what is case study

what is case study

The Importance of Case Studies in Research

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1. Introduction

I am going to show the importance of the case study method to the understanding of the real world and its issues by using an example from a political study and political science. The developing understanding of the complexity in a given situation can give rise to an action research, which can be a positive force in the implementation of a more just and humane social order. In an example of this nature, a case study in a dissertation done on the Indonesian election disputes was returned to giving a constructive solution and advice to the Indonesian parliament. The fact that the author was able to provide advice for changing the election dispute framework and laws is based upon a deep understanding of the issue and an addressing of changes that would be beneficial in the long term, and this is an enterprise that developed from the understanding of the research client and his influential role in government.

The process of conducting a case study has been the subject of frequent debates in the field of methodology, and while it is often viewed in terms of data collection and analysis, this can be a common source of case study misunderstandings. This method often involves a qualitative account of events, which can be both contemporary and historical, although for the most part it is a composite account based on the real experiences of individuals. The understanding that a case study is a learning tool allows a flexible approach that is both unstructured and structured, but more often than not utilizes an inductive mode of inquiry. This is a method that is most suited to providing a depth of research that, in turn, provides an increased understanding of complex and social phenomena. Because of this, the case study has become a widely accepted research method in psychology, sociology, political science, business, social work, and planning at various levels, and with this, its importance to the understanding of real-world issues has developed.

2. Benefits of Case Studies

A key benefit of this is that researchers are able to understand the complex issues of one subject. This is because it’s much easier to understand the more complex and difficult parts of a subject when it is broken down into a case study. While a case study might not be able to generalize the results, it can give many valuable pointers for further research. The results from a case study can also be the starting point for more quantitative research. Statistical analysis will have more meaning and relevance with a set of data that is of the same context. Diagnoses of upper respiratory infection and educational level are used to measure cognitive function. Combined, these resources allow a thorough examination of the subject at hand. Finally, quality case studies provide depth to the researcher portfolio, adding value to organizations, the field of research, and providing training material for new students and junior doctors/therapists. Schell et al conducted a case study to examine the effects of cognitive rehabilitation on an individual with profound brain injury. The results provided evidence of positive outcomes, several presentations of the data to students and inmates of the institute the authors were working for, and a research article submitted to the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. This experience both helped to train the authors in the technique of cognitive rehabilitation and reinforced the use of this rehabilitation on similar patient types in their future therapy.

3. Steps in Conducting a Case Study

For all the types of case studies, the basic requirements are always the same. If you follow the basic requirements, you’d find out that it would be more useful in preparing the case study. The steps are: selecting a case, conducting a thorough investigation into the case and writing the findings, and finally evaluating all the information and writing a report. When you are looking to conduct the case study, it would be best if you look to select a case which is systematic and would add value to knowledge and applied concepts. Random cases with no relevance to the theory and the learning are of no use. In such cases, there is no value added to the theory and no one learns from the case. Peter Lechner felt the same way, altogether too much time and effort has been wasted on second-rate case studies. And so the tradition of case study writing never became an accepted and systematic approach to learning. This is a reference to University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, MI. 1954. So it is important to choose a case that has good potential. After selecting the case, mostly by tutors, it would be best if you discuss your approach with them. They might give a good insight into the case and the learning. Without their help, you might miss some very vital points and themes of the case. This will help you in conducting the investigation.

4. Limitations of Case Studies

The first of these limitations, the problem of external validity, refers to the ability of the findings of the research to generalize to a wider population. This is often seen as one of the strengths of case studies in their ability to provide detailed information about a particular individual or small group of people. The trade-off for this detailed information is that it is often difficult to generalize from the findings of a case study to a wider population. This is simply a reflection of the fact that case study data collection demands a high degree of internal validity which can give us confidence that the findings are true of the particular case and it is that confidence which is vital for external validity. This is obviously less of a concern if the case study in question involves a descriptive piece of research.

Despite its many advantages, the case study method is traditionally considered to have its own set of limitations. Some of the main limitations of case studies are: (i) the problem of external validity; (ii) the problems of reactivity and the effects of the investigator; and (iii) the concern with regard to bias and error in the research process.

5. Conclusion

It is widely acknowledged that preparation of the case study is vital. This involves defining the issue at hand, building the theoretical framework to study the issue, and the actual development of the tools for the case study. A key task in the preparation is ensuring that there is clear and sufficient protocol and that the case study will be easily replicated. This improves the validity of the case study and helps someone else repeat the case study using the same methods to achieve the same results. A case study can employ a variety of tools, often using many of them together. This may involve the use of one or more methods of data collection and analysis. Data collected is vast and varies depending on the issue. Data is drawn from sources such as interviews, observations, public documents, or personal diaries. This results in the data being both qualitative and quantitative. The case study must be able to manage the data in a way that the issue can be fully examined. Step-by-step data preparation and data display is a common task in case studies and requires constant referring back to the data.

The case study research method is popular not just within the field of sociology, but also within the fields of anthropology, psychology, education, political science, clinical science, social work, and administrative science. This method has its ups when compared to a lab experiment. Case studies are often held to be highly subjective, and it is difficult to generalize results to a larger population. That said, the use of case studies has been acknowledged many times within a variety of fields to produce highly accurate and insightful data. It is particularly useful for trying to test theoretical models by using them in the real world.

The case study is but one research method that you can use when doing research. Case studies form one of the more common methods used by researchers. It is an approach to research that allows the researcher to conduct an in-depth exploration of the issue at hand. This involves exploring the situation from multiple angles through the use of several data sources. It attempts to provide an understanding and explanation of the issue, often resulting in new concepts or theories being formed. This gathers data from a specific population, often using several methods as stated before, which can make the issue being studied more or less complex.

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