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Rethinking the Case Study in International Business and Management Research

Edited by Rebecca Piekkari, Professor of International Business, Aalto University, School of Business, Finland and Catherine Welch, University of Sydney, Australia
This important and original book critically evaluates case study practices and calls for a more pluralistic future for case research in international business (IB) and international management (IM).
Extent: 576 pp
Hardback Price: $220.00 Web: $198.00
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84844 184 2
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $46.00 Web: $36.80
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978 0 85793 333 1
Availability: In Stock

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  • Business and Management
  • International Business
  • Research Methods in Business and Management
  • Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Research Methods in Business and Management
  • Research Methods
This important and original book critically evaluates case study practices and calls for a more pluralistic future for case research in international business (IB) and international management (IM).

IB and IM researchers typically rely on a case study approach that could be characterized as ‘qualitative positivism’. The editors and contributors look beyond this disciplinary convention and encourage pluralism in IB and IM case research. Their key argument is that increased awareness of the prevailing disciplinary convention – and its limitations – increases the potential for theoretical insight and methodological versatility in case research.

The contributions provide critical, novel and innovative perspectives on the case study. The book offers inspiration to case authors, and is an authoritative methodological reference for reviewers of case research.
‘This is an important book. Most of the key advances in the field of international business have emerged from some form of case study, and yet most researchers today have a remarkably narrow view of what case study research entails. For the first time, readers can be exposed to the full range of case study methodologies in use today, so that they can make better choices about how to do their own research. If you have time to read only one book on case study methods, this is the one!’
– Julian Birkinshaw, London Business School, UK

‘Case study research is vital to the ability of international business to retain its comparative advantage in analyzing and responding to the challenges of a global business environment at a level and depth unmatched by competing fields, such as strategy. This book will show you how to conduct such research rigorously and effectively.’
– Oded Shenkar, Ohio State University, US

‘This book provides a thought-provoking and refreshing perspective on case study research. Building on a pluralistic approach it takes us away from the conventional wisdom and adds to our understanding of the various ways in which case research methodologies can contribute to our insights. It is a “must read” for qualitative researchers, and provides useful insights to all international business researchers.’
– Yves Doz, INSEAD, France
Contributors: Y. Aharoni, P. Ahonen, P. Almond, P.H. Andersen, S. Blazejewski, M.Y. Brannen, T. Buck, E. Clark, T. Colling, P. d’Iribarne, T. Edwards, M. Fletcher, J. Helms Mills, L. Hurmerinta, R.J. Jensen, M. Johanson, H. Kragh, J.E.B. Lervik, A.J. Mills, R. Mir, F. Moore, R. Morais, M. Nojonen, N. Nummela, R. Piekkari, E. Plakoyiannaki, A. Saka-Helmhout, A. Salmi, A. Soulsby, G. Szulanski, H. Tan, J. Tienari, E. Vaara, C. Welch, A. Wright

Jan-Erik Vahlne

1. Pluralism in International Business and International Management Research: Making the Case
Rebecca Piekkari and Catherine Welch

2. The Career of a Case Researcher: An Interview with Christopher Bartlett
Rebecca Piekkari and Catherine Welch

3. Fifty Years of Case Research in International Business: The Power of Outliers and Black Swans
Yair Aharoni

4. The View from the Editorial Office: An Interview with Pervez Ghauri
Rebecca Piekkari and Catherine Welch

5. Critical Realism and Case Studies in International Business Research
Ricardo Morais

6. ‘There is No Alternative’ – Or Is There? A Critical Case Study Approach for International Business Research
Pasi Ahonen, Janne Tienari and Eero Vaara

7. Sumantra’s Challenge: Publish a Theory-testing Case Study in a Top Journal
Gabriel Szulanski and Robert J. Jensen

8. Using Multiple Case Studies to Generalize from Ethnographic Research
Mary Yoko Brannen

9. Beyond the Inductive Myth: New Approaches to the Role of Existing Theory in Case Research
Poul Houman Andersen and Hanne Kragh

10. Case Selection in International Business: Key Issues and Common Misconceptions
Margaret Fletcher and Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki

11. Case Selection Informed by Theory
Trevor Buck

12. Mixed-method Case Studies in International Business Research
Leila Hurmerinta and Niina Nummela

13. The Single MNC as a Research Site
Jon Erland B. Lervik

14. When Truth is the Daughter of Time: Longitudinal Case Studies in International Business Research
Susanne Blazejewski

15. Theorizing Process through Punctuated Longitudinal Case Study Research
Anna Soulsby and Ed Clark

16. Blurring the Boundaries between Case Analysis and Ethnography: Reflections on a Hybrid Approach to Researching Multinational Corporations
Raza Mir

17. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever: Taking a Holistic Approach to Ethnographic Case Studies in International Business
Fiona Moore

18. Digging Archaeology: Postpositivist Theory and Archival Research in Case Study Development
Albert J. Mills and Jean Helms Mills

19. Watch What I Do, Not What I Say: New Questions for Documents in International Business Case Research
April Wright

20. Comparative Historical Analysis in International Management Research
Ayse Saka-Helmhout

21. Fleas on the Backs of Elephants: Researching the Multinational Company
Tony Edwards, Phil Almond and Trevor Colling

22. International Research Teams and Collective Case Studies: An Abductive Approach
Asta Salmi

23. How to Use Ethnographic Case Studies to Decipher National Cultures
Philippe d’Iribarne

24. Doing Case Studies in China: Two Perspectives
Hui Tan and Matti Nojonen

25. Conducting Processual Studies in Transition Economies: Reflections on a Case Study
Martin Johanson