Triangulation and Integration: Processes, Claims and Implications

Moran-Ellis, Jo; Alexander, Victoria D.; Cronin, Ann; Dickinson, Mary; Fielding, Jane; Sleney, Judith and Thomas, Hilary. 2006. Triangulation and Integration: Processes, Claims and Implications. Qualitative Research, 6(1), pp. 45-59. ISSN 1468-7941 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Researchers who advocate the use of multiple methods often write interchangeably about ‘integrating’, ‘combining’ and ‘mixing’ methods, sometimes eliding these descriptors with ‘triangulation’, which itself encompasses several meanings. In this paper we argue that such an elision is problematic since it obscures the difference between (a) the processes by which methods (or data) are brought into relationship with each other (combined, integrated, mixed) and (b) the claims made for the epistemological status of the resulting knowledge. Drawing on the literature for examples, we set out different rationales for using more than one method, then we develop a definition of ‘integration of methods’ as a specific kind of relationship among methods. We also discuss different places in the research process where integration can occur: for instance, data from different sources can be integrated in the analysis stage, or findings from different sources, at the point of theorising.

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Mixed-methods; multiple methods; integration; triangulation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)



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Date Deposited:

20 Dec 2017 13:15

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:42

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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