Living Reference Work Entry

The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management

pp 1-5

Date: Latest Version

Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research

  • Amy C. EdmondsonAffiliated withHarvard Business School Email author 
  • , Tiona ZuzulAffiliated withHarvard University


Selecting the appropriate method for a given research question is an essential skill for organizational researchers. High-quality research involves a good fit between the methods used and the nature of the contribution to the literature. This article describes a contingency framework that relates the state of prior theory and research to the design of a current research project, paying particular attention to when to mix qualitative and quantitative data. Whereas contributions to mature literatures are best made with quantitative methods, and contribute to nascent literature’s call for qualitative data, intermediate research is best served by a mix of both approaches.