On Becoming a Pragmatic Researcher: The Importance of Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methodologies

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The last 100 years have witnessed a fervent debate in the USA about quantitative and qualitative research paradigms. Unfortunately, this has led to a great divide between quantitative and qualitative researchers, who often view themselves as in competition with each other. Clearly, this polarization has promoted purists, namely, researchers who restrict themselves exclusively either to quantitative or to qualitative research methods. Mono‐method research is the biggest threat to the advancement of the social sciences. Indeed, as long as we stay polarized in research, how can we expect stakeholders who rely on our research findings to take our work seriously? Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore how the debate between quantitative and qualitative is divisive and, hence, counterproductive for advancing the social and behavioural science field. This paper advocates that all graduate students learn to utilize and to appreciate both quantitative and qualitative research. In so doing, students will develop into what we term as pragmatic researchers.