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How many cases do you need for studies in operations management? Guidance based on saturation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christian Hicks


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The case study methodology is a well-established method in operations management; however, clarity lacks on how to determine the number of cases required in multiple cases studies designs. This paper considers how the principle of saturation can help with this important aspect of research design. Saturation is considered at different aggregation strata and leads to rules that can be followed to help ensure both internal and external validity. This paper offers recommendations to identify when empirical data are incomplete from the perspective of saturation. These guidelines will help both novice researchers and more experienced ones, albeit in different ways.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dekkers R, Hicks C

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 26th EurOMA Conference: Operations Adding Value to Society

Year of Conference: 2019

Pages: 253-262

Online publication date: 17/06/2019

Acceptance date: 11/04/2019

Publisher: European Operations Management Association