Much of current social research deals with complex systems of interdependent factors. Yet, conventional statistical methods are frequently less adept at unpacking these complex interdependencies. The current workshop provides an introduction to Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), a set-theoretic method developed by Charles Ragin that is better suited to the examination of situations where causality is conjunctural, and equifinal (i.e. where different causes may combine to bring about an outcome of interest and where there is more than one path to an outcome). While QCA was initially developed to provide a formal approach for the analysis of medium-N situations (e.g., 12-40 cases), more recently the approach has also been extended to deal with large-N situations (e.g., 100+ cases). The workshop will offer an introduction to the logic of comparative research along with an introduction to the basic concepts of set-theoretic analysis using examples from empirical work employing the fs/QCA software package.
Dr. Fiss is the McAlister Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Marshall School of Business of the University of Southern California. He is broadly interested in how meaning structures shape organizational actions and has studied this in the context of how practices diffuse, how they change, and how accounts framing and justifying practices are constructed. In addition, he has worked on configurational theory using set-theoretic methods such as fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA).