A sequential mixed methods research approach to investigating HIV/AIDS intervention management by construction organisations in South Africa
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Sequential mixed methods research is an effective approach for investigating complex problems, but it has not been extensively used in construction management research. In South Africa, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has seen construction management taking on a vital responsibility since the government called upon the private sector to play a greater part in combating HIV/AIDS. However, the South African construction industry has been slow in responding to this call, and many organisations are not fully aware of what such involvement might mean. A sequential mixed methods research approach was used to investigate this problem. As the research is ongoing, it is described in this article as a research journey; the findings of each stage have determined the best method for the next. Findings of each stage are not presented in detail, since the main purpose of this article is to show the effectiveness of the research method. The approach commenced with a quantitative survey to establish base-line information. Semi-structured interviews then yielded richer qualitative data before quantitative datasets were revisited to exploit their potential for more complex analysis and modelling. Findings to date show that corporate knowledge about HIV/AIDS is inconsistent, that intervention management may miss the population most affected, and that the stigma of being HIV+ is a major barrier that frequently prevents disclosure and thus misses the benefits that employer organisations can bring. The construction industry needs to find better ways to promote disclosure and minimise stigmatisation. The applied example shows that the adoption of sequential mixed methods has responded to individual stage data needs and provided essential flexibility for the research. It is an effective approach where end outcomes are not sufficiently clear at the outset of the research.