Comparative Causal Mapping and CMAP3 Software in Qualitative Studies

Mauri Laukkanen


Causal (aka cognitive) mapping emerged in the late 1970s as an innovative method for capturing and analyzing political decision-makers' and organizational phenomenological and causal belief patterns. Since then, in particular comparative causal mapping (CCM) has become widely used especially in management and organization (MOC) and IT-studies in the UK and USA. This paper provides an overview of the conceptual underpinnings and main variants of CCM to introduce the approach to qualitative researchers interested in new methods and research tools. Next, the paper presents new non-commercial Windows software, CMAP3, designed for small and medium size-N CCM-studies. Finally, to describe CCM-methods' versatility and potential, the paper discusses six types of CCM-studies, which represent different conceptions of target phenomena and research objectives and apply different modifications of the basic CCM-platform.



cognitive mapping; comparative causal mapping; low-structured causal mapping; semi-structured causal mapping; concept pool (hybrid) causal mapping; CMAP3 software

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Copyright (c) 2012 Mauri Laukkanen

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