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Assessing the Quality of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): Evaluation, Improvement, Application
Abstract and Figures
Starting from the observation that the number of empirical applications of the set theoretic social science method Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) founded by Charles C. Ragin in 1987 raised considerably over the last ten years, the cumulative dissertation asks: “What is the concept of quality of QCA and how is it implemented in QCA applications?” Based on a systematic conceptualization and operationalization of the “quality of QCA” the research question is answered in three steps. First, a thorough evaluation of the quality of QCA in empirical applications is conducted. It covers 139 articles published between 2006 and 2016 in peer reviewed journals from three scientific areas, namely sociology, political science, and business research. Second, with the aim to deliver an improvement of the quality of QCA the formulas for the calculation of consistency and coverage (Ragin 2006) are critically discussed and updated by the exclusion of cases that are irrelevant for the respective set relation. Finally, third, a best practice application of QCA is delivered that takes into account all criteria for a high quality QCA as conceptionalized in the beginning.
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