Lessons learned: advantages and disadvantages of mixed method research

Mary A. Malina (University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA)
Hanne S.O. Nørreklit (Department of Business Studies, University of Århus, Århus, Denmark)
Frank H. Selto (Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Publication date: 12 April 2011



The purpose of this paper is first, to discuss the theoretical assumptions, qualities, problems and myopia of the dominating quantitative and qualitative approaches; second, to describe the methodological lessons that the authors learned while conducting a series of longitudinal studies on the use and usefulness of a specialized balanced scorecard; and third, to encourage researchers to actually use multiple methods and sources of data to address the very many accounting phenomena that are not fully understood.


This paper is an opinion piece based on the authors' experience conducting a series of longitudinal mixed method studies.


The authors suggest that in many studies, using a mixed method approach provides the best opportunity for addressing research questions.


This paper provides encouragement to those who may wish to bridge the authors' ideological gaps and to those who are actively trying to do so.



Malina, M., Nørreklit, H. and Selto, F. (2011), "Lessons learned: advantages and disadvantages of mixed method research", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 59-71. https://doi.org/10.1108/11766091111124702

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