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Combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies in logistics research

John Mangan (Irish Management Institute, Dublin, Ireland)
Chandra Lalwani (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Bernard Gardner (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 1 August 2004

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Abstract

The majority of logistics research is primarily populated by quantitative research viewed through a positivist lens. Increasingly, there are calls for logistics research to more frequently employ qualitative methodologies. The trend in management research generally is increasingly to use methods and approaches which provide a middle ground between the contrasting positivist and phenomenological paradigms and perspectives. Methodological triangulation, using quantitative and qualitative methodologies, increasingly provides multidimensional insights into many management research problems. This paper urges logistics researchers to think about the paradigm through which they view the world and to explore the use of alternative methodologies. If the ultimate aim is to gain knowledge about the world then one needs to do this in the most valid way possible. This paper describes the dominant research paradigms and perspectives and their generally concomitant research methodologies and describes some research (decision‐making concerning choice of ports/ferries) where methodological triangulation, using quantitative and qualitative methodologies, yielded greater insights than would have been the case if a single research methodology had been employed.

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Citation

Mangan, J., Lalwani, C. and Gardner, B. (2004), "Combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies in logistics research", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 34 No. 7, pp. 565-578. https://doi.org/10.1108/09600030410552258

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited