Original Research

Are we there yet? Mixed methods research in the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

Patrick Ngulube, Beatrice Ngulube
Acta Commercii | Vol 22, No 1 | a1013 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v22i1.1013 | © 2022 Patrick Ngulube, Beatrice Ngulube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 February 2022 | Published: 29 July 2022

About the author(s)

Patrick Ngulube, School of Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Studies, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Beatrice Ngulube, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, Tshwane University of Science and Technology, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: In 2015, a study was conducted to explore the prevalence of mixed methods research (MMR) in the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences (SAJEMS) between 2003 and 2011. This study builds upon that study to establish the extent to which the use of MMR has developed in SAJEMS.

Research purpose: The purpose of this research is to explore and compare the levels of adoption of MMR in the present study to the one reported in the study of 2015.

Motivation for the study: This study goes beyond the one of 2015 by exploring methodological transparency in the use of MMR by contributors to the Journal and answers the question: are we there yet?

Research design, approach and method: The study analysed the methodology used by articles published in SAJEMS from 2012 to 2019. Content analysis was conducted on a total of 362 articles published in SAJEMS. Each of the nine articles identified as utilising MMR was analysed based on the indicators of use of MMR in the extant literature.

Main findings: The findings show that studies neither stated the appropriateness of mixed methods nor specified the designs. Integration was done by a few articles in a limited way. The passing of 8 years has not brought about any difference in the results of the use of MMR in SAJEMS. The use of MMR remains underrepresented. It is evident that SAJEMS is not there yet.

Practical/managerial implications: This article raises the need for methodological pluralism as an alternative to quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Contribution/value-add: Researchers are informed of the advantages of using MMR and incorporating the third methodological movement to obtain superior results.


mixed methods research; methodological transparency; pragmatism; integration; research designs


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