On the Triangulation of Quantitative and Qualitative Data in Typological Social Research: Reflections on a Typology of Conceptualizing "Uncertainty" in the Context of Employment Biographies
Generally speaking, standardised and non-standardised methods each offer specific advantages as well as disadvantages. Non-standardised procedures seem to be especially suitable where the collection and reconstruction of subjective constitutions of meaning is concerned; standardised procedures, on the other hand, allow for conclusions concerning the quantitative distribution of the phenomena under study within the respective population. In this contribution, I will present an empirical study about the way German officers (holding a university degree) construct "uncertainty" just prior to leaving the army (JAKOB 2000). In this study, triangulation was used in such a way as to combine the advantages of both the qualitative and the quantitative approach. Both the possibilities and the limitations resulting from this specific combination of methods will be presented and illustrated as well as discussed using examples from the said research project.
triangulation; validity; cluster analysis; biographical (un)certainty; army officers