Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) allows researchers to study how configurations of conditions lead to outcomes and, thereby, richly explain the dynamics of complex digital phenomena. To advance discussion on QCA in the information systems (IS) discipline, we introduce its fundamental concepts and offer guidelines for authors on how to apply QCA to advance IS research. We also provide checklists for reviewers of QCA papers. We illustrate how to apply our guidelines through two exemplar studies. In the first exemplar study, we focus on IT-business strategic alignment to study the influence that different forms of alignment have on firm performance. In the second exemplar study, we use the perspective of the integrated technology acceptance model to explain an individual’s intention to use a digital assistant. The contrasting results from both studies highlight how to use QCA to derive robust and reproducible results. By doing so, we contribute to encouraging IS scholars to use QCA to develop sophisticated models that accurately depict real-world IS phenomena.





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