Mixed methods in information systems research: epistemological and methodological challenges

Amandine Pascal, Bénédicte Aldebert, Audrey Rouzies


Mixed methods are increasingly popular in social sciences thanks to their ability to generate new research results that differ from traditional methodologies. As such, because they offer a wide range of methodological choices, these methods are fruitful for the Information Systems domain (Mingers, 2001; Venkatesh et al., 2013). However, we do not have any knowledge of how they are actually mobilized. The aim of this article is to better understand the use of mixed methods by IS researchers. More specifically, based on a comparative literature review, we identify trends in how these methods are used and in their epistemological anchor. To do so, a bibliographic analysis of seven IS journals has been conducted over the period 2008-2016. This analysis allows us to bring a critical lens on the use of mixed methods in IS and thus completes the two bibliographical studies developed by Mingers (2001) and Venkatesh et al. (2013). By anchoring its reflection in epistemology, this analysis differs from previous ones, making it original and powerful. It allows us to propose recommendations for authors wishing to implement this type of method.


Mixed methods, information system, epistemology, qualitative methods, quantitative methods

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9876/sim.v23i3.831

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