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Critical Assessment Of International Comparison On Transport Systems

1079 words - 5 pages

To establish a platform for further discussion it is vital to provide some basic theoretical framework on the issue of comparative approach. Following the structure mentioned in the introduction of this paper, this section will be divided into several parts.
To begin, many scholars have highlighted the importance of generating of a good research question (for instance, Mills, 1959; Locke & Golden-Biddle, 1997; Smith & Hitt, 2005; Starbuck, 2006). In the process of formulating of the research question two patterns can be identified referring to current research: gap-spotting and problematization. Indentifying or constructing gaps in the existing literature to be filled reflects the general ...view middle of the document...

And the last method is concerned with the opportunities of the author to access the particular sources of information needed for the research (‘policy developments’, ‘data concerning policies for a specific set of countries’, ‘research subjects and gatekeepers to data’) (Dodds, 2013: 317). Moreover, the challenges faced by comparative researches should be mentioned. Dodds identifies several potential challenges which can affect the validity of the research. First of all, there is a problem of ‘international interdependence’ which questions the extent to which ‘using individual […] geographically defined units’ as cases for comparison can be considered appropriate in terms of transnational factors which have particular influence on domestic decision-making process (Dodds, 2013: 325-326). Secondly, the problem of ‘equivalence’ which refers to ‘the reliability of indicators used to operationalize a concept in different national […] contexts’ (Dodds, 2013: 329). This issue can appear due to linguistic and / or cultural differences between countries or regions under comparison. Also, time as an influential factor in case of long-term research should be taken into account. Therefore, the set of cases chosen for the research in each article will be examined in terms of the validity and propriety.
To address the research question a set of methods should be chosen. In case of comparative approach which generally aims to ‘understand which characteristics of a particular cultures, societies, economies or political systems affect patterns of behavior within them’ (Dodds, 2013: 318). There are four methods which can be used to address the purpose of the research, namely: methods of agreement and difference, combinatorial analysis and process tracing (Dodds, 2013: 318). Thus, the method of agreement is concerned with the process of elimination explaining ‘some common outcome by discovering the causal circumstances in common across cases’ (Dodds, 2013: 319). However, this method has its own limitations: it does not necessary detect causal link between variables, also ‘multiple causality’ can take place. The method of difference refers to the comparison of cases build upon difference in only one causal condition. Another approach mentioned by Dodds is the combinatorial analysis which refers to assessing relationship between independent variables using ‘Boolean operators’ (‘and’, ‘or’, ‘not’). This approach assumes that ‘variables may combine in order to produce a particular outcome’ (Dodds, 2013: 321-322). The forth approach presented by the author is so...

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