Joseph Alex Maxwell

Joseph Alex Maxwell
George Mason University | GMU · College of Education and Human Development

Ph.D.

About

47
Publications
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16,410
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Introduction
I'm a Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, where I teach courses on qualitative and mixed method research design and methods. I've written two books, Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach (3rd ed., 2012) and A Realist Approach For Qualitative Research (2011), and numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. See http://cehd.gmu.edu/people/faculty/jmaxwell/ for a more detailed listing of my publications.
Additional affiliations
January 2004 - present
September 1997 - June 2017
George Mason University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
September 1965 - May 1984
University of Chicago
Field of study
  • Anthropology

Publications

Publications (47)
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper focuses on public policies and programs as a major component of the "public sphere," and argues that qualitative inquiry can make uniquely valuable contributions to their development and evaluation. These contributions include understanding 1) how people interpret and respond to such policies; 2) contextual variability and its effects on...
Article
This is a response to Morgan’s article (Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 12(3), 268-279) on the qualitative/quantitative distinction. I argue that Morgan has mischaracterized my views on this distinction, and on the value of design typologies in mixed methods research, and that the qualitative/quantitative distinction is more productively framed...
Article
Full-text available
This paper focuses on public policies and programs as a major component of the "public sphere," and argues that qualitative inquiry has uniquely valuable contributions to make to the development and evaluation of these policies and programs. These contributions include understanding 1) how people interpret and respond to such policies; 2) contextua...
Book
Despite noteworthy exceptions, nursing’s literature largely disregards the ways in which social and sociological theory permeates, guides and shapes research, education, and practice. Likewise, social theory’s ability to position nursing within wider structures of healthcare and educational provision is similarly and puzzlingly downplayed. The ques...
Article
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The field of mixed methods research abounds with opportunities for creative development in terms of methodological advances and potential to contribute to important and complex societal problems. Inspired by issues that arose in the Mixed Methods International Research Association task force report on the future of mixed methods, this article conte...
Article
Full-text available
Qualitative research, characterized by substantially inductive and open-ended methods, is an important and accepted approach in the social sciences. Four specific features of qualitative research – understanding research participants' meanings, investigating the influence of the specific contexts in which the individuals and activities studied are...
Article
Full-text available
Presentations of the history and range of mixed methods research presented in textbooks, handbooks, and journal articles have typically ignored a great deal of earlier and contemporary research that integrated qualitative and quantitative approaches, but did not explicitly identify itself as “mixed methods.” This article reviews earlier research, i...
Article
Notes toward a theory of qualitative data analysis ‘Theory of qualitative data analysis’ can be interpreted in a number of ways. There has been a great deal written about using substantive theory – theories about the phenomena being investigated – in doing qualitative research (e.g., Anyon, 2009; Dressman, 2008; Flinders and Mills, 1994), and such...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of causation has long been controversial in qualitative research, and many qualitative researchers have rejected causal explanation as incompatible with an interpretivist or constructivist approach. This rejection conflates causation with the positivist theory of causation, and ignores an alternative understanding of causation, variousl...
Article
Full-text available
Contenido: 1. Un modelo para el diseño de la investigación cualitativa; 2. Metas: ¿para qué está haciendo este estudio?; 3. Marco conceptual: ¿qué cree que sucede?; 4. Preguntas de investigación: ¿qué desea comprender?; 5. Métodos: ¿qué va a hacer en realidad?; 6. Validez: ¿cómo podría equivocarse?; 7. Propósitos de la investigación: presentación y...
Book
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The book presents an argument for adopting a realist philosophical perspective for qualitative research, showing that critically applying a realist ontology to a number of important theoretical and methodological issues can improve qualitative researchers' conclusions and provide a stronger justification for what qualitative researchers actually do...
Article
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The 9th annual meeting of the Center for Qualitative Psychology was held in Northern Finland, near to the city of Oulu. The seminar was started with two crucial questions leading the participants to the theme of the conference. The orientation followed the line of the former meetings of the Center for Qualitative Research in Psychology helping part...
Article
Full-text available
The use of numerical/quantitative data in qualitative research studies and reports has been controversial. Prominent qualitative researchers such as Howard Becker and Martyn Hammersley have supported the inclusion of what Becker called “quasi-statistics”: simple counts of things to make statements such as “some,” “usually,” and “most” more precise....
Article
Full-text available
The view that qualitative research methods can be used to identify causal relationships and develop causal explanations is now accepted by a significant number of both qualitative and quantitative researchers. However, this view is still controversial, and a comprehensive justification for this position has never been presented. This article presen...
Article
Full-text available
A National Research Council report, Scientific Research in Education, has elicited considerable criticism from the education research community, but this criticism has not focused on a key assumption of the report—its Humean, regularity conception of causality. It is argued that this conception, which also underlies other arguments for “scientifica...
Article
Full-text available
The reemergence of a narrowly defined “scientifically based research” that marginalizes qualitative approaches represents a major threat to qualitative research. A postmodern perspective not only challenges this essentialist definition of “science” but also critiques tendencies of qualitative researchers to essentialize proponents of “science”. The...
Article
Numerous medical schools are beginning to plan single courses, separate curricular tracks, or entire curricula using problem-based, small-group methods. The use of these methods places a high demand on faculty members' time and support. In the present study, the authors examined the characteristics and beliefs of those faculty members who volunteer...
Article
A model program designed to increase the educational value of medical care evaluation committee meetings was studied to determine its effect on the knowledge and clinical performance of participating physicians. The members of hospital committees in which the program was successfully implemented showed a statistically significant gain in knowledge...
Article
A model medical care evaluation (MCE) program, designed to increase the educational value of MCE activities, was implemented in three clinical departments at the Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center. The program was evaluated by means of quantitative and qualitative observational techniques, questionnaires, and interviews and by comparing comm...
Article
Full-text available
The nontechnical aspects of medical computing systems are as important as the technical. We offer some reasons why. We discuss the social context of systems, the human engineering necessary for medical systems to work, and the specifics of the man machine interface. We offer some suggestions for planning for the change which comes with any new meth...
Article
The educational contribution of medical care evaluation (MCE) has generally been portrayed as the identification of physicians’ educational needs, while its intrinsic educational value has been neglected or treated anecdotally. A study of 13 MCE committees was undertaken to document the learning that occurs in these committees and to discover the c...
Article
The striking similarity in basic terminological pattern among Plains tribes, and the absence of this pattern elsewhere in North America, is not accounted for by existing general theories of the evolution of kin terminologies. The development of this pattern is explained here in terms of a theory which abandons the assumption that terminological pat...

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This paper was planned as a presentation as part of an invited plenary panel on "Seeing and Being Seen, Hearing and Being Heard: Challenges for Qualitative Inquiry in the Public Sphere," at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in May 2017. Unfortunately, the panel never took place due to unforeseen circumstances. It is now part of a set of papers published in a special issue of Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 26(2), pp. 177– 186. The basic argument of the paper is that qualitative inquiry has several uniquely valuable contributions to make to the development of public policies: 1) understanding the meanings that people attach to such policies; 2) the importance of contextual variability and its effect on the implementation and consequences of these policies; and 3) understanding the causal processes through which policies achieve their results.