Qualitative comparative analysis: Opportunities for case-based research

Reut Livne-Tarandach, Benjamin Hawbaker, Brooke Lahneman, Candace Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Qualitative researchers utilize comparative and case-based methods to develop theory through elaboration or abduction. They pursue research in intermediate fields where some but not all relevant constructs are known (Edmonson & McManus, 2007). When cases and comparisons move beyond a few, it threatens researchers with information overload. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a novel method of analysis that is appropriate for larger case or comparative studies and provides a flexible tool for theory elaboration and abduction. Building on recently published exemplars from organizational research, we illuminate three key benefits of QCA: (1) allows researchers to examine cases as wholes, effectively addressing the complexity of action embedded in organizational phenomena; (2) provides indicators of whether results are reliable and valid so qualitative researchers, and others, can assess their findings within a study and across studies; and (3) explores potentially overlooked connections between qualitative and quantitative research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Qualitative Research
Subtitle of host publicationInnovative Pathways and Methods
EditorsKimberly Elsbach, Roderick Kramer
Place of PublicationNew York and London
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-3158-4907-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-84872-510-2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2015


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