This article describes the process of inducting theory using case studies.
Process of Building Theory from Case Study Research
Definition of research question
Neither theory nor hypotheses
Theoretical, not random, sampling
|Crafting Instruments and Protocols||
Multiple data collection methods
Qualitative and quantitative data combined
|Entering the Field||Overlap data collection and analysis, including field notes
Flexible and opportunistic data collection methods
Cross-case pattern search using divergent techniques
|Shaping Hypotheses||Iterative tabulation of evidence for each construct
Replication, not sampling, logic across cases
Search evidence for “why” behind relationships
Comparison with conflicting literature
Comparison with similar literature
|Reaching Closure||Theoretical saturation when possible|
- This article can be used as a checklist when building theories from case study research.
- The weakness of building theory from cases is obvious, such as resulting in narrow and idiosyncratic theory. Thus, it would be better to develop theory based on the existing theory.