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Qualitative comparative analysis in corporate governance research: a systematic literature review of applications

Nicola Cucari (Department of Management and Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 23 May 2019

Issue publication date: 13 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to provide comprehensive mapping of qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) applications in business and management research and to examine the sub-fields of corporate governance research in this context.


Through a systematic literature review of 22 articles, the paper describes and analyses how QCA is used in the corporate governance field, what can be learned from the methodology’s implementation in corporate governance studies and why authors justify its use.


The findings highlight that QCA in corporate governance is still at an early stage of development. The paper encourages governance scholars to use this method to transform QCA from a niche into a mainstream method because it is appropriate for understanding both complex phenomena of social reality and issues of corporate governance that require an approach able to capture configurations of conditions, asymmetric patterns and equifinal explanations.


This is the first complete overview of the existing literature concerning QCA’s application in corporate governance research and reveals implications for its future use. In this way, it extends the previous work on QCA’s benefits to management researchers and other critical reviews of applications in QCA. This study encourages scholars to renew their understanding of corporate governance issues through a new analysis method that can help to discover conceptual and empirical relations among case-oriented and variable-oriented analyses in terms of interrelations to examine corporate governance practices holistically.



Cucari, N. (2019), "Qualitative comparative analysis in corporate governance research: a systematic literature review of applications", Corporate Governance, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 717-734.



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