The case study method in family business research: Guidelines for qualitative scholarship
De Massis A
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SubjectQualitative methods; Case study research; Case studies; Validity; Reliability; Family business
In this article, we provide guidelines that are useful to family business researchers when deciding whether and how to use case studies as well as to reviewers and editors when evaluating case study work. Drawing on examples from our published qualitative research and the complementary insights from other case study work in the field, we offer general suggestions for choosing the case study design, defining the unit of analysis, selecting cases (sampling), collecting information, analysing information, presenting results and ensuring validity and reliability in research findings. By outlining the most important and distinctive challenges faced by qualitative researchers of family business and establishing the relevance and usefulness of the case study method for generating new and valuable insights into family businesses, this article attempts to move the family business field beyond its current state, encourages scholars to engage in the case study method in high-quality family business research, and suggests important implications for scholars, reviewers and editors of case studies in the family business field. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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