General methodological issues
Given the limited scientific understanding of the phenomenon under research in this part of the dissertation, I use a multiple case study approach as proposed by Eisenhardt (1989) and (Yin, 2009). My goal is to “develop pertinent hypotheses and propositions [of antecedents of corporate innovation community social capital] for further inquiry” (Yin, 2009: 9). Yin defines a case study approach as follows: “[T]he distinguishing characteristic of the case study is that it attempts to examine: (a) a contemporary phenomenon in its real‐life context, especially when (b) the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident” (1981: 59). The advantages of case study research as an analysis of real‐life contexts are also highlighted in another, often cited work of Yin: “[T]he distinctive need for case studies arises out of the desire to understand complex social phenomena. In brief, the case study method allows investigators to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real‐life events” (2009: 4).
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