Based on the two dimensions “contextualization” and “causal explanation”, they differentiate in their typology between inductive theory-building (Eisenhardt), interpretive sensemaking (Stake), natural experiment (Yin), and contextualised explanation (Ragin/Bhaskar). In “gaps and holes” sampling is highly focused on the purpose of the case study. Anomalies can be traced to historical sources, social processes, and external forces. Administrative Science Quarterly 56: 159–201. In all of these comparisons, the number of designs differs as well as the issues under consideration. Case study leg muscles. As a result, it astonishes that theoretical replication and rival explanations, being one of the strengths of case study research, are rarely used. Trying to become a different type of company: dynamic capability at Smith Corona. 2008. M.D. Let's go on a journey and learn how to conduct case studies! Hough, and H.C. Triandis, 39–73. Fiss. A case study requires an integrated, holistic comprehension of the case complexity. A theory comprises components (concepts and constructs), used to identify the necessary elements of the phenomenon under investigation. )” (Yin 2014: 143). Case study method. Alvesson, M., and D. Kärreman. Potential advantages of a single case study are seen in the detailed description and analysis to gain a better understanding of “how” and “why” things happen. While both of these approaches condense data, the approach of “social construction of reality” ends the research process with thick descriptions of the case to learn from the case or with categorical comparisons. Four ‘domains’ of career success: how managers in Nigeria evaluate career outcomes. Contrary to “No Theory First”, case study research design can also aim at specifying gaps or holes in existing theory with the ultimate goal of advancing theoretical explanations (Ridder 2016). 2015. Case Study Design. Explanatory, interpretivist, and critical/reflexive designs are widely neglected, narrowing the possible applications of case study research. Can anyone suggest, apart from Triangulation, how can I merge/support primary data through secondary? Whetten, D.A. There is a tentative theory and the research strategy is theory driven. Iteration between cases and emerging theory and considering the relevant literature provided the basis for the development of a theoretical framework. Shane (2000) is an author who developed specific propositions from a framework and examined the propositions in eight entrepreneurial cases. Academy of Management Review 38: 325–331. In the “Gaps and Holes” case study research design, the phenomenon is partially understood. The case can be typical of other cases. In addition, I did not consider so-called “home grown” designs (Eisenhardt 1989: 534) which lack a systematic and explicit demonstration of the methodology and where “… the hermeneutic process of inference—how all these interviews, archival records, and notes were assembled into a coherent whole, what was counted and what was discounted—remains usually hidden from the reader” (Fiss 2009: 425). Yin, R.K. 2014. Industrial Marketing Management 30: 651–657. So far, the outlined case study research designs are based on positivist roots, but there is richness and variety in case study research stemming from different philosophical realms. Piekkari, R., C. Welch, and E. Paavilainen. The “No Theory First” and “Social Construction of Reality” case study research designs, although they represent different philosophical assumptions, adequately fit the theory-building phase concerning new phenomena. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers. Seeking qualitative rigor in inductive research: notes on the Gioia methodology. © 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. In the following, I discuss how the above-delineated case study research designs unfold their capacities and contribute differently to the theory continuum to build, develop, and test theory. Can I use organizational transformation (or something similar wider topic) as the context and digitization as the case with the units of analysis being several different companies? In the third phase, researchers build theories to understand (causal) relationships, and in this phase, a model or theory asserts what factors drive the phenomena and under what circumstances. If case study research design is differentiated from qualitative research, the intended contribution to theory is stated and designs that fit the aimed contribution to theory are outlined and substantiated; this will critically enhance the rigor of case study research. Vaughan, D. 1992. Practice of making a list of 5-6 bullet points prevails. Dyer, W.G., and A.L. 1995. In contrast, published case studies are mainly introduced as exploratory design. What theory is not, theorizing is. Case study researchers usually triangulate data as part of their data collection strategy, resulting in a detailed case description (Burns 2000; Dooley 2002; Eisenhardt 1989; Ridder 2016; Stake 2005: 454). 12. Compared to the theory-building phase, the existence and not the development of propositions differentiate this design along the continuum. Case studies at this point of the theory continuum, therefore, have to outline the tentative theory; to demonstrate the lacks and gaps of the tentative theory; to specify how and why the tentative theory is aimed to be extended and/or modified; to develop theoretically based propositions which guide the investigation; and to evaluate new elements, relationships, and mechanisms related to the previous theory (analytical generalization). Representativeness or generalization is not considered. 2014. The Qualitative Report 13: 544–559. Intrinsic case studies will enhance the understanding by researcher and reader concerning new phenomena. This case study would use several types of research to determine an outcome. Multiple or collective case study research designs extend the instrumental case study. Sociological Theory 16: 4–33. This aggregation of multiple readings of a single case is conducted by turning the aggregation into social processes: “The move from situation to process is accomplished differently in different reflexive methods, but it is always reliant on existing theory” (Burawoy 2009: 41). Building better theory by bridging the quantitative–qualitative divide. Shaping hypotheses comprises: “… refining the definition of the construct and (…) building evidence which measures the construct in each case” (Eisenhardt 1989: 541). 2013. International Journal of Management Reviews 16: 369–383. I am a PhD student of medical sociology. What a theory is and what a theory is not is a classic debate (Sutton and Staw 1995; Weick 1995). The theory contribution of case study research designs,, Institutional entrepreneurship in mature fields: the big five accounting firms. In the extended case study, the researcher deals with qualitative data, but also considers the broader complex social situation. Another stream of the debate is related to theoretical generalizability (Hillebrand et al. On the other hand, case study research is a means of advancing theories by comparing similarities and differences among cases (e.g., in multiple case studies). Such findings aim to enhance the scientific usefulness of the theory (Corley and Gioia 2011). Finally, testing and contradicting theory are not the final rejection of a theory, but is the basis for reconstructing theory by means of case study design. 4.1 Case Study Research. Ituma, A., R. Simpson, F. Ovadje, N. Cornelius, and C. Mordi. While these papers consider the whole range of methodological approaches on a higher level, they treat case studies as relatively homogeneous. 4. In sum Yin states: “Overall, the single-case design is eminently justifiable under certain conditions—where the case represents (a) a critical test of existing theory, …” (Yin 2014: 56). Although case study research, overall, has similar characteristics, it incorporates various case study research designs that have heterogeneous theoretical goals and use various elements to reach these goals. Recently, researchers criticize that testing theories has become the major focus of scientists today (Delbridge and Fiss 2013); testing theories does not only happen to mature theory but to intermediate theory as well. Therefore, to analyze the contribution of case study research to the scientific development, it needs to compare explicit methodology. In analytical generalization, the theory is compared with the empirical results, leading to the modification or extension of the theory. Eisenhardt (1991: 627) makes a strong plea on more methodological rigor in case study research, while Dyer and Wilkins (1991: 613) criticize that the new approach “… includes many of the attributes of hypothesis-testing research (e.g., sampling and controls).”. The art of case study research. 1989. Pattern-matching logic compares empirically based patterns with predicted patterns, enabling further data analysis techniques (explanation building, time series analysis, logic models, and cross-case synthesis). Writing case histories was a basis for within-case and cross-case analysis. This result will be discussed in light of the question regarding how these case study designs can inform theory at several points of a continuum of theory. The standard format of case study design has evolved over the years. München/Mering: Rainer Hampp Verlag. Extreme and unusual cases have other purposes compared to common cases or revelatory cases. Ituma et al. When a study includes more than one single case, a multiple case study is needed. 2002. London, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. The case study and generalizability. Greenwood and Suddaby (2006), for example, used the instrumental case study design by Stake, combining network location theory and dialectical theory. In 'Theme' wise presentation, ensure that the cases can talk to each other! Further any suggestions to use any specific strategy while analyzing it, in-order to establish rigorousness. Article  Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschungsmethoden, vol. These case studies are likely to appear in formal research venues, as journals and professional conferences, rather than in popular works. “… theory is a statement of concepts and their interrelationships that shows how and/or why a phenomenon occurs” (Corley and Gioia 2011: 12). Another method is the most similar and most difference approaches; and also QCA, all of which compare the cases systematically from the beginning, focusing on the factors. It demonstrates that different designs have various strengths and that there is a fit between case study designs and different points on a theory continuum. Therefore, “Gaps and Holes” provide the opportunity for developing and testing theories through case study design on the theory continuum. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2): 219–245. A rationale for multiple case designs has its strength in replication logic (Yin 2014: 56). How can I analysis multiple case studies? Biemans. Becker, 173–202. I follow especially the argument by Piekkari et al. The answer is purposeful sampling of cases for comparison from the universe of cases. This can, as well, be distinguished from developing theory where rival explanations might develop theory by the elimination of possible influences (interventions, implementations). Confusing these potential contributions by inconsistently utilizing the appropriate methods weakens the contribution of case studies to scientific progress and, by that, damages the reputation of case studies. Strict comparisons, on the one hand, and controlled theoretical advancement, on the other hand, enable the identification of mechanisms, strengthen the notions of causality, and provide generalizable statements. Academy of Management Review 14: 532–550. Here, the careful description of the phenomena is the starting point of theorizing. 2000. As Fernandez 2005) notes, if researchers hope to explain variation in a dependent variable, the choice of cases must allow for variation in the dependent variable. This design uses a bright contrasting speech bubble to show that it includes a direct quote, and helps the quote stand out from the rest of the text. One should try to articulate such a method by relying on a logic of case selection that, within the limits inherent in the well-designed small-n comparative case-study (Verba, 1967; Eckstein, 1975; Yin, 1984), allows the researcher to maximize the internal and external validity possible given his/her contextual interests, thus increasing the confidence and generalizability of our causal explanations. In Handbook of qualitative research, ed. 2016. Using several sources of interviews and archival data, the author compared the data with the propositions using the pattern-matching logic, which concluded in developing entrepreneurship theory. Therefore, a case study research design is difficult to establish reliability and generalize. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. At the very beginning of the theory continuum, there is curiosity in the phenomenon itself. Constructs and relationships are well developed to a mature state; measures are precise and operationalized. An interview is an intervention into the life of a respondent. multiple case study design. Academy of Management Review 32: 1155–1179. Such theories are empirically tested with elaborate methods, and research questions are more precise. 2003. In The SAGE handbook of case-based methods, ed. Flyvbjerg, B. Based on this continuum, I analyze and discuss each of the case study research designs with regard to their location on the theory continuum. In addition, propositions or frameworks provide direction, reflect the theoretical perspective, and guide the search for relevant evidence. In this approach, a theory exists, but the theory fails to explain anomalies. I am doing multiple case-studies: using primary data from my interview, secondary data through content analysis. I outline and compare the case study research designs with regard to the key elements, esp. Burawoy, M. 1998. London/Thousand Oaks: SAGE. Therefore, the theoretical goals of case study research have to be outlined precisely. McManus. Unlike Burawoy, who aims to reconstruct existing theory on the basis of “emergent anomalies” (Burawoy 1991: 11) considering social processes and external forces, Danneels confronts the dynamic capabilities literature with the Smith Corona case to extend the theory of dynamic capabilities. The second is relationships between components (concepts and constructs), explaining the how and whys underlying the relationship. Weick (1995) makes an important point that theory is more a continuum than a product. Consequently, this paper aims to clarify at which point of the continuum of theory case study research designs can provide distinct contributions that can be identified beyond their traditionally claimed exploratory character. You can use the template to bulk up your marketing campaign. Academy of Management Review 36: 6–11. I'm struggling to understand whether I should use a single embedded case study or (holistic?) Delbridge, R., and P.C. Readers can thus make some generalizations based on personal and vicarious experiences (“naturalistic generalization”). Classical case studies prefer deep descriptions of a single case, considering the context to reveal insights into the single case and by that elaborate new theories. Accordingly, social forces that influence the social processes are identified, shaping the phenomenon under investigation. Yin (2003) is the leading book. Would be fantastic to find answers here! Ragin, and H.S. An introduction to qualitative research, 4th ed. This will help draw the reader’s attention directly to the quote, in turn influencing them to use your product or service. Corbin, J.M., & Strauss, A.L. 2014. Advances in Developing Human Resources 4: 335–354. 2011. They specifically exhibit the role of philosophical assumptions, establishing differences in conventionally accepted practices of case study research in published papers. Case study researchers can utilize the entire spectrum, but have to consider how the phenomenon is related to the theory continuum. Theory building from cases: opportunities and challenges. Multiple-Case Designs If the same study contains more than a single case, it is a multiple-case design Advantages Evidence is considered more compelling Overall study is therefore regarded as more robust Disadvantages Rationale for single-case designs usually cannot be satisfied by multiple cases Can require extensive resources and time In the case of literal replication, cases are selected to predict similar results. Four countries, four decades, four great transformations, and one theoretical tradition. (1998), and Stake. It is based on previously developed constructs and variables which are the foundation for stating specific testable hypotheses and testing the relations on the basis of quantitative data sets. Burawoy goes a step further. If there is no clarity as to whether a case study design aims at creating, elaborating, extending, or testing theory, the contribution to theory is difficult to identify for authors, reviewers, and readers. (2013: 16) clarify the demarcation line between constructs and concepts as follows: “By ‘concept,’ we mean a more general, less well-specified notion capturing qualities that describe or explain a phenomenon of theoretical interest. Disconfirmation of the relationships leads to refinement of the theory. A case study is a special type of thought leadership content that tells a story. The authors describe the differences in these two logics of case selection as follows: “The most similar systems design is based on a belief that a number of theoretically significant differences will be found among similar systems and that these differences can be used in explanation. Is it a method of validating the information collected through various methods? The chosen approaches have an explicit and detailed methodology which can be reconstructed and compared with regard to their theory contribution. Piekkari et al. However, the purpose of triangulation is not necessarily to cross-validate. 2011. Stake, R.E. The extended case method. Building theories from case study research. 2000. I agree that Yin's work is essential for anyone thinking of doing case study research. The theoretical sampling strategy in this case study research design stems from the theoretical failure in confrontation with the site. The analysis revealed that the classical understanding, whereby case study research is adequate for the “exploration” of a theory and quantitative research is adequate for “testing” theory, is oversimplified. For example, evidence from single case studies suggest that damage to the frontal lobes may produce impairment and an inability to produce multi-digit calculation procedures (rather than impairing arithmetic fact retrieval). Cases are sampled if they provide an unusual phenomenon, replicate findings from other cases, use contrary replication, and eliminate alternative explanations. (2009). London/Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Data triangulation is designed to narrow problems of construct validity, as multiple sources of data provide multiple measures of the same phenomenon. In the following section, basic elements of the theory and the construction of the theory continuum are outlined. CASE STUDY GUIDANCE AND TEMPLATE PEACEBUILDING EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY (PBEA) PROGRAMME IN CONFLICT-AFFECTED CONTEXTS. Theoretical sampling is deemed appropriate for illuminating and extending constructs and identifying relationships for the phenomenon under investigation (Eisenhardt and Graebner 2007). Academy of Management Review 32: 1145–1154. Flick, U. Denzin, and Y.S. The extended case study research design is guided by anomalies that the previous theory was not able to explain through internal contradictions of theory, theoretical gaps, or silences. These theories have to be extended by boundaries considering time and space. Oxford: University Press, Oxford. 2006. There is no theory which explains the phenomenon. The challenge is to determine the research strategy and case selection method most appropriate to the investigators’ theoretical concerns and to their desire to make confident inferences from the findings. This study demonstrates that there is variety of case study research designs that have thus far been largely neglected. This situational comprehension aims at understanding divergent “voices”, reflecting the variety of respondents’ understandings of the social situation. While case study research has, per definition, to investigate phenomena in its natural environment, it is hard to understand why this design has widely been ignored in management and organization research. 1989. Journal of Management Studies 46: 1059–1075. C.C. Dooley, L.M. Theoretical sampling in “no theory first” aims at selecting a case or cases that are appropriate to highlight new or extend preliminary constructs and reveal new relationships. 2004. Bus Res 10, 281–305 (2017). Each case is analyzed as a single case on its own to compare the mechanisms identified, leading to theoretical conclusions (Vaughan 1992: 178). This meets long lasting complaints concerning the lack of (new) theory in management and organization research and signals that the gap between research and management practice is growing. 2009. Zahra, S.A., and L.R. In instrumental case study design, purposive sampling leads to the phenomenon under investigation. 2000). The underlying logic is validation by replication. Both involve the same type of coding techniques it seems so is there any difference at all? Popper, K.R. Cross-case analysis revealed emerging patterns from which tentative constructs and propositions were formed. Has its strength in replication logic ( Yin 2014: 56 ) being limited a. Suggestions to use both the frameworks in my research design, also called the ABA design ” ( 1991! 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