Essay about Case Study - Research Method

1907 Words May 5th, 2013 8 Pages
Case studies are an important research method in areas where innovations are studied. They enable us to study contemporary and complex social phenomena in their natural context. Over the years researchers working from both epistemological perspectives have addressed important methodological issues. A case study is expected to capture the complexity of a single case, and the methodology which enables this has developed not only in the social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and economics, but also in practice-oriented fields such as environmental studies, business studies, social work and Counselling. (Yin 1994)
Croty (1998, p2) explains that there are four questions which are basic elements of any
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He explains that case studies are conducted from the positivist as well as from the interpretist epistemological perspective, and places more emphasis on the ‘method’ and the ‘techniques’ that constitute a case study.

The case study approach seeks to understand the problem being investigated. “It provides the opportunity to ask penetrating questions and to capture the richness of organizational behaviour, but the conclusions drawn may be specific to the particular organizations studied and may not be generalizable” Yin (1984, p.23)

Case studies are characterised by the following...

a. Data are usually qualitative rather than quantitative. It’s not that the numbers are unimportant but that they are relatively insignificant to the outcome.
b. Data are not manipulated (the truth is told plainly). The issue of what ‘truth’ means is then raised.
c. Studies mainly focus on single cases (but can include multiple ones).
d. Ambiguity in observation and report is tolerated (rather than absolute outcomes). This means that there may not be clinical, clearly defined solutions.
e. Multiple perspectives are sought. This means that the opinions and perceptions of many people may be requested.
f. Holism (the sum of the parts is greater than the whole) is advocated. This means that the

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