Towards a complementary research framework - part one

by David Jenkins
Tuesday 01st December 2009 - Article 3

This article is intended as an introductory text for a series of six discussions on research concepts and methodologies. In particular, the ongoing debate regarding the roles of positivism, critical realism, and interpretivism in relation to quantitative and qualitative research methods is addressed with the aim of perhaps liberating those sports therapy researchers who feel their quantitative empirical work should always be couched in positivist terms of reference, and others who may be methodologically constrained by the belief that their qualitative data can, or should, only be represented in interpretivist frameworks. The main thread here, and throughout the series, is the promotion of complementarity between qualitative and quantitative data analyses and the nature of the utility, application, and contingency of these methods within positivist, critical realist, and interpretivist research mindsets, or paradigms.

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