Configurations identification through Fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis  method: Contribution of PLM technology to the respect of development time

Valéry Merminod, Frantz Rowe

Abstract


Invented by the sociologist Charles Ragin in the 80 to identify the configurations explaining a phenomenon, the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) method has been used in management sciences since mid of years 2000s. Research in management information systems seems to be an exception, with rare papers that appeared recently. However, this method offers several advantages to explore aspects, like equifinality, causal complexity, sensitivity to outliers and attention to the limited diversity of observed configurations. The aim of this paper is to present the features, benefits and limitations of this method for research in IS and an illustration of fuzzy-set QCA, one of the two main versions of QCA. This variant of the method is applied to the issue of the contribution of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) to respect the planned development time in the co-development of new products. QCA method identifies necessary and sufficient conditions for a result. In the illustration, we identified five possible configurations for a good respect of development time. In particular, we have highlighted a configuration where the use of the three PLM sub-systems is sufficient for a good respect of development time. QCA method is used to address the causal complexity notably through equifinality and the management of asymmetric configurations for a positive and negative result.


Keywords


Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), equifinality, limited diversity, configurations, PLM technology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9876/sim.v23i3.821

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