Trajectory-based Qualitative Comparative Analysis : Accounting for case-based time dynamics

Faculty/Professorship: Governance of Complex and Innovative Technological Systems  
Author(s): Pagliarin, Sofia ; Gerrits, Lasse
Title of the Journal: Methodological innovations
ISSN: 1748-0612
Publisher Information: London : Sage Publishing
Year of publication: 2020
Volume: 13
Issue: 3
Pages: 1-11
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1177/2059799120959170
Qualitative comparative analysis was initially time-agnostic, but efforts to make the method more time-sensitive have been made since the mid-2000s. These attempts mainly focus on cross-case differences, accounting for change over time at the level of attributes or conditions. While useful, they cannot account for the fact that individual cases also develop over time. As such, strategies regarding ‘within-case’ development have remained under-theorized in qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). To address this gap, we propose trajectory-based qualitative comparative analysis (TJ-QCA) building on the logic of the diversity-oriented approach: meaningful within-case change is carefully defined in terms of development stages that capture qualitative case-based change patterns. We conceptualize configurations dynamically so that they express different development stages. Theoretically, our method is rooted in a complexity-informed understanding of cases describing trajectories through the property space. Trajectory-based qualitative comparative analysis works with both numerical and qualitative data. We will illustrate the method empirically by re-elaborating a well-known published time-sensitive qualitative comparative analysis study.
GND Keywords: Qualitativ vergleichende Analyse ; Längsschnittuntersuchung
Keywords: Trajectory, complexity, configurations, longitudinal, time-series, qualitative methods
DDC Classification: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology  
RVK Classification: MR 2000   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 29. September 2020