|Title||The Paradox of Case Study Research in Innovation Systems Studies: A Dialectical Analysis|
This paper deals with a mostly unnoticed methodological paradox about the status of case study research in the field of innovation system (IS) studies. On the one hand, case study research has been instrumental to the genesis and establishment of the IS approach as one of the most widely-used theoretical and policy-relevant perspectives on innovation in the social sciences. However, on the other hand, IS scholars have often argued that case study research is not able to study generality and causality. The paradox lies in the fact that, by making such claims, ISs scholars have ended up acknowledging -- although implicitly -- that their work, including the policy implications that emanate from it, are also not that scientific. To enlighten our understanding of -- as well as to resolve -- such a methodological irony, the paper utilises the philosophical method of dialectic; in particular, the analytical scheme of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. The analysis shows that our assessments over the scientific status and abilities of case study research, and any research design on ISs in general, do not necessarily reflect the actual abilities of the research design in question; instead, they are subject to how we understand the aims and standards of ‘proper’ scientific explanation. The paper ends by discussing how the proposed synthesis in this paper unearths new methodological lessons and avenues for the field of ISs studies.
|Conference||British Academy of Management (BAM) Conference 2020|
|Publisher||British Academy of Management|
|Web address (URL) of conference proceedings||https://virtual.oxfordabstracts.com/#/event/1520/submission/622|