The uses of qualitative data in multimethodology: Developing causal loop diagrams during the coding process

Mike Yearworth, Leroy A White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)
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In this research note we describe a method for exploring the creation of causal loop diagrams (CLDs) from the coding trees developed through a grounded theory approach and using computer aided qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS). The theoretical background to the approach is multimethodology, in line with Minger’s description of paradigm crossing and is appropriately situated within the Appreciate and Analyse phases of PSM intervention. The practical use of this method has been explored and three case studies are presented from the domain of organisational change and entrepreneurial studies. The value of this method is twofold i) in the potential to introduce what has been called dynamic coherence to grounded theories arising from qualitative data analysis, and ii) providing a more rigorous approach to the formation stage of system dynamics modelling. We propose that the further development of this method requires its implementation within CAQDAS packages so that CLD creation, as a precursor to full system dynamics modelling, and formation of dynamic hypotheses is contemporaneous with coding and consistent with a bridging strategy of paradigm crossing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number1
Early online date11 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2013


  • multimethodology
  • paradigm crossing
  • qualitative data analysis
  • Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs)
  • Computer Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS)
  • Problem Structuring Methods (PSMs)


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