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Exploratory Study of How to Improve Efficiency Despite Staff Shortages and Budgetary Constraints: A Mixed-Methods Approach in a Law Enforcement Setting

By: & Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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We conducted a mixed-methods study to discover means of improving the efficiency of a law enforcement investigations subunit during a time of staff shortages and budgetary constraints. The use of qualitative and quantitative approaches in tandem combines inductive and deductive thinking and reasoning, provides additional support and evidence for the findings, and reduces researchers’ bias through the combination of methods. Our research used qualitative, in-depth interviews, with Criminal Investigators who were selected based on diversity of experience and types of crimes investigated. The study used Weisbord’s Six-Box diagnostic model as an initial framework to categorize responses; the analysis process revealed additional themes. The findings of this study suggest practitioners’ need to search for additional ways of improving efficiency when facing staff shortages and budgetary constraints because solutions might be readily available from within the organization. Readers will learn about the needed level of collaboration among researchers, how to approach organizations when inquiring access to their employees for research purposes, how to collect and interpret data for a mixed-methods study, and how to adjust the research strategy when encountering obstacles.

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Qualitative data collection

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