Other important issues have also
Other important issues have also been motivated by this paper as to pursue qualitative research. On one hand, Meglio and Risberg (2010) suggest that “instead posit that the M&A field has become marred by a set of bureaucratic method techniques that trivialize research with little organizational relevance […] future scholars should rethink how to produce knowledge in the M&A field in terms of research designs and sources of data”. In the M&A summit in 2004, scholars like Pablo, Hitt, and Singh, among others propose that “current research designs and methodologies are not able to deal with a multi-level, multi-disciplinary, and multi-stage phenomenon” (p. 88). On the other hand, a paper on ‘management research in Asia’ has highlighted that “Asian scholars ought to be more careful in applying theories developed in other contexts, and they can be more self-confident in exploring locally relevant research issues; research should be able to make major contributions, for instance, by explaining context-specific variables and effects, and by drawing on traditional Asian thought in developing new theories” (Meyer, 2006).
In the recent past, scholars have used different qualitative methods such as case study research, historical research and content analysis, just to mention a few (e.g., Meyer, 2001; Stake, 1995; Yin, 1994, 2003). For instance, Larsson and Lubatkin (2001) employ multi-case-survey to study acculturation in M&A deals. While empirically analyzing the data through statistical tools, Wan and Wong (2009) focus on knowing the economic impact of political barriers in CNOOC׳s unsuccessful takeover of Unocal and its effect on other oil firms. Syrjälä, Takala, and Sintonen (2009) adopt a narrative approach to investigate how the personnel of the acquiring firms felt about the human resource policies in the erk inhibitors process. Conversely, it is also important to note that senior scholars emphasize largely on characteristics, protocols and limitations of the use of qualitative methods in strategy related areas including M&A, joint ventures, networks, alliances and buyouts (Collinson & Rugman, 2010; Ghauri & Firth, 2009; Piekkari, Welch, & Paavilainen, 2009). Of course, few scholars have presented mixed views on quality and rigor of qualitative methods, theory testing and development in case study research (e.g., Peng, 2004; Tsang, 2013, 2014), and suggested new ways of doing the case study research (Hoon, 2013; Reddy, 2015a).
The plan of this article is as follows. Section 2 describes the concept and importance of case study research. Section 3 outlines past analysis and remarks. Section 4 presents a bibliometric analysis and summary of previous studies using case study method in M&A literature. Section 5 suggests a number of guidelines with regard to research rigor in qualitative case method. Section 6 concludes the study.
Theoretical backdrop: case study research The application of case study research (CSR) is one of the most critical and approachable methods in qualitative research, which has gained significant importance in different disciplines over the period, for example, medical sciences, sociology, politics, law, management and engineering. Scholars from teaching and education and other social science streams are found to be exciting in use of CSR for various reasons (Eriksson & Kovalainen, 2008; Woodside & Wilson, 2003; Woodside, 2010). Importantly, senior researchers in social sciences, for instance, contributions of Yin and Stake have high impact on CSR approach due to implications including the application, design and procedure, theory testing and theory development (Stake, 1995; Yin, 1994, 2003). According to Yin׳s view, case study method is “an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clear evident and it relies on multiple sources of evidence” (Yin, 1994, p. 13). In other words, it is “an examination of a specific phenomenon such as a program, an event, a person, a process, an institution, or a social group” (cf. Willis, 2007). By and large, researchers use CSR for two main reasons, namely to answer ‘why’ and how’ and to perform theory-building research based on thick evidence and in-depth analysis (Eisenhardt, 1989; Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007). On top of that, it is a legitimate tool of idiographic research approaches in qualitative methods (Yin, 2003).