In organizational research the object of study is often a process, that is, a complex of events and activities that unfolds over time. In this chapter we focus on temporally ordered configurations, which can be defined as those configurations in which conditions occur in a specific temporal order. We illustrate the aims, characteristics, and limitations of several approaches that have been proposed as tools for the analysis of temporal order. Our illustration involves an analysis of the “gestation activities” of nascent entrepreneurs, that is, persons involved in the creation of a new firm. We aim to identify temporal sequences of gestation activities that generate or allow a successful outcome of the gestation process, while an occurrence of the same activities in another temporal order will not generate or allow that outcome. First we discuss Event Structure Analysis and Optimal Matching and conclude that these approaches cannot provide the kind of analysis that we are aiming at in this chapter. Then we discuss Temporal Qualitative Comparative Analysis, for which our analysis points to technical limitations that constrain its application. We then present and discuss an alternative approach, Temporal Necessary Condition Analysis.
Hak, T., Jaspers, F. and Dul, J. (2013), "Chapter 5 The Analysis of Temporally Ordered Configurations: Challenges and Solutions", Fiss, P.C., Cambré, B. and Marx, A. (Ed.) Configurational Theory and Methods in Organizational Research (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 38), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 107-127. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2013)0000038009
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