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Journal article

Generalization practices in qualitative research: A mixed methods case study

Onwuegbuzie A, Leech N ...see all

Quality and Quantity, vol. 44, issue 5 (2010) pp. 881-892

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The purpose of this mixed methods case study was to examine the generalization practices in qualitative research published in a reputable qualitative journal. In order to accomplish this, all qualitative research articles published in Qualitative Report since its inception in 1990 (n = 273) were examined. A quantitative analysis of the all 125 empirical qualitative research articles revealed that a significant proportion (i.e., 29.6%) of studies involved generalizations beyond the underlying sample that were made inappropriately by the author(s). A qualitative analysis identified the types of over-generalizations that occurred, which included making general recommendations for future practice and providing general policy implications based only on a few cases. Thus, a significant proportion of articles published in Qualitative Report lack what we call interpretive consistency.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Analytic generalization
  • Case study
  • Generalization
  • Interpretive consistency
  • Mixed methods
  • Qualitative research
  • Sample size
  • Sampling
  • Sequential mixed methods analysis
  • Statistical generalization

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  • Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie

  • Nancy L. Leech

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