Reminder/Update HSU-Doktorandenkurs: Combining Rigor and Relevance with Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA)

Institution: Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg

Lecturer: Jan Dul, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Date: 20.10.2016 – 10 a.m. to 15 p.m.

Place: Helmut-Schmidt-Universität, Holstenhofweg 85, 22043 Hamburg

Room: Seminarraum 0105

Language of instruction: English

Registration: Please notify Dr. Sven Hauff via email (

Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA) is a novel methodology, recently published in Organizational Research Methods (Dul, 2016). Reactions of editors and reviewers of papers that use NCA are very promising. For example, an editor of a 4-star journal said:
“From my perspective, [this NCA paper] is the most interesting paper I have handled at this journal, insofar as it really represents a new way to think about data analyses”.

How does NCA work?
NCA understands cause-effect relations in terms of “necessary but not sufficient”. It means that without the right level of the condition a certain effect cannot occur. This is independent of other causes, thus the necessary condition can be a bottleneck, critical factor, constraint, disqualifier, etc. In practice, the right level of necessary condition must be put and kept in place to avoid guaranteed failure. Other causes cannot compensate for this factor.

Whom is NCA for?
NCA is applicable to any discipline, and can provide strong results even when other analyses such as regression analysis show no or weak effects. By adding a different logic and data analysis approach, NCA adds both rigor and relevance to your theory, data analysis, and publications. NCA is a user-friendly method that requires no advanced statistical or methodological knowledge beforehand. It can be used in both quantitative research as well as in qualitative research. You can become one of the first users of NCA in your field, which makes your publication(s) extra attractive.

What will be discussed in the seminar?
The seminar consists of two parts:

  1. The first part (one hour) is open to anyone who is interested in NCA and its potential value. We will discuss the method and its applications in different management fields.
  2. Immediately afterwards, in the second part (1-3 hours depending on the number of participants) we will discuss the method in more detail. In particular we will focus on the participants’ research areas and datasets. If you are interested in a demonstration of the method on your dataset, please bring your dataset (scores of the variables) on a USB drive (e.g., excel.csv file). Normally, an NCA analysis takes less than 5 minutes to get the main results.

More information:

  • Dul, J. (2016) Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA): Logic and methodology of “necessary but not sufficient” causality, Organizational Research Methods, 19(1), 10-52.