The method of Qualitative Comparative Analysis arises both in
historical and management
research, and in sociological and health research. The aim of QCA
is to systematically
analyse the possible configurations as a stage of research that
follows on from (but also
iterates with) a stage of qualitative analysis of cases. In this
approach, the 'case'
is both the whole set of configurations -- ie the world, really
existing as an interlinked
whole -- and as a set of comparable 'smaller' objects, e.g.
comparing clients, patients,
enterprises, or countries. The list exists to promote discussion and
debate about QCA and
its related variants, such as fuzzy-set social science (Ragin,
2004), realist evaluation
(Pawson and Tilley, 1997), and triangulation.