Using Correspondence Analysis in Multiple Case Studies

Natascha Kienstra, Peter G.M. van der Heijden

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Abstract

In qualitative research of multiple case studies, Miles and Huberman proposed to summarize the separate cases in a so-called meta-matrix that consists of cases by variables. Yin discusses cross-case synthesis to study this matrix. We propose correspondence analysis (CA) as a useful tool to study this matrix. CA is a quantitative method that yields a graphical display of the rows and of the columns of a matrix. The rows and the columns receive coordinates that can be interpreted as quantifications, hence the cases can be compared using these quantifications. Using an example from qualitative educational research into teaching philosophy, we illustrate both methods and their complementarity.
We discuss special features of the application of CA to case study research, such as flexible ways of coding the data, and the stability of the CA solution when the number of cases is much smaller than the number of variables.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
JournalBMS: Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique
Volume128
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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correspondence analysis
quantification
quantitative method
educational research
qualitative research
coding
Teaching

Keywords

  • Cross-case Synthesis
  • Educational
  • Correspondence Analysis
  • Qualitative Research

Cite this

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Using Correspondence Analysis in Multiple Case Studies. / Kienstra, Natascha; van der Heijden, Peter G.M.

In: BMS: Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, Vol. 128, 2015, p. 5-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - In qualitative research of multiple case studies, Miles and Huberman proposed to summarize the separate cases in a so-called meta-matrix that consists of cases by variables. Yin discusses cross-case synthesis to study this matrix. We propose correspondence analysis (CA) as a useful tool to study this matrix. CA is a quantitative method that yields a graphical display of the rows and of the columns of a matrix. The rows and the columns receive coordinates that can be interpreted as quantifications, hence the cases can be compared using these quantifications. Using an example from qualitative educational research into teaching philosophy, we illustrate both methods and their complementarity.We discuss special features of the application of CA to case study research, such as flexible ways of coding the data, and the stability of the CA solution when the number of cases is much smaller than the number of variables.

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