SV Eisenhardt Graebner

Topics: Scientific method, Qualitative research, Case study Pages: 3 (1108 words) Published: March 6, 2015
Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007
Theory Building from cases: Opportunities and Challenges
Building theory from case studies is a research strategy that involves using one or more cases to create theoretical constructs, propositions or midrange theory from case-based, empirical evidence. Case studies: rich, empirical descriptions of particular instances of a phenomenon that are typically based on a variety of data sources (i.e. historical accounts or descriptions of recent events). Cases are used as the basis from which to develop theory inductively. The theory is emergent because it is situated in, and developed by recognizing patters of relationships among constructs within and across cases and their underlying logical arguments. Central to theory building is replication logic: each case serves as a distinct experiment and multiple cases are discrete experiments that serve as replications, contrasts and extensions to emerging theory. Case studies emphasize the real-world context in which the phenomena occur. Theory building from case studies is:

Objective because close adherence to data keeps researchers honest High in popularity and relevance because it is the best bridge from rich qualitative evidence to mainstream deductive research: emphasis on developing constructs, measures and testable theoretical propositions makes inductive research consistent with the emphasis on testable theory within deductive research. Inductive theory building from cases produces new theory from data and deductive theory testing completes the cycle. Likely to produce theory that is accurate, interesting and testable Challenges in writing publishable manuscripts using this research strategy exist. Some reviewers may emphasize narrative descriptions and others are more interested in testable and generalizable theory. Justifying theory building:

Begin with strong grounding in related literature
Identify a research gap
Propose research questions to address the gap
Justify why the...
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