Confronting Complex Problems with Adaptive Mixed Methods Research Practices
Increasing recognition of the value of mixed methods research points to its usefulness to contribute novel insights to solve pressing complex problems. Yet many researchers remain constrained by their attempts to reduce, control or simply ignore the effects of complexity rather than embodying complexity and embracing adaptive practices in response to emerging mixed methods research conditions. This paper is adapted from a keynote and examines the societal demand for practical guidance for dealing with mixed methods research under conditions of greater complexity. It is argued that researchers would be well served by confronting complex problems with adaptive mixed methods research practices. This paper differentiates the conditions of higher and lower mixed methods research complexity and describes some benefits of adaptive practices under conditions of greater complexity. The conclusion positions synergistic dialogues as creating opportunities for sharing ideas and drawing upon disciplinary and methodological diversity to solve societal issues with a more complexity-informed approach to mixed methods research.