The contributions of qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to international business research

Ruth Aguilera Vaqués, Stav Fainshmidt, Alain Verbeke, Michael A Witt

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Resum

International business (IB) researchers have been slow to embrace a configurational approach in hypothesis formulation and empirical analysis. Yet, much of what IB scholars study is inherently configurational: various explanatory factors and their interplay simultaneously determine the outcome(s) studied, such as governance choice or firm-level performance. The mismatch between the nature of the empirical phenomena studied on the one hand, and hypothesis formulation and empirical methods deployed on the other, explains why many quantitative empirical studies in IB are overly reductionist, relying on hypotheses that assume linear (or simple, curvilinear), unifinal, and symmetrical effects. In this Editorial, we introduce IB scholars to contemporary configurational thinking and its analytical tool, fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). We discuss this tool's main tenets, advantages, and disadvantages. We review the limited prior IB research using this approach and present a wide range of IB phenomena where it could be usefully applied. We propose that contemporary configurational thinking and fsQCA can help scholars produce insights more closely aligned with the complex realities of international business than conventional research approaches.
Idioma originalCatalà
Pàgines (de-a)455-466
RevistaJournal of International Business Studies
Volum51
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de juny 2020

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