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Rethinking the Case Study in International Business and Management Research

Edited by Rebecca Piekkari and Catherine Welch

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).
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Chapter 12: Mixed-method Case Studies in International Business Research

Leila Hurmerinta and Niina Nummela


Leila Hurmerinta and Niina Nummela INTRODUCTION International business (IB) is a multifaceted field of research, crossing national, cultural and organizational boundaries, and inspiring quite complicated research questions. Lately, the nature of research questions has evolved; it seems that simple research problems have already been solved, and now the more complex ones remain. Additionally, as a relatively new field of research, IB still offers numerous avenues for exploration for which traditional research methods are inadequate, and researchers may need to apply several methods in order to stay on firm ground and to arrive safely at their destination. We assume that this will also gradually lead to combinations of diverse methods and thereby to more complex research designs. However, to date the IB field has been clearly dominated by singlemethod studies (for reviews of the field see, for example, Clark et al. 1999; Peterson 2004; Hurmerinta-Peltomäki and Nummela 2006), although some exceptions do exist (for example, Brannen 1996). This is quite surprising, given that mixed-method research designs represent one of the fastest-growing areas in research methodology today (Bergman 2008). Another area attracting greater interest is the case study, as this book indicates. Yet so far, the two streams of methodological literature – on case studies, on the one hand, and mixed methods, on the other – seem to have remained largely disconnected. In this chapter, we therefore seek to redress the neglect of mixed-method case studies in IB by looking specifically at how mixed methods can and have been used in the course...

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