Table 2

Framework for an investigation of the methodological rigour of case studies40

Internal validityConstruct validityExternal validityReliability
Research framework explicitly derived from literature (diagram or explicit description of causal relationships)Data triangulation (archival data; interview data; participatory observation; direct observation)Cross-case analysis (either multiple case studies or nested cases within one organisation)Case study protocol (how was case study conducted)
Pattern matchingReview of transcripts and drafts by peersRationale for case study selection (and why appropriate in view of research questions)Case study database (with all available documents, interviews transcripts, etc)
Theory triangulation (different theoretical lenses or bodies of research used as research framework or for interpretation)Review of transcripts and drafts by key informantsDetails on case study contextsOrganisation's actual name provided explicitly in the report
Clear chain of evidence
Clear explanation of data-collection circumstances
Clear explanation of data analysis procedures