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Journal Article

An Illustration of a Deductive Pattern Matching Procedure in Qualitative Leadership Research  pp143-154

Noel Pearse

© Sep 2019 Volume 17 Issue 3, Editor: Ann Brown, pp102 - 191

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Most qualitative studies in business‑related research have adopted an inductive approach, in that they explore specific cases and then extract themes, or statements that are more general, from this data. This approach has its shortcomings, including not developing a more systematic body of knowledge of behavioural and social processes that take place in organisations. In contrast, in deductive qualitative research, the theoretical propositions derived from a review of the literature serve as its departure point, informing how the data is collected. Later on in the analysis of data, the researcher uses the propositions to determine if the literature explains the case that was being investigated. Unfortunately, given the relative neglect of deductive qualitative research approaches, there is little guidance and few examples offered that illustrate the application of these techniques. This poses a challenge for researchers, who often need a greater level of structure when it comes to designing and conducting their research. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to illustrate the design of a research protocol that integrates two deductive approaches that are suitable for explanatory case study research, namely deductive thematic analysis and pattern matching. This paper develops a seven‑step process that researchers can follow, for carrying out this type of deductive qualitative research. Using extracts from a research study investigating the leading of organisational change, the steps in this process are illustrated.


Keywords: thematic analysis, pattern matching, case study research, deductive qualitative analysis, leading organisational change


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Journal Issue

Volume 17 Issue 3 / Sep 2019  pp102‑191

Editor: Ann Brown

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Keywords: entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial skills, mixed-methods, qualitative, quantitative, Rigour, trustworthiness, auditability, credibility, transferability, methods pedagogy, TACT, Problem-based learning, teaching research methods, first year UG business students, business research process, thematic analysis, pattern matching, case study research, deductive qualitative analysis, leading organisational change, mixed method, social media research, Q factor analysis, Q methodology, Q study, Experimental Design; Factorial Surveys; Order-effects; Omitted-Variable Bias JEL Codes: C21; C91, Research methodology; Innovation; Technology; Technological change; Management; Crowdsourcing


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