Business Research methodology and data analysis

Case Study Methodology in Business Research and How to write Methodology in Business Research
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Contents Acknowledgements xv Foreword xvii List of boxes xix List of tables xx List of contributors xxii Preface: how to read this book xxv Part I: Introduction 1 Chapter 1 Aims and overview of this book 3 1.1 Our definition of a case study 3 1.2 Aims of the book 6 1.3 Overview of the book 8 1.3.1 Structure of the book 8 1.3.2 Chapter 2: Case studies in business research 8 1.3.3 Chapter 3: Principles of research 9 1.3.4 Chapter 4: Theory-testing research (general) 9 1.3.5 Chapters 5–7:Theory-testing case study research 10 1.3.6 Chapters 8–9:Theory-building research 10 1.3.7 Chapters 10–11: Practice-oriented research 10 1.4 How to read this book 11 1.4.1 Reading specific topics 11 1.4.2 Suggestions for students 11 1.4.3 Glossary and flowcharts 18 1.5 References 18vi Contents Chapter 2 A review of case studies in business research 19 Raf Jans and Koen Dittrich 2.1 Published case studies in business research 20 2.1.1 Search strategy and sample 20 2.1.2 Case studies in Strategy 21 2.1.3 Case studies in Finance 22 2.1.4 Case studies in Marketing 22 2.1.5 Case studies in HRM 22 2.1.6 Case studies in Operations 22 2.1.7 Types of case study research 23 2.2 Review of methodological discussions on case study research 24 2.2.1 Objectives of case study research 24 2.2.2 Guidelines for case study research 25 2.2.3 Evaluations of case study research 26 2.3 Conclusion 27 2.4 References 27 Chapter 3 Principles of research 30 3.1 Theory-oriented and practice-oriented research 30 3.1.1 General research objectives of theory-oriented and practice-oriented research 30 3.1.2 Orientation: how to choose between theory-oriented or practice-oriented research 33 3.2 Principles of theory-oriented research 34 3.2.1 Theory 34 3.2.2 Theory-oriented research: contribution to theory development 38 3.2.3 Replication 40 3.2.4 Representativeness, external validity, and generalizability 45 3.2.5 Exploration of theory-oriented research 48 3.2.5.1 Exploration of theory 48 3.2.5.2 Exploration of practice for finding a proposition 49 3.2.5.3 Exploration of practice for confirming the relevance of a proposition 51 3.2.6 Contributions to theory development 51 3.3 Principles of practice-oriented research 52 3.3.1 Practice 52 3.3.2 Practice-oriented research: contribution to a practitioner’s knowledge 53 3.3.3 Exploration for practice-oriented research 55 3.3.3.1 Exploration of practice 57CHAPTER 1 Aims and overview of this book 1.1 Our definition of a case study It is an understatement that there is confusion among students, teach- ers, researchers, and methodologists about the definition and the main characteristics of case study research. Case study research is pre- sented by some as a strictly exploratory research strategy in which noth- ing can be proven, most often by referring to the alleged impossibility to “generalize”. Others, such as Yin (1984, 1994, 2003), have claimed that the problem of “generalization” can be solved and that, therefore, theories can also be tested in (preferably) “multiple case studies”. A major difficulty for students and novice case study researchers is that proponents of these different perspectives give different meanings to similar methodological terms without clearly defining these meanings, making it almost impossible to grasp the nature of the debate and to infer solutions to problems in designing their own research. Ragin (1992) has argued that the work of any given case study researcher often is characterized by some hybrid of various approaches, which are usually difficult to disentangle. Most definitions of case study research, as found in the literature, are statements about the most frequently used measurement tech- niques (such as using “multiple sources of evidence”, or “qualitative methods”) and research objectives (such as “exploration”). Such defi- nitions are attempts to capture in one statement the most important practical characteristics of a diverse array of studies that present themselves4 Introduction Part I as case studies. Yin’s (2003: 13–14) definition is an example of such an all-inclusive descriptive definition: “A case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between object of study and context are not clearly evident. It copes with the technically distinctive situation in which there will be many more variables of interest than data points, and as one result relies on multiple sources of evidence, with data needing to converge in a triangulating fashion, and as another result benefits from the prior development of theoretical propositions to guide data collec- tion and analysis”. But one methodological characteristic by which a case study is dis- tinct from other research strategies such as the survey is not captured in Yin’s work, or most other definitions found in the literature, namely the fact that a case study basically is an inquiry of only one single instance (the case), or sometimes a small number of instances, of the object of study. Yin’s and others’ definitions only highlight another dis- tinctive characteristic of the case study, namely that in a case study the object of study or its environment are not manipulated (“real life con- text”). Our definition wants to capture both, and the two really dis- tinctive features of the case study in comparison to the survey and the experiment create our definition of the case study: A case study is a study in which (a) one case (single case study) or a small number of cases (comparative case study) in their real life context are selected, and (b) scores obtained from these cases are analysed in a qualitative manner. With “study” we mean a research project in which a practice-oriented or theory-oriented research objective is formulated and achieved. With a case we mean an instance of an object of study. (We will explain our concept of “object of study” in Chapter 3.) With “real life context” we mean the object of study as it occurs (or has occurred) in reality, with- out manipulation. With “analysis in a qualitative manner” we mean an analysis based on visual inspection of the scores of the case (in contrast to a statistical analysis). We distinguish two main types of case study: the single case study, a case study in which data from one instance is enough to achieve the research objective, and the comparative case study, a case study that requires data from two or more instances to achieve the research objective.Chapter 1 Aims and overview of this book 5 Table 1.1 Main difference between the case study and the experiment Case study Experiment Real life context Manipulated The difference between the experiment and the case study is that the experiment manipulates instances, whereas the case study does not. An experiment is a study in which one or more variable characteristics of an object of study are manipulated in one or multiple (“experimen- tal”) instances of an object of study and in which scores obtained in the experimental instance or instances are analysed. The survey also studies instances in their real life context. A survey is a study in which (a) a single population in the real life context is selected, and (b) scores obtained from this population are analysed in a quantitative (statistical) manner. Our definition of the case study reflects our idea that the survey and the case study are different in two aspects; (a) the number of instances from which data are collected for the analysis, and, consequently, (b) the method of data analysis. The instances and data can be avail- able from earlier studies (allowing for a secondary analysis) or it may be necessary to select new instances and collect new data. The case study draws conclusions on the basis of a “qualitative” analysis (“visual inspection”) of scores from one single instance (single case study) or from a small number of instances (comparative case study), whereas the survey draws conclusions on the basis of a quantitative (statistical) analysis of data from a population with a large number of instances. These main differences between the case study and the survey are sum- marized in Table 1.2. Our definition of the case study does not include statements on data collection or measurement techniques. In our view research strategies do not differ, in principle, in terms of methods of measurement. For allthree research strategies discussed here, the data analysed can be quantitative or qualitative Measurement methods that are usually associated with case studies, such as the “qualitative” interview and using “multiple sources of evidence”, could also be used in the other research strategies. Similarly, measurement methods that are usually associated with other research strategies, such as standardized ques- tionnaires in surveys and quantitative measurements in experiments, could also be used in case studies. Principles of measurement and the quality criteria that apply to it, such as reliability and validity,6 Introduction Part I Table 1.2 Main differences between the case study and the survey Case study Survey Small N Large N Qualitative data analysis Quantitative data analysis (“visual inspection”) (statistical) apply to any measurement in any research strategy (see Appendix 1: “Measurement”). Although in a case study quantitative data can be used to generate the scores to be analysed, the interpretation of scores of the (small number of ) cases in order to generate the outcome of the study is done qualitatively (by visual inspection) and not statistically. We do not limit case studies to the study of contemporary events, as sug- gested in, among others, Yin’s definition of the case study. Our defini- tion of the case study is applicable also to the study of instances (cases) of objects of study that existed or occurred in the past. Therefore, the study of instances of an object of study as occurring “in its real-life con- text” (as formulated in our definition) includes both the study of con- temporary instances and of past instances. In this book, thus, we discuss the case study as a research strategy defined by the number of instances (N 1 or N small) that is stud- ied as well as the “qualitative” or non-statistical method of analysis of all kinds of (quantitative and qualitative) data. 1.2 Aims of the book Our book has four main aims. One aim is to present to students and novice case study researchers a broad spectrum of types of case study research (including practice-oriented case studies, theory-building case studies and theory-testing case studies) in one consistent methodological framework. We define methodological notions (such as “theory”, “theory- building”, “theory-testing”, “concept”, “variable”, “proposition”, “hypothesis”, “generalizability”, “replication”) and use our definition of these technical terms in a consistent way (see the glossary in Appendix 5). We describe in detail how to design and conduct different types of case study research. In that sense this book is a textbook from which readers can learn how to conduct a case study (see section 1.4.2 “Suggestions for students” on how to use this book as a textbook). A second aim of this book is to contribute to the methodological debate about the appropriateness of the case study as a researchChapter 1 Aims and overview of this book 7 strategy for theory-testing. Business researchers usually make a choice between the survey and the case study as the main strategy in their research, particularly if an experiment is not feasible. We emphasize and clearly illustrate (in Chapters 4 and 5) that the case study is the preferred research strategy for testing deterministic propositions case by case and that the survey is the preferred research strategy for testing probabilistic propositions in a population, if the experiment is not feasible. This implies that choosing either the case study or the survey as the research strategy in a theory-testing study depends on the type of proposition, and not on, for example, the method of measure- ment or what is common in the field. We believe that the main reason for confusion regarding the role of case study research in theory- testing research is that, most often, propositions are not precisely specified. Our third main aim of the book is to emphasize the role of replica- tion in all theory-testing research, irrespective of which research strat- egy is chosen for a specific test. The relevance of emphasizing this fundamental principle of theory development in this book is that a common criticism of case study research concerns the alleged “lack of generalizability” of the results of a case study. We think it is important to emphasize that every test result needs replication: a one-shot survey of a pop- ulation, a one-shot experiment, and a one-shot case study. Our “how to” guide for how to design and conduct the theory-testing case study, therefore, includes a final step in which not only the significance of the test result for the theory is discussed, but also the replication strategy that is required for further theory development. Finally, our fourth aim is to give more weight to the importance of theory-testing relative to theory-building. We claim that it is relatively easy to build relevant propositions but much more difficult to find out whether they are supported and, if so, for which domain. It certainly takes much more effort and time to test propositions (particularly because theory development requires many replications) than to build them. This is a general statement about theory development, and as such is not related to the case study only. However, we think it is important to make this point because case study research is often promoted as particularly suited for generating new propositions in “exploratory” studies. We think it is important to emphasize, contrary to such promotion, that designing and conducting a case study with a theory-building (“exploratory”) aim is often not useful because (a) it is usually more important for the development of a theory that already formulated propositions are tested (and that such tests are replicated), and (b) there are usually much more effective and efficient ways of building propositions (see Chapter 3).8 Introduction Part I A large part of this book (Chapters 4–7) discusses theory-testing case studies, although such studies are rare in current research prac- tice. This mismatch between our emphasis in this book on the theory-testing case study and the rare occurrence of such studies in current research practice does not reflect our misunderstanding of current research practice, but rather our deliberate attempt to correct what we see as an under-representation and under- utilization of the case study as an appropriate research strategy for theory-testing. 1.3 Overview of the book 1.3.1 Structure of the book This book is divided into four parts. Part I (Chapters 1, 2, and 3) is an introduction to research in general and the role of case study research in particular. In Part II we discuss principles of theory-testing research in general (Chapter 4) and of the theory-testing case study in particular (Chapters 5, 6, and 7), illustrated with examples. Part III discusses theory-building research in general (Chapter 8) and the theory-building case study in particular (Chapter 9). Part IV deals with practice-oriented research in general (Chapter 10) and the practice-oriented case study in particular (Chapter 11). Below is an overview of the content of each chapter. 1.3.2 Chapter 2: Case studies in business research In Chapter 2 (“A review of case studies in business research”) Raf Jans and Koen Dittrich present a literature review of recently published case studies in business research. A distinction is made between practice-oriented case studies and theory-oriented case studies. The review shows that most studies are practice-oriented and describe the design, implementation, and/or evaluation of some interventions, or illustrate the usefulness of a theory or approach to a specific company or situation. Although such studies might make use of theories, their aim is not to contribute to the development of those theories but rather to use them in practice. Within the group of theory-oriented case studies, most studies are formulated as exploratory: building theory by exploring instances of the object of study. The review also shows that case studies are only very rarely aimed at theory-testing.Chapter 1 Aims and overview of this book 9 Review articles on case study research show that many case studies suffer from a lack of scientific rigour. 1.3.3 Chapter 3: Principles of research In Chapter 3 we discuss general principles of research. We make a dis- tinction between practice-oriented research and theory-oriented research, and discuss general features of research objectives for each of these two types. We define “practice” and we formulate the aim of practice-oriented research: to contribute to the knowledge (through research) of practitioners in order to support them in acting effect- ively. When we focus on theory-oriented research, we define theory as a system of statements (propositions) about relations between con- cepts that describe aspects of the object of study in a domain of instances of that object of study. We distinguish three types of activity that contribute to theory development; exploration (gathering infor- mation from a variety of sources), theory-building research (develop- ing propositions through research), and theory-testing research (testing propositions through research). We claim that replication is essential for making a theory robust and for assessing its “generaliz- ability”. We argue that generalizability is not a characteristic of the results of a study, but a characteristic of the theory, which needs to be achieved through replications. 1.3.4 Chapter 4:Theory-testing research (general) Chapter 4 further focuses on theory-testing research in general. A theory can only be tested properly if its propositions are specified in detail. We formulate four types of propositions: A is a sufficient condition for B (“if there is A there will be B”), A is a necessary condition for B (“B exists only if A is present”), a deterministic relation between A and B (“if A is higher, then B is higher”), and a probabilistic relation between A and B (“if A is higher then it is likely that B is higher”). We argue that the choice of a research strategy (i.e. making a choice between an experi- ment, a survey, and a case study) depends on the type of proposition. For each type of proposition, a specific strategy is preferred, second best, or third best. Despite the widespread belief that case study research is not an appropriate research strategy for theory-testing, we argue that the case study is actually the preferred research strategy for the testing of specific types of proposition, if an experiment10 Introduction Part I (i.e. manipulation of aspects of the object of study) is not possible (which is often true in business research). 1.3.5 Chapters 5–7:Theory-testing case study research In Chapters 5–7, we discuss in detail the different types of theory- testing case studies: first we describe how to design and conduct a case study for testing a sufficient or necessary condition (Chapter 5), then for testing a deterministic relation (Chapter 6), and finally for testing a probabilistic relation (Chapter 7). In each chapter, we first discuss “how to do” such a case study. Next we provide one or two examples of such a case study. These examples are intentionally not selected because they are “exemplary”. On the contrary, the examples are actual case studies and as such provide a realistic picture of what is involved in conducting such a theory-testing case study. After each example of a case study we add a “methodological reflection” in which we discuss the contingencies with which the study in the example had to deal, as well as the resulting methodological limitations. This emphasizes our conviction that designing and conducting a research project is not the execution of a protocol but rather a process in which a researcher makes trade-offs all the time. 1.3.6 Chapters 8–9:Theory-building research In Chapter 8 we discuss theory-building research in general, and in Chapter 9 the theory-building case study (aimed at the “discovery” and formulation of new propositions). As in Chapters 5–7, we first discuss “how to do” such a case study, followed by an example and a method- ological reflection. 1.3.7 Chapters 10–11: Practice-oriented research We conclude this book with two chapters on practice-oriented research. After a discussion (in Chapter 10) on practice-oriented research in general, we discuss practice-oriented case study research in Chapter 11. As in Chapters 5–7, we first discuss “how to do” such a case study, followed by an example and a methodological reflection.Chapter 1 Aims and overview of this book 11 1.4 How to read this book This book can be read from the beginning to the end. However, it is also possible to read the book in another sequence, or to select for reading some specific topics of interest. Below we give suggestions to readers who are interested in specific topics, and readers (such as stu- dents) who want to use the book as a textbook for designing and con- ducting a research project. 1.4.1 Reading specific topics Table 1.3 refers to specific topics that can be read separately from other parts of the book. Table 1.3 Suggestions for reading specific topics Topic Chapter Principles of research in general (not only case study research) 3, 4, 8, 10 Overview of the authors’ main ideas on case study research 1, 4 Literature review of case studies in business research 2 Case studies for theory-testing 5, 6, 7 Case studies for theory-building 9 Case studies for practice-oriented research 11 “How to” design and conduct case study research 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, 9.1, 11.1 Examples of case study research 5.2, 5.4, 6.2, 7.2, 9.2, 11.2, 11.4 Methodological reflections on the examples of case study research 5.3, 5.5, 6.3, 7.3, 9.3, 11.3, 11.5 1.4.2 Suggestions for students This book provides guidance for designing and conducting a case study. In Flowchart 1 (all flowcharts are presented additionally in Appendix 3) we present a stepwise approach for the process of design- ing and conducting research in general, from the formulation of the first ideas about a research topic to the final reporting of its results. In this stepwise approach, three phases can be distinguished: ■ preparation phase – steps 1, 2, 3; ■ research phase – steps 4, 5, 6, 7; ■ implications and report phase: steps 8, 9.12 Introduction Part I Table 1.4 Suggestions for students to design and conduct a research project Phase Step Chapter Preparation 1. Define research topic – 2. Define the general research objective and 3 the general type of research 3. Define the specific research objective and 4, 8, 10, the specific type of research Appendix 3 Research 4. Choose the research strategy 5, 6, 7, 9, 11 5. Select instances 6. Conduct measurement Appendix 1 7. Conduct data analysis 5, 6, 7, 9, 11 Implications and report 8. Discuss results 5, 6, 7, 9, 11 9. Report the research In the preparation phase of the research, Flowchart 1 and the corres- ponding Table 1.4 can be studied to get a general picture of the steps that are needed for designing and conducting a research project. In Table 1.5, we indicate the required activities for each step of Flow- chart 1, the expected results, and the applicable quality criteria, and where the reader can find support in the book. In the next step of the preparation, general Chapter 3 “Principles of research”, could be studied followed by an inspection of all the flowcharts shown in Appendix 3. After that Chapters 4 “Theory-testing research (general)”, Chapter 8 “Theory-building research (general)”, and Chapter 10 “Practice- oriented research (general)” could be studied. In the research phase, most research activities depend on the research strategy. Since our book focuses on the case study, we provide only advice for the case study strategy. If an experiment or survey was selected, the researcher must use references other than this book. If the decision was made to do a case study, one of the Chapters 5, 6, 7, 9, or 11 could be studied depending on the specific type of case study that is conducted. Information on measurement can be found in Appendix 1: “Measurement”. This appendix applies to any type of research strategy. In the implications and report phase, the outcome of the research is dis- cussed and reported. Here the example chapters (always in combination with the methodological reflections) could be read for discussing the implications of the research for theory and practice, for getting ideas on the outline of the research report, and for possible other topics to be dis- cussed (see Appendix 4: “Writing a case study research report”).Chapter 1 Aims and overview of this book 13 Flowchart 1 A stepwise approach to research Start 1. Define research topic 2. Define the general research Theory-oriented or objective and general type of practice-oriented research Theory-oriented: theory-testing, 3. Determine the specific See Flowcharts theory-building; research objective and specific 2, 3 Practice-oriented: type of research hypothesis-testing, hypothesis- building, descriptive See Flowcharts 4. Choose the research Experiment, survey, or case study 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 3C strategy One N, small N, or large N 5. Select instances 6. Conduct measurement Quantitative, qualitative, or combination Quantitative (statistical), or qualitative 7. Conduct data analysis (visual inspection) Theory-oriented research: implications 8. Discuss results for theory Practice-oriented research: implications for practice Theory-oriented research: towards experts Practice-oriented research: towards 9. Report the research practitioners EndTable 1.5 A stepwise approach for research: activities, results, quality criteria, and references to relevant chapters in this book Step Activity Result Quality criterion Chapter in this book Chapter in this book (for all research strategies) (for case studies only) 1. Research Generate ideas Selection of Specific, well-defined – – topic for research topics the research topic topic 2. General Orientation Choice of the Clear choice between 3.1 Theory-oriented and – research of practice and general research practice-oriented practice-orientd research objective theory about the objective and theory-oriented research topic research objective 3. Specific Exploration: for Specification of Research objective is 3.2 Principles of theory- 5.1 How to test a sufficient research theory-oriented the research specific. For theory- oriented research; or a necessary condition objective research using the objective by oriented research: 3.3. Principles of practice- with a case study; empirical cycle; for specifying the initial theory-testing, oriented research; 6.1 How to test a practice-oriented propositions (for replication, or theory- 4.2 Specifying propositions deterministic relation research using the theory-oriented building, including (theory-testing); with a case study; intervention cycle research) or specification of 4.3 Business relevance of 7.1 How to test a hypotheses or propositions; for propositions; probabilistic relation with a variables (for practice-oriented 8.2 Principles of theory- case study; practice-oriented research: hypothesis- building research; 9.1 How to design and research) testing, hypothesis- 10.1 Hypothesis-building conduct a theory-building building, or descrip- research (practice-oriented case study; tive, including research); 11.1 How to design and specification of the 10.2 Hypothesis-testing conduct a practice-oriented hypotheses or research (practice-oriented case study; variables research); 5.3, 5.5, 6.3, 7.3, 9.3, 11.3, 11.5 10.3 Descriptive research Methodological reflections (practice-oriented research) on example case studies 4. Research Evaluation of Determination of Fit between research 4.4 Research strategies in 5.1 How to test a sufficient strategy possible research the research strategy and specific theory-testing research; or a necessary condition strategies (experi- strategy research objective 8.3 Research strategies in with a case study; ment, survey, case theory-building research; 6.1 How to test a study) 10.1 Hypothesis-testing deterministic relation with a research (practice-oriented case study; research); 7.1 How to test a 10.2 Hypothesis-building probabilistic relation with a research (practice-oriented case study; research); 9.1 How to design and 10.3 Descriptive research conduct a theory-building (practice-oriented research) case study; 11.1 How to design and conduct a practice-oriented case study; 5.2, 5.4, 6.2, 7.2, 9.2, 11.2, 11.4 Example case studies; 5.3, 5.5, 6.3, 7.3, 9.3, 11.3, 11.5 Methodological reflections on example case studies 5. Selection of Evaluation of Selection of the Fit between research 4.4 Research strategies in 5.1 How to test a sufficient instances possible instances instances objective and theory-testing research; or a necessary condition of the object of selection of instances 8.3 Research strategies in with a case study; study theory-building research; 6.1 How to test a 10.1 Hypothesis-testing deterministic relation with research (practice-oriented a case study; research); 7.1 How to test a 10.2 Hypothesis-building probabilistic relation with a research (practice-oriented case study; research); 9.1 How to design and 10.3 Descriptive research conduct a theory-building (practice-oriented research) case study; 11.1 How to design and conduct a practice-oriented case study; 5.2, 5.4, 6.2, 7.2, 9.2, 11.2, 11.4 Example case studies; 5.3, 5.5, 6.3, 7.3, 9.3, 11.3, 11.5 Methodological reflections on example case studies (Continued)Table 1.5 (Continued) Step Activity Result Quality criterion Chapter in this book Chapter in this book (for all research strategies) (for case studies only) 6. Measurement Evaluation of Determination of Measurement validity Appendix 1 Measurement Appendix 1 Measurement; possible data measurement and reliability 5.2, 5.4, 6.2, 7.2, 9.2, 11.2, sources, methods methods 11.4 Example case studies; for accessing data 5.3, 5.5, 6.3, 7.3, 9.3, 11.3, 11.5 sources (e.g. Methodological reflections interview, on example case studies measurement instrument, observation), procedures 7. Data (Statistical) Formulation of Internal validity 4.4 Research strategies in 5.1 How to test a sufficient analysis analysis; or rejection/ theory-testing research; or a necessary condition visual inspection confirmation of 8.3 Research strategies in with a case study; (“pattern proposition (for theory-building research; 6.1 How to test a matching”) theory-oriented 10.1 Hypothesis-testing deterministic relation with research). Formula- research (practice-oriented a case study; tion of concepts research); 7.1 How to test a or rejection/ 10.2 Hypothesis-building probabilistic relation with a confirmation of research (practice-oriented case study; hypothesis (for research); 9.1 How to design and practice-oriented 10.3 Descriptive research conduct a theory-building research) (practice-oriented research) case study; 11.1 How to design and conduct a practice-oriented case study; 5.2, 5.4, 6.2, 7.2, 9.2, 11.2, 11.4 Example case studies; 5.3, 5.5, 6.3, 7.3, 9.3, 11.3, 11.5 Methodological reflections on example case studies8. Results Reflection and Discussion on: Critical reflection 4.5 Outcome and 5.2, 5.4, 6.2, 7.2, 9.2, 11.2, discussion of limitations of the Implications; 11.4 Example case studies; results with study due to 8.4 Outcome and 5.3, 5.5, 6.3, 7.3, 9.3, 11.3, 11.5 experts and methodological Implications; Methodological reflections practitioners and practical 10.1 Hypothesis-testing on example case studies choices; research (practice-oriented contribution of research); the study to the 10.2 Hypothesis-building research objective – research(practice-oriented consequences of research); the results for the 10.3 Descriptive research theory, or con- (practice-oriented research) sequences of the results for practice (for practice- oriented research); suggestions for replications (in theory-oriented research); specul- ations regarding the consequences of the results for practice (for theory-oriented research) or speculations regarding the consequences of the results for theory (for practice- oriented research) 9. Report Writing and Report that Logical coherence – 5.2, 5.4, 6.2, 7.2, 9.2, 11.2, rewriting includes at least between paragraphs 11.4 Report of example the sections: and sentences case studies; Introduction, Appendix 4: Writing a case Methods, Results, study research report Discussion18 Introduction Part I Although the research process is depicted here as a sequence of con- secutive steps, in practice it is an iterative process that often requires stepping back to previous phases of the research process. Also many “trade-off” decisions must be made, for example between depth of the research and progress of the project. Then it is important to justify decisions and to estimate its consequences for the outcome of the research. 1.4.3 Glossary and flowcharts One of the aims of this book is to define technical terms precisely and to use them in a consistent way. We refer to the glossary in Appendix 5 for an overview of these terms. In order to keep track of the steps that are needed for designing and conducting different types of research we present flowcharts at several places in the book. For an overview, these flowcharts are also presented in Appendix 3. 1.5 References Ragin, C.C. 1992, Introduction: cases of “what is a case?”, pp. 1–17 in: Ragin, C.C. and Becker, H.S. (eds) (1992), What is a case? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Yin, R.K. 1984, Case study research: design and methods. Thousand Oaks (CA): Sage. Yin, R.K. 1994, Case study research: design and methods (2nd, revised edn). Thousand Oaks (CA): Sage. Yin, R.K. 2003, Case study research: design and methods (3rd, revised edn). Thousand Oaks (CA): Sage.CHAPTER 2 A review of case studies in business research Raf Jans and Koen Dittrich The aim of this chapter is to provide a background to this book’s approach to case study research. We want ■ to find out how common the case study is in business research and in which scientific journals case studies are published and to describe the types of case studies that were published in a variety of business research areas in the period 2000–2005; and ■ to review how the aims, strengths, weaknesses, and require- ments of case study research have been discussed in those scientific journals. In this chapter we review studies that are presented as case studies by their authors and the journals in which they were published. We have accepted the definition of “case study” as used in these publications (which differ considerably), and have not used our own definition of the case study. This implies that publications of research that could be considered case study research but presents itself as something else (such as “ethnography”) are not included, and that an unknown num- ber of publications of research that is not case study research according to our definition is included. We have limited our analysis of case study methodology in business research to five main fields; (1) Strategy, (2) Finance and Accounting (Finance), (3) Marketing, (4) Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management (HRM), and (5) Opera- tions and Supply Chain Management (Operations). In our selection and