NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1114324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2046-9012
Nonexperimental Research: Strengths, Weaknesses and Issues of Precision
Reio, Thomas G., Jr.
European Journal of Training and Development, v40 n8-9 p676-690 2016
Purpose: Nonexperimental research, defined as any kind of quantitative or qualitative research that is not an experiment, is the predominate kind of research design used in the social sciences. How to unambiguously and correctly present the results of nonexperimental research, however, remains decidedly unclear and possibly detrimental to applied disciplines such as human resource development. To clarify issues about the accurate reporting and generalization of nonexperimental research results, this paper aims to present information about the relative strength of research designs, followed by the strengths and weaknesses of nonexperimental research. Further, some possible ways to more precisely report nonexperimental findings without using causal language are explored. Next, the researcher takes the position that the results of nonexperimental research can be used cautiously, yet appropriately, for making practice recommendations. Finally, some closing thoughts about nonexperimental research and the appropriate use of causal language are presented. Design/methodology/approach: A review of the extant social science literature was consulted to inform this paper. Findings: Nonexperimental research, when reported accurately, makes a tremendous contribution because it can be used for conducting research when experimentation is not feasible or desired. It can be used also to make tentative recommendations for practice. Originality/value: This article presents useful means to more accurately report nonexperimental findings through avoiding causal language. Ways to link nonexperimental results to making practice recommendations are explored.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 1WA, UK. Tel: +44-1274-777700; Fax: +44-1274-785201; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A