Empirical Evidence from Multinational Corporations
3 Research design
This chapter illustrates the research design of this study. The basic principles of quali- tative research and case studies are elaborated in order to create a methodological un- derstanding. This is required due to heterogeneous comprehension of case studies in the methodological literature.532 In the first section 3.1, qualitative research and specif- ically the case study approach are introduced. Additionally, the selection of a qualita- tive research strategy for the present investigation and the case study approach in par- ticular are justified. In section 3.2, the case study designs of this study are presented. Finally, the data collection and data analysis procedures are described within the con- text of the research process (section 3.3) in order to meet the demand of more trans- parency in qualitative research projects.533 3.1 Qualitative research 3.1.1 Overview In the 1960s and 1970s, organizational research was dominated by quantitative re- search designs which have been adopted from natural sciences. The dissatisfaction of many researchers – due to the unilateral oriented research approaches – provoked a growing interest to qualitative research methods in organizational studies.534 Although qualitative research methods can be traced back to the early 1900s, these methods have been more or less postmarked as not sophisticated enough for scientific purposes.535 Initially, qualitative research designs have been established as an empirical research approach in the late 1980s, especially due to much conceptual groundwork.536 Prior to the presentation of basic principles of qualitative research designs the basic differences between qualitative and quantitative designs are pointed out (see Table...
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