The construction of typologies is common undertaking in qualitative research. This process considers aspects of concepts of types such as real types, prototypes and extreme types. In qualitative studies, the construction of types facilitates easier understanding of complex social realities. The construction of typologies adopts practices that ensure the process is systematic and transparent. During a grouping process, one considers attributes relevant to an object field and then uses them to divide the object field into types. The similarity of elements within a type is a key consideration. However, different types should exhibit diverse features. Representing the attribute space of every typology within multidimensional tables provides an overview of all probable combinations of relevant attributes and dimensions (McKinney, 1966). Summarizing single fields of the attribute space of a typology helps to eliminate combinations that are not relevant for a research question. This ensures that the construction of typologies concentrates on a few variables, which are easy to reduce to relevant types. For example, in typifying adolescents based on delinquent behavior, one can first create a distinction between the levels of delinquency and aspects of the development of delinquency. This provides a framework upon which further analysis of delinquent behavior develops based on the possible combinations. This analysis illustrates the need to eliminate irrelevant combination results during the construction of typologies.
Empirical investigations facilitate the realization of statements relevant to an object field as they strengthen theoretical knowledge. The first step in any empirical analysis is the identification of analysis dimensions that facilitate the differentiation of research elements (Kluge, 2000). These dimensions facilitate easier grouping of cases and analysis of irregularities in the construction of types by providing an overview of the distribution of cases within the attribute space. The data from various stages of empirical analysis forms the basis for the characterization of typologies based on combinations attributes and relationships.