Historical case studies: Richness, rigour and 'contextualised explanation'

Emily Buchnea*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this chapter, the historical case study as a methodological approach and research tradition is explored. Building on the work of Welch et al., (2022), it evaluates the use of historical case study outside of business history, in the realm of traditional business and management topics, with particular focus on international business research. It finds there has been limited uptake of the historical case study in this research but in recent years, there is a proliferation of such studies because of the call for greater emphasis on the significance of context and ‘contextualised explanation’ and amplification of the rigour of historical methods. This chapter then moves on to explore the process of constructing a historical case study and the complexities therewithin. The research process involved is often non-linear, piecemeal and intricate; but the product, the historical case, provides illumination and in-depth analysis of key phenomena, both seen and unseen.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Historical Methods for Management
EditorsStephanie Decker, William M. Foster, Elena Giovannoni
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781800883741
ISBN (Print)9781800883734
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameHandbooks of research methods in management
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing

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