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Case Study Research Design

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❶These case studies are likely to appear in formal research venues, as journals and professional conferences, rather than popular works. Exploring the philosophical orientation of case study research and variations in different case study approaches can help to clarify these differences, and promote a better understanding of how to apply these principles in practice.

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Strengths of Case Studies
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The Case Study as a Research Method

These experiments, with the benefit of hindsight, seem self-evident. Nevertheless, Aristotle's incorrect view of gravity had dominated scientific inquiry for nearly two thousand years before it was falsified. In his experimental thinking, Galileo reasoned as follows: If the two objects are then stuck together into one, this object will have double the weight and will according to the Aristotelian view therefore fall faster than the two individual objects.

This conclusion seemed contradictory to Galileo. The only way to avoid the contradiction was to eliminate weight as a determinant factor for acceleration in free fall.

Rather, it was a matter of a single experiment, that is, a case study. The air pump made it possible to conduct the ultimate experiment, known by every pupil, whereby a coin or a piece of lead inside a vacuum tube falls with the same speed as a feather. What is especially worth noting, however, is that the matter was settled by an individual case due to the clever choice of the extremes of metal and feather.

Random and large samples were at no time part of the picture. However it was Galileo's view that was the subject of doubt as it was not reasonable enough to be the Aristotelian view. By selecting cases strategically in this manner one may arrive at case studies that allow generalization. It is generally believed [ by whom? Other roots stem from the early 20th century, when researchers working in the disciplines of sociology, psychology, and anthropology began making case studies.

The popularity of case studies in testing theories or hypotheses has developed only in recent decades. Educators have used case studies as a teaching method and as part of professional development , especially in business and legal education.

The problem-based learning PBL movement offers an example. When used in non-business education and professional development, case studies are often referred to as critical incidents. Ethnography exemplifies a type of case study, commonly found in communication case studies. Ethnography is the description, interpretation, and analysis of a culture or social group, through field research in the natural environment of the group being studied.

The main method of ethnographic research is thorough observation, where the researcher observes study participants over an extended period of time within the participants' own environment.

Comparative case studies have become more popular [ when? One approach encourages researchers to compare horizontally, vertically, and temporally. Using case studies in research differs from their use in teaching, where they are commonly called case methods and casebook methods. Teaching case studies have been a highly popular pedagogical format in many fields ranging from business education to science education.

Harvard Business School has been among the most prominent developers and users of teaching case studies. Additional relevant documentation, such as financial statements, time-lines, and short biographies, often referred to in the case study as exhibits, and multimedia supplements such as video-recordings of interviews with the case subject often accompany the case studies.

Similarly, teaching case studies have become increasingly popular in science education. The National Center for Case Studies in Teaching Science has made a growing body of case studies available for classroom use, for university as well as secondary school coursework.

Teaching case studies need not adhere strictly to the use of evidence, as they can be manipulated to satisfy educational needs. The generalizations from teaching case studies also may relate to pedagogical issues rather than the substance of the case being studied. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with case method , used in teaching. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research.

Design and Methods 5th ed. Classic Case Studies in Psychology. Collaborative Medicine Case Studies: Towards a pluralist future for international business research" PDF. Journal of International Business Studies. The Case for Rigor and Comparative Logic". The Academy of Management Review. The Art of Case Study Research.

The Extended Case Method: University of California Press. American Political Science Review. In Ragin, Charles C. What Is a Case?: Exploring the Foundations of Social Inquiry.

How to Do Your Case Study: A Guide for Students and Researchers. In Heath, Robert L. Encyclopedia of Public Relations. SAGE Publications published There are three major types of case studies common to public relations: The Inception of Modern Professional Education: Langdell, — Chapel Hill: Journal of Management Policy and Practice. A Critical Realist Perspective". Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research. Deriving theory from evidence". Journal of Business Case Studies. The American Catholic Sociological Review.

Glaser and Strauss, The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research New York: Cambridge Journal of Education. Rethinking Case Study Research. Professional Education for the World of Practice". The Case Study Handbook: Harvard Business School Press. Case-based Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century. Clinical research and experimental design. Clinical trial Trial protocols Adaptive clinical trial Academic clinical trials Clinical study design.

The truth probably lies between the two and it is probably best to try and synergize the two approaches. It is valid to conduct case studies but they should be tied in with more general statistical processes. For example, a statistical survey might show how much time people spend talking on mobile phones, but it is case studies of a narrow group that will determine why this is so. The other main thing to remember during case studies is their flexibility.

Whilst a pure scientist is trying to prove or disprove a hypothesis , a case study might introduce new and unexpected results during its course, and lead to research taking new directions.

The argument between case study and statistical method also appears to be one of scale. Whilst many 'physical' scientists avoid case studies, for psychology, anthropology and ecology they are an essential tool. It is important to ensure that you realize that a case study cannot be generalized to fit a whole population or ecosystem. Finally, one peripheral point is that, when informing others of your results, case studies make more interesting topics than purely statistical surveys, something that has been realized by teachers and magazine editors for many years.

The general public has little interest in pages of statistical calculations but some well placed case studies can have a strong impact. The advantage of the case study research design is that you can focus on specific and interesting cases. This may be an attempt to test a theory with a typical case or it can be a specific topic that is of interest.

Research should be thorough and note taking should be meticulous and systematic. The first foundation of the case study is the subject and relevance. In a case study, you are deliberately trying to isolate a small study group, one individual case or one particular population.

For example, statistical analysis may have shown that birthrates in African countries are increasing. A case study on one or two specific countries becomes a powerful and focused tool for determining the social and economic pressures driving this.

In the design of a case study, it is important to plan and design how you are going to address the study and make sure that all collected data is relevant. Unlike a scientific report, there is no strict set of rules so the most important part is making sure that the study is focused and concise; otherwise you will end up having to wade through a lot of irrelevant information.

It is best if you make yourself a short list of 4 or 5 bullet points that you are going to try and address during the study. If you make sure that all research refers back to these then you will not be far wrong. With a case study, even more than a questionnaire or survey , it is important to be passive in your research. You are much more of an observer than an experimenter and you must remember that, even in a multi-subject case, each case must be treated individually and then cross case conclusions can be drawn.

Analyzing results for a case study tends to be more opinion based than statistical methods. The usual idea is to try and collate your data into a manageable form and construct a narrative around it.

Use examples in your narrative whilst keeping things concise and interesting. It is useful to show some numerical data but remember that you are only trying to judge trends and not analyze every last piece of data.

Constantly refer back to your bullet points so that you do not lose focus. It is always a good idea to assume that a person reading your research may not possess a lot of knowledge of the subject so try to write accordingly. In addition, unlike a scientific study which deals with facts, a case study is based on opinion and is very much designed to provoke reasoned debate.

There really is no right or wrong answer in a case study. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Apr 1, Case Study Research Design. Retrieved Sep 11, from Explorable.

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The Case Study as a Research Method Uses and Users of Information -- LIS D.1 -- Spring Introduction Case study research excels at bringing us to an understanding of a complex issue or object and can extend experience or add strength to what is already known through previous research.

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Case studies is a popular research method in business area. Case studies aim to analyze specific issues within the boundaries of a specific environment.

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case study as a research method 2 investigate contemporary real-life phenomenon through detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events or conditions, and their relationships. What is a Case Study? Basically, a case study is an in depth study of a particular situation rather than a sweeping statistical is a method used to narrow down a very broad field of research into one easily researchable topic.

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MERRIAM () acknowledges case study research can use both quantitative and qualitative methods; however, when working on qualitative case studies, methods aimed at generating inductive reasoning and interpretation rather than testing hypothesis take priority. 3 A (VERY) BRIEF REFRESHER ON THE CASE STUDY METHOD The case study method embraces the full set of procedures needed to do case study research. These tasks include designing a case study, collecting the study’s data, ana-.