objective of the case studies was to gain an in-depth understanding of
HRD departments. In order to select suitable case studies, the partners
carried out preliminary research in their countries. The study concentrated
on large companies, as these have a more clearly recognisable HRD function.
The aim was not to create a representative group, but to select 'good examples'
of learning oriented organisations, since these would provide the most
interesting lessons. With a view to facilitating comparison, partners selected
companies, in equal number, from among two industrial sectors and tried
to have cases of similar size (500 to 1000 employees).
the selection, the partners collected data according to a general format
(by interviews and document analysis), conducted a within case analysis,
and compiled a case report for each organisation.
on these results, the project management team performed a cross case analysis,
applying the matrix technique described by Miles and Huberman (1981). For
this, the partners provided matrix reports of their cases alongside their
ordinary reports. Results were compiled in cross case matrices according
to the major research questions (Tjepkema et al., 1999, pp. 16-20).