Aligning the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) counterfactual approach with the practice of retroduction: Some preliminary insights

Sep 19th, 2022 | By | Category: RSS Feed


This study offers fresh ontological insights by examining generative causality through the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) counterfactual lens, in conjunction with Critical Realism and the practice of retroduction. Specifically, it claims that Information Systems (IS) researchers could retroduce generative mechanisms by leveraging the QCA counterfactual approach to causation because retroduction is about conjecturing hypothetical mechanisms that would generate the outcome of interest in a counterfactual fashion. Drawing on an example of typological theorising, this study calls for a renewed effort in the use of retroduction in the study of IS phenomena. In addition, this study sheds new light on the overarching approach for conducting Critical Realist (case study) research. A number of theoretical, methodological, and practical implications are discussed.


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