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Pitfalls of Case Studies and Mitigating factors

❶These ways should be clearly understood to develop an effective case-study. Worst case, you will have a better handle on the industry.

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Consider perspectives on approaching the question and the related bullet points. Choose at least two, and preferably more, of these data sources: Design interview questions that will lead to in-depth answers and continued conversations related to your research goals.

Recruit participants if necessary. You may have a specific individual in mind, or you may need to recruit people from a broader pool who satisfy your research criteria.

Make your research methods and time frame extremely clear to the potential participants. Unclear communication could be a breach of ethics, or could cause a participant to walk out partway through the study, wasting a great deal of time.

Since you aren't conducting a statistical analysis, you do not need to recruit a diverse cross-section of society. You should be aware of any biases in your small sample, and make them clear in your report, but they do not invalidate your research. If studying people, research information in their past that may be relevant, possibly including medical history, family history, or history of an organization.

A good background knowledge of the research topic and similar case studies could help guide your own research as well, especially if you are writing a critical interest case study.

Any case study, but especially case studies with a retrospective component, will benefit from basic academic research strategies. Learn how to conduct obtrusive observation. In a case study involving human participants, ethics guidelines do not typically allow you to "spy" on the participants.

You must practice obtrusive observation, where the participants are aware of your presence. Unlike a quantitative study, you may talk with the participants, make them feel comfortable, and include yourself in activities.

Some researchers do attempt to maintain a distance, but be aware that your presence will affect the behavior of the participants regardless of the relationship you form with them. Establishing trust with participants can result in less inhibited behavior. Observing people in their home, workplaces, or other "natural" environments may be more effective than bringing them to a laboratory or office.

Having subjects fill out a questionnaire is a common example of obtrusive research. Subjects know they are being studied, so their behavior will change, but this is a quick and sometimes the only way to gain certain information.

Extensive notes during observation will be vital when you are compiling your final report. In some case studies, it may be appropriate to ask the participant to record experiences in a diary.

Depending on the total length of your case study, you might hold an interview weekly, once every month or two, or just once or twice a year. Begin with the interview questions you prepared in the planning phase, then iterate to dig deeper into the topic: Describe meaning — ask the participant what the experience means to them, or what "life lessons" they take from it.

Ask what mental and emotional associations they have with the subject of your study, whether it's a medical condition, an event, or another topic.

A case study may feel less data-driven than a medical trial or a scientific experiment, but attention to rigor and valid methodology remains vital. If you find yourself drawn to studying a participant on one extreme end of the spectrum, set aside time to observe a more "typical" participant as well. Any sources you cite should be thoroughly checked for reliability. Collect all of your data and analyze it. After reading and referring back to your original bullet points, you may find that the data reacts in a surprising manner.

You need to pull your information together and focus it before writing case studies, especially if your research was performed in intervals across months or years. If you are working with more than one person you will want to assign sections for completion together to make sure your case study will flow.

For example, one person may be in charge of making charts of the data you gathered, while other people will each write an analysis of one of your bullet points you are trying to answer. Write your final case study report.

Based on the research questions you designed and the type of case study you conducted, this may be a descriptive report, an analytic argument grounded in a specific case, or a suggested direction for further research or projects. Include your most relevant observations and interviews in the case study itself, and consider attaching additional data such as full interviews as an appendix for readers to refer to.

If writing a case study for a non-academic audience, consider using a narrative form, describing the events that occurred during your case study in chronological order. Minimize your use of jargon. Ask permission from a client. A marketing case study describes a "success story" between a business and a client. Ideally, the client has recently interacted with your business, and is enthusiastic about contributing a positive message. Choose a client close to your target audience, if possible.

A typical marketing case study begins by describing the client's problems and background. It then rapidly moves on to describe how your company strategically approached these problems, and succeeded in fixing them to a high standard. Finish by describing how you can apply similar solutions across the industry.

The entire case study should divide into about three to five sections. If your target audience wouldn't immediately identify with your client's problem, start with a more general intro describing that type of problem in the industry.

Keep the study readable and powerful. Use bold text and headers to divide the case study into easy-to-read sections. Start each section with short, action sentences and strong verbs.

Use numeric examples that demonstrate how effective your solutions were. Make this as clear as possible, using actual numbers instead of or in addition to percentages.

For example, an HR department could show impressive retention numbers following a process change, while a marketing team could demonstrate past sales boosts from its service. Charts and graphs can be great visual tools, but label these with large letters that make the positive meaning obvious to people who aren't used to reading raw data.

Solicit quotes or write them yourself. You'll definitely want to quote positive recommendations from your client. Often, however, the person writing these will not have a marketing background. Ask the client whether you can write the statements for them, although of course the client will sign off on these before publication. Include photos and other images to make your case study more attractive.

One tactic that can work well is to solicit photographs from the client. An amateur digital photograph of the smiling client team can add a genuine touch. Make your marketing case study widely available. My case study is on the impact of direct marketing and the profitability of Centenary Bank. How can I approach it?

Know what you want to find out, what you believe you will find, and what you believe you will not find. Try making an outline approach to writing your case study. There may be certain requirements you haven't included here.

Not Helpful 0 Helpful 5. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 2. When inserting an image into the case study, how do I label and present it? It depends on the image and relevance. That is really a question to ask your professor or research partner as you might be bound by specific format requirements. According to a research, the cases are beneficial for exploratory and preliminary research while survey and histories are beneficial for a descriptive phase.

These case studies are useful for exploratory research. Yin held the belief that a more beneficial view is a pluralistic one.

Descriptive case studies may be exploratory if sufficient research has not been conducted in the given area. They may also be illustrative. Catharine Hakim categorized descriptive case studies as typical and selective. The selective case study focuses on a particular issue with the aim to increase the knowledge level in a particular area. An explanatory case study may take out selected social factors or processes. In the former, the researcher finds the evidence for a conclusion by considering the most favourable illustration of a particular issue.

On the other hand, there is deviant case. This case negates that the exception proves the rule by demonstrating that the general rule can be re-defined. Moreover, if the rule is correct, then it hold true in limited circumstances. Overall, the design of case-study and its application differ widely. They can be either exploratory, descriptive or explanatory. They may take typical, critical or deviant approaches.

Yin says that the case studies can be utilized to explain and explore events when they occur. It allows one to understand and explain links and pathways that result from a new event or a policy. There are number of questions one should consider whenever the most appropriate design is selected. The questions is whether it is useful as well as possible to undertake a formal experimental investigation. In these cases, individuals are appointed to an intervention or a control arm.

Another question is the desire to obtain a more naturalistic understanding of the issue. Case studies can provide very extensive details about a particular matter which cannot be provided by other methods. This method allows research to be carried in out in unusual cases where it would not be ethical to carry out in any other way. For instance, in a case of multiple personality, Thigpen and Cleckley It would have not been possible to compare people with multiple personality disorder and those without it.

This section assesses the problems and challenges of case study approach for building and testing theory. It also describes ways to assess the quality of research findings. Case study research is complex and unique challenges are faced by researchers.

This method is mostly qualitative and the individual contribution as well as the choices of researcher are crucial for this method. One may collect data on many variables, however, the problem is to identify variables of significance for the phenomenon under investigation. Theories rely on theoretical sampling for its development.

As limited number of cases can be studied, it is important to select important cases. An element of subjectivity is found in non-random sampling. A multiple-case design is appropriate when the objective of investigation is the investigation of theory.

The case study is dependent on multiple sources of evidence and many data collection methods. Each source of information has its benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, it is recommended that multiple sources of evidence should be used. It enhances the viability and the reliability of the data. The reliability confirms that the procedure would achieve same results if it is applied repetitively. The analysis of the data depends heavily on the ability of the researcher and it is necessary upon the researcher to present the evidence, establish cause and effect and argue convincingly.

Normative case studies are different from casual and interpretive case studies. It does not contribute to explanatory theory in ways the casual and interpretive theories do.

These case studies only considers normative theory such as the ideals and the obligations one should accept. Normative case studies contributes to the understanding of the important public values. For instance, it discusses the qualities of good neighborhoods, the responsibilities of organizational leaders and the events whenever the military intervention is required.

These case studies by demonstrating new situations that had not been envisioned before. These case studies also merge the empirical observation with normative assessment and enable one to analyze ethical concepts. The understanding of normative case study affect one views about the relationship between social science and ethics. Social scientists admit that value inform their research. For instance, it is normative considerations which allow them to identify important topics than others.

The Normative case study also other important implications. It asks one to reconsider their mechanical possibilities, the relationship of social science with ethics and the implications of the philosophy of science. The case studies are an effective method to enable students and faculty to understand the complexities and structures of organizations and leadership styles. Business cases are considered to be the most effective method to share a variety of experiences.

It is a useful way to involve students actively in analyses and decision making. These cases act as a substitute for on the job experience. They provide one with the exposure to variety of industries and organizations. It also one to assume a managerial role and act as a test to apply the tools and techniques of human resource management and training.

The group discussion over a case study helps one to understand the viewpoint of others regarding the issue. Cases also allow students to apply classroom learnings to real situations. It can also allow students to develop skills to analyze the more complex problems one may encounter in future. It also enables one to understand the strategies to sort issues and organize them to understand the problem.

It also allows students to understand that in real-life scenarios, the data is often ambiguous and not clearly defined. Students may face difficulties using case analyses. They may be uncomfortable with open-ended assignments. There are students who consider education as a collection of well-explained facts that have same outcomes and assignments which always have single solution. The complex case study can frustrate students and demotivate them.

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