The Ground Floor of Government in Context
Edited by Peter Hupe
Chapter 24: Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as a tool for street-level bureaucracy research
A more comparative approach is needed in order to facilitate theoretical progress in street-level bureaucracy research. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) is a method that allows for systematic yet context-sensitive comparisons of intermediate to large numbers of cases. It accounts for the causes-of-effects types of research questions and the complexity facing implementation research. Using an empirical example, this chapter illustrates the possibilities for applying QCA to the study of street-level organizations and familiarizes the reader with the different steps of a QCA analysis. Street-level bureaucracy scholars using QCA in their research face challenges relating to limited empirical diversity, skewed data and robustness. They have innovative tools at their disposal to address these challenges in order to contribute to theory, ensure internal validity and engage in a rich dialogue with empirical cases.
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