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Qualitative Comparative Analysis in Mixed Methods Research and Evaluation


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Table of Contents

Editors' Introduction Preface Acknowledgments About the Authors Chapter 1: Qualitative Comparative Analysis as Part of a Mixed Methods Approach Overview of Mixed Methods Study Designs How QCA Compares to Other Quantitative and Qualitative Methods Underlying Assumptions of Causal Complexity QCA in Mixed Methods Studies Overview of the Rest of the Book and Guiding QCA Heuristic Chapter 2: Overview of QCA Concepts and Terminology Configural Research Questions The Concept of Sets Set Operators and Symbolic Notation From Concepts to Real-World Application Chapter 3: Selecting Cases and Choosing Conditions and Outcome Overview of Case, Condition, and Outcome Selection Apply Theoretical, Empirical, and Practical Considerations for Selecting Cases Apply Theoretical, Empirical, and Practical Considerations for Selecting Conditions and Outcomes Identify Strategies for Optimizing the Number of Cases and Conditions School Health Features and Academic Performance Example Chapter 4: Calibrating Sets and Managing Data Data Types and Sources Calibration versus Measurement Types of Calibration and Processes Used Calibration Examples Good Calibration Practices and Data Management Strategies Chapter 5: Analyzing the Data-Initial Analyses Overview of Analysis Transform a Data Matrix into a Truth Table Strategies for Managing Contradictory Truth Table Rows Revisiting the Data to Manage Contradictory Truth Table Rows Inspect the Truth Table for Potential Issues Conduct an Analysis of Necessary Conditions and Combinations of Conditions Conduct Analysis of Sufficient Conditions and Combinations of Conditions Chapter 6: Analyzing the Data-Model Analytics Overview of Model Analytics Interpret Solution Parameters of Fit Evaluating Assumptions Evaluating Assumptions: An Applied Example Model Ambiguity Evaluating Model Ambiguity: An Applied Example Assessing Robustness Evaluating Robustness: An Applied Example Iterative Respecification Chapter 7: Interpreting Results: Within- and Cross-Case Analysis Overview of Interpretation Considerations for Conducting Within- and Cross-Case Analysis Study Aims and Case Selection for Within- and Cross-case Analysis Example: School health and Wellness Policies and Academic Performance Chapter 8: Advanced Topics in QCA Multi-value QCA Incorporating Time in QCA Critiques of QCA Chapter 9: Preparing Proposals, Reports, Manuscripts, and Presentations Overview Reporting QCA Methods Summarizing Findings and Limitations Improving Accessibility to Readers Responding to Peer Review Critiques Chapter 10: Examples of Mixed Methods Approaches using QCA QCA Within a Mixed Methods Approach Example of Convergent Design: Evaluation of the Jobs to Careers Program Example of Sequential Design: A Configurational Approach to Understanding Project Delays APPENDIX: Recommended QCA Resources Glossary References Index

About the Author

Leila C. Kahwati, MD MPH, is a senior research scientist in RTI International's Social and Health Organizational Research and Evaluation Program. She has over 20 years of experience in government, community, and academic health care practice and research settings with a focus on clinical program and policy development and evaluation. Dr. Kahwati is board certified in family medicine and in general preventive medicine/public health and has training in epidemiology and health services research through a Health Resources and Services Administration National Research Service Award in Primary Care Research through the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With her colleagues, she has pioneered the use of qualitative comparative analysis in mixed methods health services research and in systematic reviews of complex interventions. Before joining RTI she was the Deputy Chief Consultant for Preventive Medicine in the Veterans Health Administration. She holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Heather L. Kane, PhD is a senior public health analyst and director of the Child and Adolescent Research and Evaluation program at RTI International, specializing in qualitative research methodologies, qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), and evaluation. Dr. Kane has more than 15 years of experience in planning and implementing mixed methods evaluations. Her work focuses on the lives of vulnerable populations, such as children and adults experiencing food insecurity, persons living with multiple sclerosis (MS), and low-income persons lacking access to health care. Before joining RTI, she was an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality National Research Service Award postdoctoral research fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education. She holds an adjunct faculty appointment with Tulane University, School of Professional Advancement.


"This book is written in a way that is easy to follow and should expand the range of fields in which QCA is used. Also, there are quite a few principles and practice tips articulated, especially in later chapters, which are applicable more broadly across social sciences and evaluation work. Novice researchers will find those suggestions especially helpful, even if QCA does not become a major tool in their practice." -- Elizabeth H. McEneaney
"The practical, how-to, nature of the text is very appealing to me as an instructor. I like the examples and appreciate the numerous figures used to illustrate processes and arguments for visual learners." -- James R. Martin
"The text introduces an important, specific approach to research." -- Tamar Ginossar
"I think the key strengths of this text are its organization and breadth. From an organization perspective, the wealth of resources and focus is essential for guiding the reader/learner toward practical keywords, i.e. language, and skills necessary to implement." -- Raymond Blanton

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