[Journal:] Business Research [ISSN:] 2198-2627 [Volume:] 10 [Issue:] 2 [Publisher:] Springer [Place:] Heidelberg [Year:] 2017 [Pages:] 281-305
The objective of this paper is to highlight similarities and differences across various case study designs and to analyze their respective contributions to theory. Although different designs reveal some common underlying characteristics, a comparison of such case study research designs demonstrates that case study research incorporates different scientific goals and collection and analysis of data. This paper relates this comparison to a more general debate of how different research designs contribute to a theory continuum. The fine-grained analysis demonstrates that case study designs fit differently to the pathway of the theory continuum. The resulting contribution is a portfolio of case study research designs. This portfolio demonstrates the heterogeneous contributions of case study designs. Based on this portfolio, theoretical contributions of case study designs can be better evaluated in terms of understanding, theory-building, theory development, and theory testing.
Case studies Research design Heterogeneity of case study designs Theory continuum Methodological fit Contribution to theory