Integrated Designs

  • Oddbjørn Bukve


Integrated designs use different strategies for data construction in the same project. It is a complex field, and a number of different designs and methods are proposed and used. “Mixed methods”, “nested analysis”, “multimethod approach”, “comparative method”, and “qualitative comparative analysis” (QCA) are terms for variants of integrated designs that are quite different yet have in common that they use more than one strategy for data construction. I begin with a discussion of triangulation, a concept that paved the way for integrated designs by proposing the use of different data sets and analytical strategies to make analyses more robust. Triangulation focuses on arriving at the same result using different methods. Another purpose that gives reasons for the choice of an integrated design is the ambition of integrating theory development and theory testing in the same project. I discuss nested analysis as the most thorough example of a strategy that explicitly departs from this purpose. A third purpose of integrated designs deals with the development of strategies to uncover and test theories about social mechanisms. A focus on social mechanisms is typical of the literature on the multimethod approach. A main point in this literature is that the uncovering of social mechanisms requires detailed studies of one or more cases, whereas testing across cases can be made through statistical methods, by experiments, or by structured comparisons.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oddbjørn Bukve
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Norway University of Applied SciencesSogndalNorway

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