Psychoanalytic theory has not typically been a source of statistical analyses or large N studies. Mixed methods research (MMR) is a potential bridge between statistical and hermeneutic approaches in developing a psychoanalytic human science. MMR draws from the strengths of both approaches to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the human subject, acknowledging the dialectic nature of explanation and understanding, objectivity and subjectivity. Tillman et. al. (2011) argue that psychoanalytic researchers are “poised to make rich use of MMR.” Researchers armed with clinical skills are able to listen deeply, identify and interpret units of meaning, and see the multiple layers of stories. Likewise, quantitative information found in histories, documents, and observations add a dimension of understanding to narratives. Tillman et. al. (2011) suggest that psychoanalytic human science is “a hybrid of medical science and hermeneutic practices,” a science that allows the quantitative/qualitative dichotomy to be resolved in pragmatic research practices.
Such an approach has implications for psychoanalytic organizational researchers. The challenge becomes not whether or not psychoanalytic approaches are scientific, but how the science of psychoanalysis is integrated with the art and practice of psychoanalytic interpretation within organizations.