The main methodology used to answer the above-listed research questions was that of an exploratory case-study research (Figure 2.1). In this methodology the formation of hypotheses and empirical analysis inform each other during iterative steps: an initial proposition was formulated and tested through case-study analysis; results led to an adaptation of the proposition, which was tested in the next casestudy round. It is important to note that exploratory case-study research does not fully verify a hypotheses, but seeks to stabilize them and in this way give direction to further research (Yin, 2013, Yin, 2012). Below, the use of the methodology for this thesis is explained.
Besides using empirical case-study research for the strengthening of propositions, the dissertation also draws on theoretical notions from the fields of design and planning, as explained in the previous chapter. Its engagement with theories from different disciplines required a comparison of concepts and categories presented in fields and sub-fields. Criteria to qualify such theory formation in the social sciences is discussed below, under the heading ‘theory formation’.
It is important to note that this chapter adds to the more detailed descriptions of methods in Chapters 4 to 7 and Chapter 8: Conclusions contains critical remarks on the methodologies which have been applied.
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