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Mixed-Methods Research: Investigating the Role of Social Networks in Employment Processes in Urban China

By: Published: 2016 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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This article presents a case of applying the mixed-methods approach adopted in my PhD thesis on the role of social networks in employment processes in urban China. The case shows how I combined qualitative and quantitative methods to collect and analyse data in a set of studies defined for the project. First, I conducted in-depth interviews with 65 job seekers and case studies of two companies that were recruiting employees in Chinese cities. Second, the qualitative data were used to inform the development of a theoretical framework and formulation of hypotheses, with large-scale secondary survey data then drawn on to produce results for hypotheses testing. Overall, this case illustrates the practices and challenges of employing mixed methods. Finally, this article offers methodological reflections on the mixed-methods approach and raises questions for discussion.

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