Case study as a research method. Zaidah Zainal [email protected] Faculty of Management and Human Resource Development. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. case studies, particularly in comparison to quantitative research approaches. Keywords: case study, qualitative research, qualitative methods. UDC: Case studies are in-depth investigations of a single person, group, event or community. Typically, data are gathered from a variety of sources and by using several different methods (e.g. observations & interviews).


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Case study

Methods were required that could be used to explore factors such as participants' perspectives and the influence of socio-political contexts on case study research method successes and failures SIMONS, Development of case study research in education, focused on the need to determine the impact of educational programs and provide relevant evidence for policy and practice decisions that supported social and educational change in the United Kingdom and the United States ibid.

STAKEan educational psychologist with an interest in developing program evaluation methods, used a constructivist orientation to case study. This resulted in placing more emphasis on inductive exploration, discovery, and holistic analysis that case study research method presented in thick descriptions of the case.

Similar to STAKE, MERRIAMwas not as structured in her approach as YINbut promoted the use of a theoretical framework or research questions to guide the case study and organized, systematic data collection to manage the process of inquiry.

Key contributors to case study research case study research method major contextual influences on its evolution are included.

Case Study Method

As the figure highlights, early case studies were conducted in the social sciences. With the dominance of logical positivism from the 's through to the 's and 's case study methodology was viewed with skepticism and criticism.

  • Case Study Method - Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching
  • Case Study Research: design and methods.
  • Case Study Research: design and methods.

The development of grounded theory in the 's led to a resurgence in case study research, with its case study research method in the social sciences, education, and the humanities. Over the last 50 years, case study has been re-established as a credible, valid research case study research method that facilitates the exploration of complex issues.

Foundational Concepts While over time the contributions of researchers from varied disciplines have helped to develop and strengthen case study research, the variety of disciplinary backgrounds has also added complexity, particularly around how case study research is defined, described, and applied in practice.

Case Study Method in Psychology | Simply Psychology

In the sections that follow, case study research method nature of this complexity in explored. YIN's two-part definition focuses on the scope, process, and methodological characteristics of case study research, emphasizing the nature of inquiry as case study research method empirical, and the importance of context to the case.

On the other hand, STAKE takes a more flexible stance and while concerned with rigor in the processes, maintains a focus on what is studied the case rather than how it is studied the method.

For STAKE case study research is "the study of the particularity and complexity of a single case, coming to understand its activity within important circumstances" p. The primary pitfall of this type of study is that initial findings may seem convincing enough to be released prematurely as conclusions.


These serve to aggregate information from several sites collected at different times. The idea behind these studies is that the collection of past studies will allow for greater generalization without additional cost or time case study research method expended on new, possibly repetitive studies.

Critical instance case studies.


These examine one or more sites either for the purpose case study research method examining a situation of unique interest with little to no interest in generalization, or to call into question a highly generalized or universal assertion.

This method is useful for answering cause and effect questions.


Case studies in business[ edit case study research method At Harvard Law School InChristopher 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.

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 realismwhich 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 allows the following type of generalization: Falsification offers one of the most rigorous tests to which a scientific proposition can be subjected: Popper himself used the now famous example: Different kind of case studies but a common definition The essence of a case study, the central tendency among all types of case study, is that it case study research method to illuminate a decision or set of decisions: In other words you use the case study method because you want to understand case study research method real-life phenomenon in depth, but such understanding encompasses important contextual conditions — because they were highly pertinent to your phenomenon of study e.

Case study - Wikipedia

Because case study research method and context are not always distinguishable in real life situations, other technical characteristics, including data collection and data analysis strategies, become the second part of our technical definition of case studies: The case study inquiry: In all cases, the researcher treats the evidence fairly to produce analytic conclusions answering the original "how" and "why" research questions.

Prepare the report Exemplary case studies report the data in a way that transforms a complex issue into one that can case study research method understood, allowing the reader to question and examine the study and reach an understanding independent of the researcher.

The goal of the written report is to portray a complex problem in a way that conveys a vicarious experience to the reader.

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