The Use of Case Studies in R&D Impact Evaluations

  • Gordon Kingsley


The use of case study methods in evaluating R&D impacts poses a paradox. On the one hand, most of the major methodological advances in R&D evaluation are attributed to the areas of peer review, interview and questionnaire techniques, and quantitative methods such as econometrics, bibliometrics, and technology indicators, while case study is characterized as an old technique that has had no recent developments (Luukkonen-Gronow, 1987). On the other hand, many R&D impact evaluations qualify as case study research designs. The reason they may be considered so is that the design of most R&D impact evaluations focus on understanding the dynamics within a specific setting and do not relate findings to any scientific theory. Though case study can be used to relate events to theory (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 1989), it is difficult to generalize from the findings from one setting (Cook & Campbell, 1979). This makes it difficult to identify and differentiate the use of case study separate from the other methods listed above.


Technological Innovation Research Policy Impact Analysis Impact Evaluation Case Study Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akashah, S.E. 1987. Innovation versus the transfer of technology: a case study of R&D in a petroleum-producing country. International Journal of Technology Management 2, 249–262.Google Scholar
  2. Baer, W., Johnson, L.L. & Merrow, E.W. 1976. Analysis of federally funded demonstration projects: final report. Prepared for the Department of Commerce. Santa Monica: Rand Corporation.Google Scholar
  3. Bard, J.F., Balachandra, R. & Kaufmann, P.E. 1988. An interactive approach to R&D project selection and termination. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 35, 139–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Battelle Research Institute. 1973. Interaction of science and technology in the innovative process: some case studies. Columbus, OH.Google Scholar
  5. Boggio, G. & Spachis-Papazois, E. (Eds.). 1984. Evaluation of research and development: methodologies for R&D evaluation in the European Community member states, the United States of America and Japan. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  6. Brown, M.A., Berry, L.G. & Goel, R.K. 1991. Guidelines for successfully transferring government-sponsored innovations. Research Policy 20, 2, 121–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown, M.A., Berry, L.G. & Goel, R.K. 1989. Commercializing government-sponsored innovations: twelve successful buildings case studies. Oak Ridge National Laboratory.Google Scholar
  8. Brown, M.A., Wilson, C.R., & Franchuk, C.A. 1991. The energy-related inventions program: A decade of commercial progress. Oak Ridge National Laboratory.Google Scholar
  9. Bush, V. 1945. The endless frontier: a report of the President. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  10. Callon, M. 1980. The state and technical innovation: a case study of the electrical vehicle in France. Research Policy 9, 358–376.Google Scholar
  11. Carter, C.F. & Williams, B.R. 1957. Industry and technical progress: factors governing the spedd of application of science to industry. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Charles River Associates. 1981. Productivity impacts of NBS R&D: a case study of the semi-conductor technology program. Washington: National Bureau of Standards.Google Scholar
  13. Cole, G. 1985. The evaluation of basic research in industrial laboratories. Report for the National Science Foundation.Google Scholar
  14. Cook, T.D. & Campbell, D.T. 1979. Quasi-Experimentation: Design and analysis issues for field settings. Boston, MA: Houghton Miffl in Co.Google Scholar
  15. Eisenhardt, K.M. 1989. Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review 14, 532–550.Google Scholar
  16. Ettlie, J.E. 1982. The commercialization of federally sponsored technological innovations. Research Policy 11, 173–192.Google Scholar
  17. Freeman, C. 1977. Economics of research and development. In I. Spiegel-Rosing & D. de Solla Price (Eds.) Science, technology and society: a cross-disciplinary perspective. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  18. Frumerman, R., Cicero, D. & Baetens, C. 1987. R&D programs with multiple related projects--I. Research Management 30, 31–35.Google Scholar
  19. Gibbons, M., Coombs, R., Saviotti, P. & Stubbs, P.C. 1982. Innovation and technical change: a case study of the U.K. tractor industry, 1957–1977. Research Policy 11, 289–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gibbons, M. & Johnston, R. 1974. The roles of science in technological innovation. Research Policy 3, 220–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ginn, M.E. & Rubenstein, A.H. 1986. The R&D/production interface: a case study of new product commercialization. Journal of Product Innovation Management 3, 158–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gomory, R.E. 1989. Moving IBM’s technology from research to development. Research-Technology Management 32, 27–32.Google Scholar
  23. Gross, P. 1989. Market pull/technology push: GE’s ultem resin. Research-Technology Management 32, 30–31.Google Scholar
  24. Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute. 1968. Technology in retrospect and critical events in science. Washington: National Science Foundation.Google Scholar
  25. Ives, K.H. 1986. Case study methods: an essay review of the state of the art, as found in five recent sources. Case Analysis 2, 137–160.Google Scholar
  26. Jaccard, J. & Dittus, P. 1990. Idiographic and nomothetic perspectives on research methods and data analysis. In C. Hendrick & M.S. Clark (Eds.), Research methods in Personality and social psychology (pp. 312–351 ). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  27. Jasanoff, S. 1985. Technological innovation in a corporatist state: the case of biotechnology in the Federal Republic of Germany. Research Policy 14, 23–38.Google Scholar
  28. Jewkes, J., Sawers, D. & Stillerman, R. 1969. The sources of invention, 2nd edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  29. Kenney, M. 1986. Schumpeterian innovation and entrepreneurs in capitalism: a case study of the U.S. biotechnology industry. Research Policy 15, 21–31.Google Scholar
  30. Kerpelman, L.C. & Fitzsimmons, S.J. 1985. Methods for the strategic evaluation of research programs: the state of the art. Washington: National Science Foundation.Google Scholar
  31. Kostoff, R.N. 1988. Evaluation of proposed and existing accelerated research programs by the Office of Naval Research. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Managment 35, 271–279.Google Scholar
  32. Kreilkamp, K. 1971. Hindsight and the real world of science policy. Science Studies 1, 43–66.Google Scholar
  33. Langrish, J., Gibbons, M., Evans, W.G. & Jevons, F.R. 1972. Wealth from Knowledge. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  34. Layton, E. 1977. Conditions of technological development. In I. Spiegel-Rosing & D. de Solla Price (Eds.) Science, technology and society: a cross-disciplinary perspective. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  35. LaZerte, J.D. 1989. Market pull/technology push: 3M’s Scotchgard brand fabric protector. Research-Technology Management 32, 25–27.Google Scholar
  36. Levinson, N.S. 1983. The evaluation cycle: In Res evaluation approaches for the eighties. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 30, 119–122.Google Scholar
  37. Logsdon, J.M. & Rubin, C.B. 1985. An overview of federal research evaluation activities. Washington: National Science Foundation.Google Scholar
  38. Logsdon, J.M. & Rubin, C.B. 1988. Research evaluation activities of ten federal agencies. Evaluation and Program Planning 11, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Luukkonen-Gronow, T. 1987. Scientific research evaluation: a review of methods and various contexts of their application. R&D Management 17, 207–221.Google Scholar
  40. Markusen, A. & McCurdy, K. 1989. Chicago’s defense-based high technology: a case study of the “seedbeds of innovation” hypothesis. Economic Development Quarterly 3, 15–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Marstrand, P.K. 1981. Production of microbial protein: a study of the development of introduction of a new technology. Research Policy 10, 148–171.Google Scholar
  42. Martin, W.S. 1989. Market pull/technology push: Proctor & Gamble’s Crest toothpaste. Research-Technology Management 32, 27–29.Google Scholar
  43. McClintock, C.C., Brannen, D. & Maynard-Moody, S. 1979. Applying the logic of sample surveys to qualitative case studies: the case cluster method. Administrative Science Quarterly 21, 612–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mechlin, G.F. & Berg, D. 1980. Evaluating research--ROI is not enough. Harvard Business Review 93–99.Google Scholar
  45. Meyer-Krahmer, F. 1981. The present status and problems of impact research in technology policy: a case study on the federal program for funding research and development personnel in Germany. Research Policy 10, 356–366.Google Scholar
  46. Meyer-Krahmer, F. 1987. Evaluating innovation policies: the German experience. Technovation 5, 317–330.Google Scholar
  47. Meyer-Krahmer, F. 1988. Evaluation of industrial innovation policy: concepts, methods and lessons. In J.D. Roessner (Ed.) Government innovation policy: design, implementation, evaluation. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  48. Meyer-Krahmer, F. & Montigny, P. 1989. Evaluations of innovation programmes in selected European countries. Research Policy 18, 313–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Miles, M.B. 1979. Qualitative data as an attractive nuisance: the problem of analysis. Administrative Science Quarterly 21, 590–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mowery, D.C. & Rosenberg, N. 1982. The influence of market demand upon innovation: a critical review of some recent empirical studies. In N. Rosenberg (Ed.) Inside the black box: technology and economics. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Myers S. & Marquis, D.G. 1969. Successful industrial innovations. Washington: National Science Foundation.Google Scholar
  52. Nelson, R.R. 1982. Government stimulus of technological progress: lessons from American history. In R.R. Nelson (Ed.) Government and technical progress: a cross-industry analysis. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  53. Poznanski, K.Z. 1986. The extinguishing process: a case study of steel technologies in the world industry. Technovation 4, 297–316.Google Scholar
  54. Roessner, J.D. 1988. Government innovation policy: design, implementation, evaluation. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  55. Ronayne, J. 1984. Science in government. London: Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd.Google Scholar
  56. Rothwell, R. & Gardiner, P. 1985. Invention, innovation, re-innovation and the role of the user: a case study of British hovercraft development. Technovation 3, 167–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sahal, D. 1981. The farm tractor and the nature of technological innovation. Research Policy 10, 368–402.Google Scholar
  58. Schainblatt, A. 1982. How companies measure the productivity of engineers and scientists. Research Management 10–18.Google Scholar
  59. Science Policy Research Unit. 1972. Success and failure in industrial innovation. London: Center for the Study of Industrial Innovation.Google Scholar
  60. Senker, J. 1985. Small high technology firms: some regional implications. Technovation 3, 243–262.Google Scholar
  61. Sherwin, C.W. & Isenson R.S. 1967. Project Hindsight: Defense Department study of the utility of research. Science 156, 1571–1577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Simon, D.F., Rehn, D. 1987. Innovation in China’s semiconductor components industry: the case of Shanghai. Research Policy 16, 259–277.Google Scholar
  63. Snow, J.A. 1984. Research and development: programs and priorities in the United States mission agency. In G. Boggio & E. Spachis-Papazois (Eds.) Evaluation of research and development: methodologies for R&D evaluation in the European Community member states, the United States of America and Japan. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  64. Teubal, M. & Steinmueller, E. 1982. Government policy, innovation and economic growth: lessons from a study of satellite communications. Research Policy 11, 271–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Utterback, J.M., Meyer, M., Roberts, E. & Reitberger, G. 1988. Technology and industrial innovation in Sweden: a study of technology-based firms formed between 1965 and 1980. Research Policy 17, 15–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Van Wyk, R.J. & Wessels, J.P.H. 1987. Focussing a co-operative research institute: a case study. Research Policy 16, 39–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Von Hippel, E. 1987. Cooperation between rivals: informal know-how trading. Research Policy 16, 291–302.Google Scholar
  68. Yin, R.K. 1977. Tinkering with the system: technological innovations in state and local services. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  69. Yin, R.K. 1984. Case study research: design and methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Kingsley
    • 1
  1. 1.The Maxwell School Center for Technology and Information PolicySyracuse UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations