Research Techniques for Professional Development


Learning takes place all the time. It occurs both with and without the consent of the learner. In the workplace, employee training is the responsibility of the organization (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe & Jackson, 2012). The development process is not the duty of one party. On the contrary, both the administration and the employee have a role to play. Today, the economic environment is changing at a rapid rate. As a result, business experts believe that a failure to invest in professional development may make the company fall behind the competition. The entire process entails training, coaching, refreshing, and imparting skills to employees with the primary purpose of boosting organizational growth. According to Shah and Corley (2006), management development programs facilitate employees’ retention. The organization should enhance the training process by providing the necessary support.

Using Mixed Methods Research Strategies

The Potential of Carrying out a Mixed-Method ResearchThere are two research questions that will be addressed in this paper. The first involves the core skills acquired after the implementation of employee management development programs. The second revolves around the impacts of the process on the rate of employee retention and performance. The research problem is of great importance to contemporary organizations. Consequently, managers need to have a total understanding of the concept.

The importance of the aspect calls for the need to conduct mixed methods research to tackle the problem. The approach entails carrying out a study involving analysis and integration of data by use of qualitative and quantitative means (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). A combination of the two methods will improve the understanding of the identified problem among the stakeholders. The approach will be more beneficial for this study compared to the use of one mode of research.

Robustness of the Mixed Methods Research

Mixed method research is considered to be effective due to the numerous advantages associated with it. In the context of the current study, the approach will facilitate the triangulation of findings to examine the problem. Triangulation allows researchers to identify various facets of a phenomenon in a precise manner (Jick, 1979). The reason is that one can approach the issue at hand from different angles. In addition, one can employ different methodologies and techniques to solve the research problem. All these elements highlight the robust nature of the mixed methods approach, making it preferable for the current research.

The outcomes of the current research undertaking will be evaluated by considering different aspects. The factors include assessing the success of using mixed methodology compared to employing a single technique and whether the approach produced the desired results.

Data Generated through Qualitative Methodology

To enhance the veracity of this research, the author will use the best techniques of data collection at their disposal. Morse and Niehaus (2009) point out that qualitative research can be used in different situations. In addition, the methodology’s primary aims involve understanding different facets of social life. In the context of the current research, qualitative research will be used to gather information on employees’ opinions and attitudes towards management development programs. The strategy will also be used to analyze the meanings attached by employees to the entire initiative. Generally, a qualitative approach will be used to gather non-numerical data, which will provide an in-depth understanding of the whole phenomenon.

Data Gathered through Quantitative Methodology

The selection of a suitable research method is a complex task (Shah & Corley, 2006). As a result, researchers need to thoroughly evaluate the scope, duration, and expected outcomes of their study. In the current research, the data that will be gathered using quantitative methodologies will include the total number of organizational resources used throughout the training period. Others will include statistical data regarding employees who consider the management development programs to be important. In addition, the quantitative methodology will be used to gather numerical figures on retention rates within a specified period.

Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies

Individual qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used to gather information throughout the research undertaking. However, to arrive at an accurate conclusion, both techniques will be merged. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies are combined in various ways. In the context of the current study, the two techniques will be pooled through parallel and sequential means. The parallel mode entails gathering data on the problem using qualitative and quantitative methods simultaneously (Morse & Niehaus, 2009). On its part, a sequential approach will be used to collect one set of data using a single methodology. The other technique will then be used based on the information collected. Researchers use different orders when employing mixed research methods (Jick, 1979). In this case, the quantitative methodology will be used first and the qualitative last. The reason is that qualitative data will be used to explain and understand results obtained through quantitative means.

Problems not Suited for Mixed Methods

The research problem in this project can be addressed accurately with the help of mixed methodologies. However, other queries do not support the use of the technique. Some of the unsuitable problems include those comprising of conflicting research perspectives (Shah & Corley, 2006). In addition, some researchers find it difficult to use mixed methods when studying fairly practical issues. The complexity and unsuitability of the problems result from the characteristics of the methods used. According to Johnson and Onwuegbuzie (2004), qualitative and quantitative techniques have different strengths and weaknesses. As a result, the ability to apply them in research is determined by the nature of the problem at hand and the intended results.

Challenging the Assumptions of the Main Arguments

Available literature shows that the mixed methods approach is an important research technique. The reason is that its benefits outweigh its limitations. The use of the methodology can provide a better understanding of the relationship between the implementation of employee management development programs and retention rates and performance. According to Morse and Niehaus (2009), mixed methods research helps scholars tackle a problem from two or more perspectives.

Despite the numerous advantages, there are probable limitations linked to mixed methodology. One major disadvantage is that quantification of qualitative data can reduce the flexibility and depth of the information gathered. The limitation occurs because qualitative codes are multidimensional. On their part, quantitative codes are one-dimensional (Jick, 1979).


Employee management development is critical to the survival of any organization. The process entails coaching and helping members of staff to achieve work-related goals. When employees appreciate their duties and work environment, it becomes easier for the managers to retain them. Despite the numerous advantages associated with the approach, not all managers and employees understand the concept fully. As such, the findings gathered with the help of the proposed mixed methodology will improve comprehension of the phenomenon among the stakeholders.


Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., & Jackson, P. (2012). Management research. London, United Kingdom: Sage.

Jick, T. (1979). Mixing qualitative and quantitative methods: Triangulation in action. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24(4), 602-611.

Johnson, R., & Onwuegbuzie, A. (2004). Mixed methods: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Research, 33(7), 14-26.

Morse, J., & Niehaus, L. (2009). Mixed method design: Principles and procedures. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Shah, S., & Corley, K. (2006). Building better theory by bridging the quantitative-qualitative divide. Journal of Management Studies, 43(8), 1821-1835.

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