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Conservative solutions for progress: on solution types when combining QCA with in-depth Process-Tracing

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  • Priscilla Álamos-Concha, Radboud University Nijmegen, Holland
  • Valérie Pattyn, Leiden University, Holland
  • Benoît Rihoux, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgien
  • Benjamin Schalembier, Flemish Government, Belgien
  • Derek Beach
  • Bart Cambré, University of Antwerp, Belgien
What is the most appropriate QCA solution type when engaging in a multimethod design that includes QCA and in-depth process-tracing (PT)? While either the intermediate or the parsimonious solution are generally favored in QCA-only studies, we identify important challenges that can emerge when selecting those solutions in a QCA-PT multimethod study. We particularly highlight the risk of mechanistic heterogeneity, omitted conditions, and draw the attention on the issue of generalization. We discuss each of these intertwined challenges in depth, and explain why the conservative solution is useful to consider in addressing them. We substantiate our arguments by drawing on a recently completed evaluation study that was commissioned by the Flemish ESF Agency in Belgium. In the study, we combined QCA and theory-guided in-depth process-tracing to uncover under what combinations of conditions (QCA) a training programme would lead to successful training transfer and how (PT) this happened in the successful cases. The article highlights the need to carefully consider the selection of solution types in any multimethod design comprising QCA.
TidsskriftQuality and Quantity
Sider (fra-til)1965-1997
Antal sider33
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2022

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