Triangulation In Qualitative Research – Advantages And Disadvantages

A triangulation research strategy incorporates three distinct methods of data collection. The term “triangulation” or “simultaneous triangulation” refers to the three parallel evaluation levels common in many triangulation studies. Triangulation in qualitative research involves questionnaires and statistical analysis of study results. By embracing several points of view and techniques, the verification process known as “triangulation” boosts validity. It is the process of combining two or more hypotheses, information sources, methodologies, or researchers in a single study of a specific phenomenon in the social sciences to arrive at a unified framework. Triangulation is the process of looking at a situation from several angles and utilising various techniques. This article will tell you about triangulation in qualitative research and its advantages and disadvantages.

What Is Triangulation In Qualitative Research?

Triangulation in qualitative research refers to utilising different methods or data sources to gain a thorough knowledge of the subject. Triangulation has also been seen as a qualitative research technique for testing validity by bringing together data from many sources. In qualitative research, validity refers to how accurate and certain your study’s conclusions are. Accurate to the extent that your conclusions properly represent the actual circumstances. Certain to the extent that facts support your conclusions. Certain denotes that there are no compelling reasons to doubt the findings — in other words, the evidence favours your conclusions. Qualitative researchers employ the triangulation technique to assess and confirm the validity of their findings. There are four types of triangulations in qualitative research.

  1. Data Triangulation
  2. Investigator Triangulation
  3. Theory Triangulation
  4. Methodological Triangulation

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Data Triangulation

Data triangulation in qualitative research involves consulting diverse sources of data and information. Sorting out the various stakeholder types and groups for the problem you are analysing is an important tactic. When conducting the analysis study, ensure to include a proportionate number of participants from each stakeholder. For example, suppose you are analysing the staff in a particular place. You would first determine the stakeholder groups such as lower and upper staff, executives and board of directors to ensure that you include every stakeholder in the research process. You choose to conduct extensive interviews to learn more about how the stakeholders see the agency’s results. Then you would speak with each stakeholder group’s representatives in an interview. By seeking solutions that all stakeholder groups accept, you would triangulate. The overwhelming body of research indicates that if each stakeholder, examining the problem from various angles, sees a certain outcome, it is very likely to be the actual outcome.

Investigator Triangulation

Investigator triangulation in qualitative research involves the utilisation of many evaluators. The evaluation team consists of researchers from the same field of study. Each separate evaluator would examine the research process using the same qualitative technique, such as an interview, observation, case study, or focus group, to triangulate their findings. Each evaluator’s conclusions would be compared. Validity is established if the conclusions drawn from the findings of the various assessors are consistent. If the results are significantly different, additional research is necessary to obtain the correct and conclusive conclusion.

Theory Triangulation

Theory triangulation in qualitative research involves the utilisation of several expert viewpoints to analyse a single set of data or information. In contrast to investigator triangulation, this approach generally involves consulting experts from different fields. Bringing together experts from various fields is a common strategy; however, experts from the same field may be utilised if they are in different roles. Theoretically, people with backgrounds in various subjects or jobs provide perspectives from those backgrounds. Validity is thus established if each assessor from the various disciplines evaluates the data similarly and comes to the same conclusions.

Methodological Triangulation

Methodological triangulation in qualitative research involves the utilisation of several qualitative and quantitative methodologies to analyse the research issue. Validity is established if the results of all the methods are identical. It is another extensively used and well-liked triangulation technique. However, this approach might need more funding to assess the research question differently. Analysing the data/information produced by the various approaches will also take extra time.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Triangulation In Qualitative Research?

Advantages of Triangulation

Cross-Validation

The main benefit of triangulation in qualitative research is the capacity to reach consensus and validate results using diverse research techniques. The researcher may feel more persuaded by the findings if results from various research methodologies agree. It is more probable that they accurately reflect events as they occur rather than the testing strategy employed to collect the data.

Synthesis of Research Methods

Narration, exploration, clarification, reflection, and theory building are the main themes of the qualitative research approach. It makes use of small sample numbers and in-depth analyses of single events. Quantitative research, on the other hand, is more concerned with sizable groups, patterns, and themes. Triangulation in qualitative research allows for integrating both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The integration allows a researcher to use quantitative research to identify patterns and discrepancies and then qualitative methods to investigate those trends and inconsistencies in more detail, as well as to ascertain their causes and the opinions of the people affected.

Decreases Researcher Bias

Utilising the data collected by several researchers is another method that researchers employ triangulation. This procedure eliminates the potential for researcher bias to skew study findings. In qualitative research, triangulation prevents researcher bias since gathering data by two or more researchers balances unintended researcher prejudice.

Disadvantages of Triangulation

Time-Consuming

Triangulation can be time-consuming, which is one of its main drawbacks. More organisation and planning are necessary to collect more data, yet these resources are not always accessible to primary researchers.

Lack of Uniform Methodology

The lack of a standard approach is one of the triangulation’s shortcomings. Triangulation practitioners frequently employ strategies to combine results and inadequately describe their processes.

Lack of Proper Training

Another issue is that researchers frequently receive training in either quantitative or qualitative approaches and may not have received sufficient instruction in the opposing methods to conduct a reliable and efficient study.

Conclusion

Triangulation in qualitative research is an effective strategy to validate the research findings. Researchers can attempt to address the limitations or inherent biases and issues resulting from solitary methods and specific-theory investigations by mixing many participants, theories, methodologies, and empirical sources.

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