Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods for Family Business
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Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods for Family Business

Edited by Alfredo De Massis and Nadine Kammerlander

This timely Handbook provides a comprehensive guide to the methodological challenges of qualitative research in family business. Written by an international, multidisciplinary team of experts in the field, the Handbook provides practical guidance based on the experiences of senior researchers, and features reflective discussion on how to craft insightful, rigorous studies.
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Chapter 6: The evolution of case study methodology in the study of family enterprises

Giacomo Laffranchini and Frank Hoy

Abstract

This chapter extends recent research efforts by mapping the knowledge about family enterprises generated through case study methodology and its evolution over time. Its aim is to point scholars toward relevant knowledge gaps that can be effectively bridged through case study qualitative research. To accomplish this, the authors employed the methodology of science mapping through bibliometric analysis (specifically, co-word analysis and bibliographic coupling) and charted the intellectual structure of the field along with its conceptual building blocks. In an effort to guide future qualitative research efforts, the chapter also discusses the main objectives that case studies have served in the family business research domain, the best practices that scholars should adhere to, and indicates the most receptive outlets for qualitative case-based study. The authors’ analysis of the literature suggests that case studies will continue to be a powerful methodology for theory building and theory extension; nevertheless, only research efforts able to adhere to the highest standard for empirical rigor should be accepted in the field.

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