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October 17 , 2007

Comparative Causal Mapping

The CMAP3 Method


Comparative Causal Mapping: The CMAP3 Method, by Mauri Laukkanen and Mingde Wang, is an introduction to the conceptual backgrounds of causal (cognitive) mapping and to the typical methods in comparative and composite causal mapping, based on either interview or questionnaire primary data or on secondary documentary data. The discussed CCM research is supported by CMAP3, a freely downloadable ( Windows software platform for CCM studies.

The book has three parts. The first discusses the theoretical underpinnings and methodological issues in causal mapping including the target phenomena and different interpretations of causal maps/mapping, the motives for using CCM methods and the criteria of method selection. The second part focuses on the technical aspects of using CMAP3 in typical CCM research. The third part presents three CCM study cases: a classical document-based study; a semi-structured interview-based (SIM) study; and a methodological study comparing SIM with an electronically administered structured hybrid CCM approach. In addition to demonstrating CCM practices, they suggest that different methods produce divergent results and are thus not substitutable. The research task should determine which CCM approach is appropriate.

The book will appeal to both academic and professional audiences, in particular to doctoral students and experienced researchers looking for new topics and method approaches, but also to practitioners in fields such as management and organization studies, organizational development, public policy and education, and knowledge management.

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