case study research

case study research

The Importance of Case Study Research

1. Introduction

When researching case studies, it’s rarely the case that now and again is a particular population or situation conveniently accessible. The case inquisition ought to generate its utmost to apprehend the public or circumstances of interest and exploit obtainable sources of information. In checking facts and evidence, many of the most intricate susceptibilities to be taken on frequently have a quasi-experimental nature. An illustration of this is the juxtaposition of the nested-case control study to a more traditional epidemiological case control study. Scholars have these susceptibilities in mind when they discern the incidence from the etiology of disease. Step one is to ascertain formative susceptibilities and act a convenient case of what is being studied. This is a long-winded process of remittal and discernment ahead of time. In the end, the susceptibilities are frequently appraised utilizing a research specific questionnaire that leads to the suggest of an experimental investigation to appraise a cause and effect relation. Step one in many case studies is to develop a detailed analysis of a person, place, or thing of interest. Build a comprehensive understanding (i.e., thick description) often utilizing ample evidence to verify information and delve into perspectives or interpretations of facts. This form of research with a comprehensive reconstruct of a contemporary or historical phenomenon employing multiple sources of evidence is widely known and practiced.

2. Benefits of Case Study Research

Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis, dissertation, or other research project. They are known for their depth and detail and are designed to get at the causes of a particular event. Although research designs may vary, case study research is a flexible choice that can produce anywhere from a single case to several cases. It can provide the basis for other research to follow. Case study research is not a methodology; it can be considered a within-case or between-methods category. This results in a wide variety of approaches, which impacts on the amount of time and types of resources needed. One of the reasons for the recognition of case study as a research method is that researchers were becoming more concerned about the limitations of quantitative methods in providing holistic and in-depth explanations of social phenomena. Researchers were realizing the limitations of many of these quantitative methods in providing an understanding of complex social phenomena. Often, such studies will be the only realistic way to gain the information required about a case, for example, in a study testing the feasibility of a new system using a pilot case study. During the 1970s and 80s, the heyday of case study research, it was viewed as a way of providing a rich, detailed, and deep account of complex issues in real-world settings.

3. Methodology of Case Study Research

There are also several types of case study in terms of their relevance to the public, community, or other specific societies. These include the intrinsic case study, instrumental case study, and a collective case study. Each of these types has its own specific method on how to conduct it and the various ways to reach the goals. An intrinsic case study is when a researcher has a case or a topic that can assist in understanding a typical case. The aim of this is to give a better understanding of the typical case by providing another instance of the similar case but with more context or deeper understanding. This type of case study is said to be the case for a case. An instrumental case study uses a case to try to explain a phenomenon and can involve testing a theory that was formulated prior to the research. This type of case study is good for when the theory or the phenomenon has led to a pressing aim that needs to be resolved. A collective case study is when a few separate case studies may contain information that points to the same results. This form of research and these types of methods provide a general outline of how a case study is done.

There are several methods to conducting a case study; the five main methods are a type of experiment, longitudinal study, interview, archival records, and a survey. Experimental case studies are utilized when a researcher wants to test a specific theory, and it can involve a control group and random assignments. This type of case study is also good for testing and providing a solid foundation for a theory. A longitudinal study is an extensive analysis over time and often takes up a considerable amount of time; however, it is very useful with regard to finding out changes in a group or an individual over a period. A longitudinal study can be a single or multiple case analysis, and it is a strategy that many other organizations or case studies often follow. Which means that it needs to be thorough because other case studies may reference it in the future. An interview is when the researcher talks to a single person or a group, and it can be unstructured or structured, and the type of information gathered can be anything from opinions and beliefs to certain events. This method is very time conservative and can provide a quick analysis; it may also be recorded and later transcribed in case there are some minor details missed. Archival records are another simple time conservative case study; it involves accumulating information from pre-existing records whether they are internal or public. The final type of case study method is a survey; this is a method for the compilation of data in which information is collected either from a population or a representative part of a population.

4. Limitations of Case Study Research

Another important finding that has come to the fore extensively in this comparative analysis is the importance of case studies in contributing to both extra and intra-scientific knowledge. It is clear that this research method is not only essential for answering cause and effect questions but also for the development and testing of theories. Theory testing is, of course, a strong tradition in the Popperian sense and is one that has led to a tendency for qualitative researchers to consider quantitative methods as being in some way superior to their own. However, case studies, particularly for explanatory case studies, are able to answer cause and effect questions through the examination and development of a theory. This is very important due to the fact that theories are generalizations, and without cause and effect evidence, it is difficult to show how something that comprises a theoretical category is related to an outcome, something that is crucial for theory validity. Popper also suggested that testing should be aimed at refutation and that a good theory is one that is hard to vary. Explanatory case studies are an excellent way to follow these Popperian guidelines because if the theory is true, then the expected outcome should be forthcoming and it will be possible to show that there are alternative theories since the explanation of the rival theory will not be the same.

5. Conclusion

This ideally should push case study research to the forefront of science in building and testing theories. Stake’s aim is obviously a good indicator for future empirical research and higher orientation standards with the various presentations of case study research can only give great advances to this aim. This volume and the works referred to in this volume are very much a push in the right direction for case study research and its validity in theory building. With the juxtaposition of theory and variety in mind, the best promise for theory can only be through the study of various theories themselves, something which case study research can claim to specialize in.

A now classic text on how to do case study research: the methods, questions, and options for learning compared with an experimental paradigm. Published by Cambridge University Press, it is still one of the most definitive statements on this research method. In the preface to the book, Stake offered an impressive retraction of all the misconceptions that have plagued this method, and resolved to overcome data collection and analysis in future research.

Case study research provides sound, detailed information about varieties of a particular activity, event, policy or process. The method has been employed in a variety of disciplines. In the conclusion to this volume, the authors reiterate the importance of case study research in building theory and in testing theory. They draw clear comparisons between case study research and established design methods and show the various strengths and weaknesses that each method brings. This volume has thoroughly covered how to design and conduct a case study research. Students of social science will find this very useful when planning their own research and this will act as a guide to get the best results from their case study.

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