Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis Using Latent and Manifest Variables

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The relative virtues of quantitative and qualitative research have been vigorously debated. Several researchers recommend combining methodologies but there is little evidence in the literature to suggest how different research methods might be integrated (Bryman, 1988). The current study addresses this deficiency in the research by examining the use of latent variables in quantitative and qualitative research as a means of blending the two approaches. A study of entrepreneurial Locus of Control where quantitative and qualitative data were available illustrates the methodological issues. Analysis of quantitative data was conducted using LISREL (7.20) and qualitative data were categorised using NUD. IST (Non-numerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching and Theorising computer software). Detailed comparisons are made between the methods described in this paper and other approaches to content analysis.

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