Approaches to Qualitative Comparative Analysis and good practices : A systematic review

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2022
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Paustyan, Ekaterina
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Swiss Political Science Review. Wiley. 2022, 28(3), pp. 557-580. ISSN 1424-7755. eISSN 1662-6370. Available under: doi: 10.1111/spsr.12503
Zusammenfassung

The Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) methodology has evolved remarkably in social science research. Simultaneously, the use of QCA too often lags behind methodological recommendations of good practice. Improper use is a serious obstacle for QCA to enrich the social science methodology toolkit. We explore whether the coherence of analytic approaches can help us understand good practices in applied QCA by performing a systematic review of 86 QCA studies. Although adherence to technical GPs has improved over time, we find a high prevalence of incoherent, “hybrid” approaches. As the hybridity of a study increases, its adherence to good practices decreases. The case-oriented, realist, exploratory QCA studies do not consistently follow recommendations of good practice. Instead, the only consistently good-practice approach is case-oriented, realist, but explicitly theory-evaluating. We conclude that consistently aligning methodological choice with the underlying analytic approach and the use of theory can help foster good practices in applied QCA.

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ISO 690THOMANN, Eva, Jörn EGE, Ekaterina PAUSTYAN, 2022. Approaches to Qualitative Comparative Analysis and good practices : A systematic review. In: Swiss Political Science Review. Wiley. 2022, 28(3), pp. 557-580. ISSN 1424-7755. eISSN 1662-6370. Available under: doi: 10.1111/spsr.12503
BibTex
@article{Thomann2022-09Appro-56678,
  year={2022},
  doi={10.1111/spsr.12503},
  title={Approaches to Qualitative Comparative Analysis and good practices : A systematic review},
  number={3},
  volume={28},
  issn={1424-7755},
  journal={Swiss Political Science Review},
  pages={557--580},
  author={Thomann, Eva and Ege, Jörn and Paustyan, Ekaterina}
}
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    <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">The Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) methodology has evolved remarkably in social science research. Simultaneously, the use of QCA too often lags behind methodological recommendations of good practice. Improper use is a serious obstacle for QCA to enrich the social science methodology toolkit. We explore whether the coherence of analytic approaches can help us understand good practices in applied QCA by performing a systematic review of 86 QCA studies. Although adherence to technical GPs has improved over time, we find a high prevalence of incoherent, “hybrid” approaches. As the hybridity of a study increases, its adherence to good practices decreases. The case-oriented, realist, exploratory QCA studies do not consistently follow recommendations of good practice. Instead, the only consistently good-practice approach is case-oriented, realist, but explicitly theory-evaluating. We conclude that consistently aligning methodological choice with the underlying analytic approach and the use of theory can help foster good practices in applied QCA.</dcterms:abstract>
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