Journal article Open Access

The importance of multimethods and mixed methods research in understanding complexity in leadership

Yawson, Robert M.

The dominant approach to leadership research has been undergirded by linear epistemology and transcends many discourses, practice, and scholarship in the field of leadership and leadership development. Leadership research has a long history of a quantitative approach, and it remains the most commonly used approach among leadership researchers. Although the application of mixed methods research designs has been examined across many fields and disciplines, it has yet to be specifically addressed in the context of leadership research. There is, however, a rise in research grounded in nonlinear epistemology, although the underlying methodological approaches have not clearly been defined. In a multimethods mixed methods study to identify skill needs for agrifood nanotechnology, a comprehensive methodology was developed for a systems approach research in organisational leadership. In this paper, this multimethods mixed methods research study is used as an illustration to provide a template and an approach that can be adapted in other leadership research.

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