The Analysis of Secondary Case Studies as a Starting Point for Grounded Theory Studies: An Example from the Enterprise Software Industry

A fundamental principle of Grounded Theory (GT) is to prevent the formation of preconceived theories. This implies the need to start a research study with an open mind and to avoid being absorbed by the existing literature. However, to start a new study without an understanding of the research domain and its context can be extremely challenging. This paper presents a research approach that simultaneously supports a researcher to identify and to focus on critical areas of a research project and prevent the formation of prejudiced concepts by the current body of literature. This approach comprises of four stages: Selection of secondary case studies, analysis of secondary case studies, development of an initial conceptual framework, development of an initial interview guide. The analysis of secondary case studies as a starting point for a research project allows a researcher to create a first understanding of a research area based on real-world cases without being influenced by the existing body of theory. It enables a researcher to develop through a structured course of actions a firm guide that establishes a solid starting point for further investigations. Thus, the described approach may have significant implications for GT researchers who aim to start a study within a given research area.

Radical Technological Innovation–Comparison of a Critical Success Factors Framework with Existing Literature

Radical technological innovations enable companies to reach strong market positions and are thus desirable. On the other hand, the innovation process is related to significant costs and risks. Hence, the knowledge of the factors that influence success is crucial for technology driven companies. Taking a previously developed framework of Critical Success Factors for radical technological innovations as a reference model, we conducted a structured and focused literature review of eleven standard books within the field of technology and innovation management. With this approach we aim to evaluate, expand, and clarify the set of Critical Success Factors detailed in this framework. Overall, the set of factors and their allocation to the main categories of the framework could be confirmed. However, the factor organizational home is not emphasized and discussed in most of the reviewed literature. On the other hand, an additional factor that has not been part of the framework is described to be important – strategy fit. Furthermore, the factors strategic alliances and platform strategy appear in the literature but in a different context compared to the reference model.