Cross-case Analysis

Key points

  • This course teaches cross-case analysis (Miles and Huberman, 1994) using NVivo
  • You will learn the specificities of the method, type of research questions it answers, its different stages and the kind of results it generates
  • This course can be taken as a standalone unit or combined with another methodological seminar, any of the method courses or an NVivo course.

Cross-case analysis is a method that involves the in-depth exploration of similarities and differences across cases with a view to supporting empirical generalisability and theoretical predictions. We start with a definition of cross-case analysis and the objectives it pursues, then review the most common proxy terms in the literature and the type of research questions suitable to this approach. In NVivo we conduct the first stage of cross-case analysis — within-case analysis — using the conceptually clustered matrix. We then review coding procedures, using empirical examples to illustrate the benefits of working with descriptive, interpretive and pattern codes when formulating generalisations within cases. In the second part of the course, for the cross-case analysis, we use a case-ordered meta-matrix to search for similarities and associations across case outcomes. We then begin forming general explanations that we map on scatterplots. When empirically possible, cases are ordered by type, causal relationships between variables are explained and theoretical predictions are made using devices such as predictor-outcome matrices and causal models. We conclude with a critical appraisal of the methodological quality of studies that used cross-case analysis and the best data visualisations to present its findings.

Although no previous knowledge of any of the four methods of qualitative data analysis is required, participants should have some familiarity with qualitative research.

Half-day from 9:00 to 12:00 or full-day from 9:00 to 16:00.

This course is taught online in Zoom as well as onsite on a request basis.

Teaching methods
Lectures, demos with NVivo and hands-on exercises.

Please email me for information on fees.

Combining courses
This course is part of a five-course series on methods of qualitative analysis that includes Methods of Qualitative Data Analysis, Qualitative Content Analysis, Thematic Analysis and Grounded Theory. It can be taken alone or in conjunction with the other related courses. It can also be taught before, after or simultaneously with the Introduction to NVivo or Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo courses.

This course was taught at

As a freelance methodologist, I train social scientists and humanitarian practitioners in qualitative analysis, decolonising research and participatory methodologies. I coach research teams, teach doctoral-level courses in method schools and I consult for humanitarian aid agencies worldwide.

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