Increasingly, qualitative researchers are combining methods, processes, and principles from two or more methodologies over the course of a research study. Critics charge that researchers adopting combined approaches place too little attention on the historical, epistemological, and theoretical aspects of the research design. Rather than discounting eclecticism in qualitative research, we prefer to place it on a continuum of integration whereby at the ideal end of the spectrum, the researcher demonstrates thorough knowledge of the approaches being drawn from and a thoughtful consideration of the rationale for combining methods. However, there is limited reflection in the literature on the combination of methods from specific methodological approaches. To address this gap we examine the extent to which the methods from two distinct qualitative methodologies, grounded theory and narrative inquiry might complement each other within a qualitative study using a framework that encompasses 10 key methodological features of research design.


Grounded Theory, Combined Methodological Approaches, Narrative Inquiry, Mixed Methods, Qualitative, Multiple Methods


We acknowledge feedback from Carl Leggo, Ph.D. on an earlier draft of this paper. The first author disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article: Shalini Lal is supported by a Frederick Banting and Charles Best doctoral scholarship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and this work was supported in part by a Quality of Life Strategic Training Fellowship in Rehabilitation Research from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Musculoskeletal and Arthritis Institute, an Affiliate Studentship from the Western Regional Training Centre in Health Services, and a Graduate Fellowship from the University of British Columbia.

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