This paper proposes a combined research approach of simulation and modeling and qualitative empirical social research. Modeling and simulating may reveal valuable insight into real world systems consisting of a complex structure. Yet, published data on structures, like learning alliances, are oftentimes limited and stand side-by-side, without interrelation. Qualitative empirical social research might provide model builders with appropriate missing data. Though applying real-world data has long tradition in System Dynamcis, a comprehensive scientific explanation is still omitted. In this paper we view modeling from an outsider perspective, like, i.e., an alliance scholar who needs to be convinced about the benefits of simulation and modeling. Model quality and model acceptance, among other things, depend on realistic model input, including non-rationality or real-world policies. We analyze how qualitative empirical social research may ensure that the model builder works with real-world input that she might use for building the simulation model and for her analysis.