Unboxing the Black Box: Towards a Typology of Theorizing from Qualitative Single Case Studies

Bareerah Hoorani-Hafeez, Maria Emmanouela Plakoyiannaki, Michael Gibbert

The literature in the field of organization and management studies has given scant attention to the process of theorizing.This becomes a complete ‘black box’ when it comes to qualitative single case study research, which seems ironic given that theorizing is one of the strengths of single case studies. To understand the process of theorizing from single case study research,we employ qualitative content analysis on single case study papers published in Organization Science and Organization studies from 1997 until 2018. We find four distinct processes of theorizing, namely narrative theorizing, story corroboration theorizing,variational theorizing, and counterfactual theorizing. Our findings do not only challenge the existing view of the literature on single case study research, but also contend for the use of more pluralistic processes of theorizing that enable creative and newer ways of thinking for scientific discoveries in the field of organization and management studies.

External organisation(s)
University of Leeds
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
502016 SME-research, 502054 Entrepreneurship
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