1.2.3 Mixed and multiple methods
Some academics continue to argue that the different ontological positions that underlie the quantitative and qualitative paradigms are inherently incompatible. However, there are many scholars and practitioners of evaluation, and of social research in general, who reject this view (e.g. Burns, 2000; Ackroyd, 2004; Chen, 2005 and Bamberger et al., 2006). Silverman goes so far as to describe ‘such dichotomies and polarities’ as ‘highly dangerous’ (2000, p. 11). These authors, and many more nowadays, promote the use of a contingency approach, which employs mixed methods for data collection that are determined by the nature of the entity or activity to be investigated, rather than by the methodological prejudices of the evaluators (Clarke, 1999).