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Issues in Mixed Methods


Fri 28. 8.  11:00 - 12:30
room FA 550

Content analysis and/or discourse analysis? A mixed methods approach in textual analysis.


Géring, Zsuzsanna
Budapest Business School, Hungary

Content and discourse analyses as methods represent rather different approaches in terms of their theoretical backgrounds and research design. However, the author attempted to utilise these methods together in a mixed methods approach in order to analyse the online discourse of Hungarian medium-sized and large companies (N=146) regarding their social role and responsibility (CSR). In order to understand what companies define as their societal role and what they thematise as part of their CSR, the author examined the texts on their homepages. In this research project, content analysis and discourse analysis complemented each other on the one hand, and provided both quantitative and qualitative descriptions about the subject of the research, on the other. Furthermore, both methods allowed not only the direct analysis and interpretation of corporate texts but also of the social phenomena covered by them. Building on the methodological lessons of this project, the main differences of the two methodological approaches are discussed through three dimensions. The first dimension concerns the coding process, while the second and the third are related to the differences in the actual analyses of texts and the role the context plays in these analyses. This paper, by focusing on these methodological characteristics, aims to point to the complementary nature of these methods and to demonstrate how a mixed methods approach can be utilised for textual analysis in social science research to reach deeper understanding of the examined social phenomena.