Case Studies. Case studies . To give unique understanding rather than form generalisations Used for hypothesis development and the evolution of research questions Prelude to a larger cross sectional study Provide a flavour – in the form of vignettes. Four categories.
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Case studies • To give unique understanding rather than form generalisations • Used for hypothesis development and the evolution of research questions • Prelude to a larger cross sectional study • Provide a flavour – in the form of vignettes
Four categories • To explain the causal links in real-life interventions – often too complex for more general approaches • To describe the context around the intervention • Illustrative – to give examples to others • To evaluate and intervention or practice
Case study types • Cases of individuals • Company • Supply chain • Customers • Market
Benchmarking • To compare with theory • To compare with best in class • Must establish measurement criteria
Methods • Multiple methods are used and multiple sources of evidence • Observation • Secondary data • Interviews • Internal surveys
Problems • Hard to generalise – so what is the value of case studies – too particular! • Hard to avoid researcher bias – often a participant • Hard to avoid unrepresentative subjects
Structure of a case study • Context/background – a rich description of what is going on. • Compare rich description with theory • Validate – analyse secondary sources – company annual reports etc. • Find out reasons – interviews with key participants • Find out effects – wider survey • Conclusions and evaluation
Essential References • Eisenhardt K. M., 1989. Building Theories From Case Study Research, Academy of Management. The Academy of Management Review; 14, 4: 532-550. Available at http://pages.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~sillito/cpsc-601.23/readings/eisenhardt-1989.pdf • Yin R. K. 2003. Case study research, design and methods: London: Sage Publications • Meredith, J. 1998, Building operations management theory through case and field research, Journal of Operations Management, 16, 4, 441 – 454. • Lashley, K. and Statnikova, K. 2003. Qualitative Research – Case Study, http://www2.owen.vanderbilt.edu/david.dilts/Mgt676_Research_Methods/12_Case_Studies.ppt • Stam E. 2008, Case Study Research, University of Cambridge, http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/resmeth/slides/08case_study_research_cam.ppt • Tzortzopoulos P. 2008. Case Study Research, 8thBuHu Conference 27th June 2008. http://www.ipgrc.buhu.salford.ac.uk/2008/docs/Case%20study%20research_Patricia.ppt