You are here

Drawing from authors John Brewer and Albert Hunter’s original work published in 1989, when single method research was the standard, this new text offers an explanation of how a planned synthesis of various research techniques such as fieldwork, surveys, experiments, and nonreactive studies can be purposely used to improve social science knowledge. Foundations of Multimethod Research: Synthesizing Styles explores 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.

Key Features:
  • Provides a history of multimethod research as a post-positivist approach to give an accurate understanding of the emergence of this technique
  • Compares and contrasts the major primary research methods to help students determine which multiple methods are suitable for their own research
  • Addresses the post-modern critique of science and reviews how it has been articulated recently to examine how it is evaluated today
  • Includes examples of research designs from academic journals so that students can see how formal results are written

This book is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate research methods courses across the social and behavioral sciences. It is a must-read for anyone looking to gain a better conceptual understanding of how to do social and behavioral 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
Key features
  • Provides a history of the emergence of multimethod research as a post-positivist approach
  • Compares and contrasts the major primary research methods
  • Addresses the post-modern critique of science and reviews how it has been articulated recently
  • Includes examples of research designs from academic journals, so that students can see how formal results are written

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option


Paperback
ISBN: 9780761988618
$66.00

This title is also available on SAGE Research Methods, the ultimate digital methods library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.