the maturity of the field as reflected in SAJEMS . Key words : archival review, citation analysis, content analysis, methodological pluralism; mixed-methods design; mixed methods research; qualitative and quantitative methods JEL C18 1 Introduction and context Mixed methods research (MMR) is regarded by some scholars as a third methodological movement (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2003:ix) that advocates (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2012:776) methodological eclecticism which involves the utilisation of quantitative and qualitative approaches within a single study. Although, there is no consensus on various aspects of MMR including, definitions and descriptions of mixed designs (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2012), many disciplines have embraced MMR (Ngulube, 2013). However,
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little is known about the extent to which MMR is utilised in the economic and management sciences in South Africa. The rationale of the case study reported in article is to provide a lens through which to appreciate the prevalence of MMR in economic and management sciences as it is reflected by the contributors to the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences (SAJEMS). The majority of the contributors to SAJEMS are from institutions in South Africa as only 15.5% of the articles in SAJEMS between 2004 and 2010 were from institutions outside the country (Jordaan et al ., 2013). The question, which is the major focus of this article, is: To what extent has research in economic and management sciences reported in SAJEMS embraced the multiple research perspective? To answer the question, we examined the research methods used in SAJEMS between 2003 and 2011. Thomson Reuters recommends at least five years when deciding
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