Van Mannen data analysis

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    Sager Hader

    I have a query, if any body can help me, I am preparing a sequential exploratory

    Mixed method design, the qualitative part is borrowing from the phenomenology tradition

     As it is exploring the experiences of the participants, I was planning to use van mannen

    for my data analysis but confronted with this question from my supervisor:

    do you think that the use of an interpretive phenomenology data analysis technique in the

    first phase and a descriptive quantitative technique in the second phase is compatible?

    what’s your rationale for that?


    And honestly I am looking for the right answer, can any body help?  

    Jenna Tudor

    Hi, I’m actually doing something similar in a sequential exploratory design with the qualitative stage before the quantitative stage. I’m trying to write my Methodology at the moment so I’m just doing lots of reading to try and help my write my rational for this and I’m wondering if using the Pragmatic Paradigm is going to help me write my justification. I’d be very interested to hear peoples views about the compatibility issues in these methods as mentioned by Sager. Thanks

    Pat Bazeley

    Assuming you are going to use what you learn from the initial interpretive analysis to guide the design of the second phase (presumably a survey/questionnaire) then it is quite compatible. You can justify it either
    1. by keeping the two phases quite separate apart from using the conclusions of 1 to help 2, OR
    2. by seeing even the quantitative phase as also being interpretive (which, if it is a survey/questionnaire, it probably is), i.e. both are viewed from the same general perspective, with the results fully integrated also in the write-up OR
    3. by seeing them as dialectically different and therefore likely to initiate further discussion/exploration as they reveal similarities and especially differences in findings, OR
    4. seeing both as contributing to different facets within a realist/critical realist approach, OR
    5. just pragmatically using whatever is useful from both as needed.
    Have fun – read lots and enjoy what you’re doing (and don’t get stuck on typologies/classifications of types – the question is more important)!


    I think it depends on how you have situated your study. We did a sequential qual/quant study in which we asked patients about thier experience in the first phase, did a domain analysis, which was then used by another member of the team to develop an instrument to measure some of the elements of the domain analysis. We used Spradley for a domain analysis and in some cases moved toward a taxonomic analysis. This allowed for a real connection between the two phases. The questionnaire/survey could be used then in intervention research to measure a change.

    John W. Creswell

    Yes, of course. You can begin your study with phenomenology and then move to a sequential quantitative phase – an Exploratory Sequential design. I personally like using either van Mannen, Moustakas, or Giorgi for phenomenology. John W. Creswell, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Sager Hader

    but John do you think that using an interpretive phenomenologist (van Manen) data analysis approach followed by an explorative or descriptive quantitative phase do not raise any combatability concerns? how can you rational that?

    John W. Creswell

    But tell me more about what you mean by combatability (compatability)? One issue may be that the descriptive quantitative phase is not very rigorous, but I do see much descriptive analysis being presented in quantitative phases. John

    Sager Hader

    i mean doing an interpretive phenomenology study first with all the assumptions of the constructivism paradigms ( Multuiple constructed realities, purposful sampling, etc..) and then following that a second descriptive quantitative study with all the assumptions of the positivism paradigm (objectivity, one independent reality, empirical testing, random sampling, etc) is that OK, or would it better (more compatible or appropriate or consistent) to do instead a first descriptive phenomenological study and followed by asecond descriptive quantitative study

    (Descriptive quantitative –> interpretive phenomenology ) VS (Descriptive quantitative –> descriptive phenomenology) of course in mixed method research.

    John W. Creswell

    Hi Sager, Really your difference is in the phenomenology perspective. I say that there are several phenomenological perspectives out there to use Moustakas, van Manen, etc. I see phenomenology as largely descriptive, regardless of approach. But you could use any of the phenomenological approaches that you want. Also, I am of the opinion that a researcher can use different philosophical assumptions in their different phases of a mixed methods study – e.g., begin with a constructivist paradigm and then move to a post-positivist paradigm. This is the approach that Plano Clark and I take in our new 2nd ed of our SAGE mixed methods book. Thanks. John Creswell

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