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Case Study Method

Limitations of Case Studies

❶Interaction between participants and the researcher is required to generate data, which is an indication of the researcher's level of connection to and being immersed in the field.

The Case Study as a Research Method

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Strengths of Case Studies

The organisations have to choose one of the available techniques so that they can thoroughly conduct their investigations. Some of the primary methods that would be used included interviews, surveys, focus groups, observations and in some cases use field trials.

One of the benefits of this method is that the company will be able to get feedback from a significant portion of customers. Most of the customers will be able to answer the questions which will pertain to the brand and therefore a concrete feedback will be achieved. The other merit is the fact that it is less costly when compared to the others such as interviews. The company will just have to pay for the production of questionnaires used in the survey. On the other hand, surveys also have demerits.

One of the disadvantages is the fact that their design is inflexible. This is because the study that the company uses from the beginning, as well as its administration, cannot be changed throughout the process of gathering data that is meaningful. In some cases, the survey questions are usually inappropriate since the company will be forced to come up with items that will be used by the entire body of customers.

In public-relations research, three types of case studies are used: Under the more generalized category of case study exist several subdivisions, each of which is custom selected for use depending upon the goals of the investigator.

These types of case study include the following:. At Harvard Law School In , Christopher Langdell departed from the traditional lecture-and-notes approach to teaching contract law and began using cases pled before courts as the basis for class discussions.

Research in business disciplines is usually based on a positivist epistemology , [24] namely, that reality is something that is objective and can be discovered and understood by a scientific examination of empirical evidence. But organizational behavior cannot always be easily reduced to simple tests that prove something to be true or false. Reality may be an objective thing, but it is understood and interpreted by people who, in turn, act upon it, and so critical realism , which addresses the connection between the natural and social worlds, is a useful basis for analyzing the environment of and events within an organization.

A critical case is defined as having strategic importance in relation to the general problem. A critical case allows the following type of generalization: The case study is effective for generalizing using the type of test that Karl Popper called falsification , which forms part of critical reflexivity.

Falsification offers one of the most rigorous tests to which a scientific proposition can be subjected: Popper himself used the now famous example: The case study is well suited for identifying "black swans" because of its in-depth approach: Galileo Galilei built his rejection of Aristotle 's law of gravity on a case study selected by information-oriented sampling and not by random sampling. The rejection consisted primarily of a conceptual experiment and later on a practical one.

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. Review "The book is filled with tips to the researcher on how to master the craft of doing research overall and specifically how to account for multi-layered cases.

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Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Yin's book has, in my opinion, always been the go-to book for researchers using case study methodology.

The author discusses case study rationale, strengths and weaknesses of the approach, a case study planning protocol, and details regarding conducting and reporting on case studies. This newest edition adds more case study examples that include examples of the planning stage for studies. It also includes current topics such as gathering data from social media and the use of research software such as Nvivo.

I'm glad that I upgraded to this most recent edition. One person found this helpful. Everything to Consider and Apply. Definitive text on all things to consider, know, and refer to about case study. Well written book on qualitative data. Great examples, easy to understand and explains very well! Item was as described and arrived in excellent condition. Important when doing research. Author provides great examples to support the process.

Good and quick delivery. See all 14 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 1 month ago. Published 2 months ago. Vine Customer Review of Free Product. Published 6 months ago. Also, an author can better understand what case study research is and what the reasons to compose it instead of other types of academic assignments are.

Usually, by reading this peculiar academic paper, we understand two things: Both definitions often refer to the sociological kinds of science. A case study research paper is a way to make a precise exploration of a person, location, phenomenon or a circumstance aimed to reveal certain regularities, patterns, and features of the problem. As a rule, one separate object or subject are being investigated, but sometimes the comparative analysis can be implemented.

The case study research definition goes beyond the traditional science. For instance, this term is widely used in marketing, referring to a particular customer study. As with any other academic writing, this kind of paper has a stable structure. Different paragraphs play specific roles and cannot be substituted with each other.

Its main parts are an introduction, a review on literature piece, a page with methods description, a discussion, and a conclusion page.

Case study research design and methods can vary from paper to paper, but the structure is relatively stable. The only exception is the usage of different appendixes e. It must be a roadmap for the audience. An author must describe why a certain case is being studied and how it is related to a problem. The answers to these questions must be connected. To write the introduction, you are to answer the following questions:. The next part is called an annotated bibliography literature review.

Its goal is giving the background for the research case study. It can help with the following:

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The case study method, with its use of multiple data collection methods and analysis techniques, provides researchers with opportunities to triangulate data in order to strengthen the research findings and conclusions.

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An example of a study using the case study research design. The Argument for and Against the Case Study Research Design Some argue that because a case study is such a narrow field that its results cannot be extrapolated to fit an entire question and that they show only one narrow example.

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Although case study methods remain a controversial approach to data collection, they are widely recognised in many social science studies especially when in-depth explanations of a social behaviour are sought after. This article, therefore, discusses several aspects of case studies as a research method. Case study research methodology: Analyze appropriately As a rule, this section is divided into three parts: methods, people involved and ways of the data analysis. For writing a profound section, one should know what methodology in research is.

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Case studies are a popular research method in business area. Case studies aim to analyze specific issues within the boundaries of a specific environment, situation or organization. According to its design, case studies in business research can be divided into three categories: explanatory. For example, YIN () discusses case study research and in the context of presenting case study, refers to it as a research method while emphasizing the procedures used. He does not use the terms methodology or strategy.