22 SES 11 D, Using Mixed Methods to Conduct a Content Analysis
Mixed methods research is distinguished by the collection, analysis, and integration of insight from data collected through both qualitative and quantitative research methods. This workshop will use examples from a project to analyze the mission statements of colleges of engineering in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Europe to illustrate qualitative, quantitative, and a mixed approach to content analysis. New and emerging researchers and those who have already undertaken a project with a qualitative and a quantitative component will find the workshop most useful.
Virtually every institution in higher education has a mission statement that is designed to communicate with a variety of internal and external audiences (Walton, 2005). They are often produced through the strategic planning process in organizations (Firmin & Gilson, 2010) or in preparation for an accreditation visit. In the best of all worlds, they are cultural artifacts in that they are written to mirror an institution’s overall vision and purpose (Kibuuka, 2001), to distinguish them from other institutions, and to serve as a guide for everyday practice. A more skeptical view is that mission statements are aspirational in nature (Walton, 2005) and use vague language that promises generic qualities, such as excellence, that cannot be measured (Morphew & Hartley, 2006).
Scholars in a wide variety of academic fields also have used content analysis to analyze themes present in mission statements. In the international arena, content analysis has been used to compare the mission statements of corporate and traditional universities in the US and the UK (Walton, 2005) and higher education institutions in Wales (James & Huisman, 2009) and East Africa (Kibuuka, 2001). Walton (2005) concluded that there was greater diversity in the mission statements from institutions in the U.S. than in the U.K., but concluded that higher education institutions in the two countries shared many foundational variables or codes, such as references to research, scholarship, learning, and service.
Content analysis is a methodology used to make replicable or valid inferences from texts, which can include text as will as visual media and artifacts (Weber, 1985; Krippendorff, 2004). Although content analysis has most frequently been done using a quantitative approach, Hsieh and Shannon (2005) identify three possible approaches to content analysis. These range from the purely inductive or qualitative approach, to purely deductive or quantitative approach, and finally to third approach that is a mixture of the two.
The objectives of the workshop:
- To acquaint audience members with the major distinguishing characteristics of mixed methods research.
- To illustrate a qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach for conducting a content analysis.
- To provide examples of different strategies that can be used to integrate or “mix” qualitative and quantitative data in a mixed methods content analysis.
- To explore the “value added” by using mixed methods to conduct a content analysis.
Firmin, M. W., & Gilson, K. M. (2010). Mission statement analysis of CCCU member institutions. Christian Higher Education, 9, 60-70. Hsieh, H., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288. James, H., & Huisman, J. (2009). Mission statements in Wales: the impact of markets and policy on congruence between institutions. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 21 (1), 23-35. Kibuuka, H. E. (2001). Vision and mission statements in Christian higher educational management in Eastern Africa. Journal of Research in Christian Education, 10, 87-114. Krippendorff, K. (2004). Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology (2nd Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Niglas, K. (2004). The combined use of qualitative and quantitative methods in educational research. Tallinn, Estonia. Tallinn Pedagogical University. O’Cathian, A. (2009). Mixed methods research in the health sciences: A quiet revolution. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 3 (1), 1-6. O’Cathian, A., Murphy, E., & Nicholl, J. (2007). Why, and how mixed methods research is undertaken in health services research: A mixed methods study. BMC Health Services Research, 7 (8). Plano Clark, V. L. (2010). The adoption and practice of mixed methods: U.S. trends in federally funded health-related research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 16 (6), 428-440. Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A. (2003). Major issues and controversies in the use of mixed methods in the social and behavioral sciences. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social and Behavioral Research (pp. 3-50). Thousand Oaks, CA. SAGE. Walton, J. (2005). Would the real corporate university please stand up? Journal of European Industrial Training, 29(1), 7-20. Weber, R. P. (1985, 1990). Basic content analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.
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