The Perspective of Complementors
3 Research design
The goal of this study is to build a mid-range theory that explains how com- plementors in the enterprise software industry (successfully) coordinate the rela- tionship with platform vendors and that is accessible to theory testing (Gregor, 2006). In order to reach this goal, a careful selection and rigorous application of an appropriate and instrumental research design is crucial. Therefore, this chapter presents the selection and implementation of a qualitative multiple-case study as a research strategy. The epistemological stance of the study, the research process, as well as the data collection and analysis procedure are discussed in de- tail. In particular, this chapter elaborates on the successive procedure of ﬁrst, conducting an exploratory case study based on the general frame presented in Chapter 2 and second, carrying out a second case study in order to substantiate and reﬁne the developed mid-range theory. 3.1 Selection of a research strategy As discussed in Chapter 2, there has be a paucity of previous research on the coordination of inter-ﬁrm networks in the enterprise software industry. The goal of this study is to ﬁll this gap and build an explanatory model that answers the research question of how complementors coordinate the partnership with platform vendors and how coordination leads to partnership success. In order to do so, case study research (Yin, 2009; Eisenhardt, 1989; Benbasat et al., 1987; Lee, 1989), a method which has been widely used in IS research (Orlikowski and Baroudi, 1991; Alavi and Carlson, 1992; Vessey et al., 2002;...
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