Abductive Cross-Case Comparison in Qualitative Research: Methodological Lessons from the Teamwork Study of Professional Change

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The authors argue that hitherto separate methodological conversations about abduction and comparisoncan be fruitfully brought together to generate novel, well-founded insights and retheorize an object ofstudy in multiple-case qualitative inquiry. The authors call this abductive cross-case comparison and illus-trate it by way of a collective study of how professional boundary work is changing under transnationalconditions. In this study, the authors faced a common challenge in qualitative-comparative research: whatto do when initial observations generate “surprises” that seem to confound the theoretical frameworksundergirding the comparison? To discuss how abductive inferences supported the authors’ response to thischallenge, they explicate the acts of discovery and (re)conceptualization involved through various steps ina team-based research process. Building on the existing qualitative comparison literature, the authors sug-gest that such procedures fill a methodological gap and may hold great promise for overcoming obstaclesin designing and implementing comparative research. Overall, the authors explicate and illustrate themethod of abductive cross-case comparison, including their work as a research team. The aim of this arti-cle is thus to help sociologists implement better qualitative research that leverages a fuller potential ofcomparative designs to push beyond established knowledge and frameworks.
TidsskriftSociological Methodology
Antal sider24
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 12 feb. 2024

ID: 382493931