Case study research: The view from complexity science

Ruth A. Anderson, Benjamin F. Crabtree, David J. Steele, Reuben R. McDaniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many wonder why there has been so little change in care quality despite substantial quality improvement efforts. Questioning why current approaches are not making true changes draws attention to the organization as a source of answers. The authors bring together the case study method and complexity science to suggest new ways to study health care organizations. The case study provides a method for studying systems. Complexity theory suggests that keys to understanding the system are contained in patterns of relationships and interactions among the system's agents. They propose some of the "objects" of study that are implicated by complexity theory and discuss how studying these using case methods might provide useful maps of the system. They offer complexity theory, partnered with case study method, as a place to begin the daunting task of studying a system as an integrated whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-685
Number of pages17
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2005

Fingerprint

Research
Quality of Health Care
Quality Improvement
Delivery of Health Care

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • Case study methods
  • Complexity science
  • Health care organizations
  • Research

Cite this

Anderson, Ruth A. ; Crabtree, Benjamin F. ; Steele, David J. ; McDaniel, Reuben R. / Case study research : The view from complexity science. In: Qualitative Health Research. 2005 ; Vol. 15, No. 5. pp. 669-685.
@article{5b9f1077abfd4836850530eaf911d901,
title = "Case study research: The view from complexity science",
abstract = "Many wonder why there has been so little change in care quality despite substantial quality improvement efforts. Questioning why current approaches are not making true changes draws attention to the organization as a source of answers. The authors bring together the case study method and complexity science to suggest new ways to study health care organizations. The case study provides a method for studying systems. Complexity theory suggests that keys to understanding the system are contained in patterns of relationships and interactions among the system's agents. They propose some of the {"}objects{"} of study that are implicated by complexity theory and discuss how studying these using case methods might provide useful maps of the system. They offer complexity theory, partnered with case study method, as a place to begin the daunting task of studying a system as an integrated whole.",
keywords = "Case study methods, Complexity science, Health care organizations, Research",
author = "Anderson, {Ruth A.} and Crabtree, {Benjamin F.} and Steele, {David J.} and McDaniel, {Reuben R.}",
year = "2005",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/1049732305275208",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
pages = "669--685",
journal = "Qualitative Health Research",
issn = "1049-7323",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "5",

}

Case study research : The view from complexity science. / Anderson, Ruth A.; Crabtree, Benjamin F.; Steele, David J.; McDaniel, Reuben R.

In: Qualitative Health Research, Vol. 15, No. 5, 01.05.2005, p. 669-685.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Case study research

T2 - The view from complexity science

AU - Anderson, Ruth A.

AU - Crabtree, Benjamin F.

AU - Steele, David J.

AU - McDaniel, Reuben R.

PY - 2005/5/1

Y1 - 2005/5/1

N2 - Many wonder why there has been so little change in care quality despite substantial quality improvement efforts. Questioning why current approaches are not making true changes draws attention to the organization as a source of answers. The authors bring together the case study method and complexity science to suggest new ways to study health care organizations. The case study provides a method for studying systems. Complexity theory suggests that keys to understanding the system are contained in patterns of relationships and interactions among the system's agents. They propose some of the "objects" of study that are implicated by complexity theory and discuss how studying these using case methods might provide useful maps of the system. They offer complexity theory, partnered with case study method, as a place to begin the daunting task of studying a system as an integrated whole.

AB - Many wonder why there has been so little change in care quality despite substantial quality improvement efforts. Questioning why current approaches are not making true changes draws attention to the organization as a source of answers. The authors bring together the case study method and complexity science to suggest new ways to study health care organizations. The case study provides a method for studying systems. Complexity theory suggests that keys to understanding the system are contained in patterns of relationships and interactions among the system's agents. They propose some of the "objects" of study that are implicated by complexity theory and discuss how studying these using case methods might provide useful maps of the system. They offer complexity theory, partnered with case study method, as a place to begin the daunting task of studying a system as an integrated whole.

KW - Case study methods

KW - Complexity science

KW - Health care organizations

KW - Research

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=21744442605&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=21744442605&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/1049732305275208

DO - 10.1177/1049732305275208

M3 - Article

C2 - 15802542

AN - SCOPUS:21744442605

VL - 15

SP - 669

EP - 685

JO - Qualitative Health Research

JF - Qualitative Health Research

SN - 1049-7323

IS - 5

ER -