Qualitative comparative analysis in the information systems discipline: a literature review and methodological recommendations

Faculty/Professorship: Information Systems and Services  
Author(s): Mattke, Jens ; Maier, Christian  ; Weitzel, Tim  ; Thatcher, Jason Bennett
Title of the Journal: Internet Research
ISSN: 1066-2243
Publisher Information: Bingley : Emerald
Year of publication: 2021
Volume: 33
Issue: 5
Language(s): English
Article publication date (ahead of print): 29. April 2021

Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a promising, powerful method that is increasingly used for IS research. However, the Information Systems (IS) discipline still lacks a shared understanding of how to conduct and report QCA. This paper introduces the fundamental concepts of QCA, summarizes the status quo, and derives recommendations for future research.

A descriptive literature review in major IS outlets summarizes how and why QCA has been used in the IS discipline, critically evaluates the status quo, and derives recommendations for future QCA studies.

The literature review reveals 32 empirical research articles in major IS journals that have used the QCA method. Articles applied QCA to a broad range of research topics at the individual and organizational levels, mainly as a standalone analysis for theory development, elaboration and testing. The authors also provide evidence that most published IS research articles do not take full advantage of the potential QCA, such as analyzing necessary causal conditions or testing the robustness of QCA results. The authors provide seven actionable recommendations for future IS research using QCA.

The literature review assesses the status quo of QCA’s application in the IS discipline and provides specific recommendations on how IS researchers can leverage the full potential of QCA.
DOI: 10.1108/INTR-09-2020-0529
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/49889
Release Date: 14. May 2021