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MSc by Research in Leading, Learning and Change. Case Study Research. Dr Heather Skipworth Research Fellow, Supply Chain Research Centre heather.skipworth@cranfield.ac.uk. Who am I. 1989 BSc Mechanical Engineering, Leicester University 1989 – 1991 Project Engineer, Metal Box

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slide1

MSc by Research in Leading, Learning and Change

Case Study Research

Dr Heather Skipworth

Research Fellow, Supply Chain Research Centre

heather.skipworth@cranfield.ac.uk

who am i
Who am I

1989 BSc Mechanical Engineering, Leicester University

1989 – 1991 Project Engineer, Metal Box

1991 – 1995 Technical Manager, Field Packaging

1995 – 1996 MSc Manufacturing Systems, Cranfield University

1996 – 1998 Senior Manufacturing Systems Engineer,

BICC Cables Limited

1998 – 2003 PhD Programme, Cranfield University

Application of Form Postponement in Manufacturing Industry

2004 to date Research Fellow, Cranfield University

survey of cranfield doctoral thesis submissions
Survey of Cranfield Doctoral Thesis Submissions
  • Out of 156 thesis submissions between 1987 & 2007,
    • 65 were case-based,
    • 32 used statistical methods,
    • 10 used repertory grid
  • We major on ‘in-depth’ research that’s relevant to practice
what case study research is not
What Case Study Research is not...
  • an aid to teaching
  • an interesting story
  • promotion of a new fad
  • a basket of unconnected observations
  • your views with illustrations
  • someone else’s views with illustrations
what is a case study
What is a Case Study?
  • investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real life context...
  • ...when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident

Yin, 2003

prejudices
Prejudices...
  • lack of rigour
      • biased views, data collection, link conclusions to evidence
  • lack of generalisability
      • n = 1, narrow relevance, context specific
  • too complex
      • data asphyxiation
case studies in operations m research
Case Studies in Operations M. Research

Modelling,

Experiments

Abstraction

Large Population

Surveys

Case Studies,

Action Research

Accuracy / Repeatability

variable oriented research
Variable-oriented Research
  • a true statement about a population...
    • may not apply to any individual case
  • generalising impedes true understanding
    • properties shared by all organisations are obvious
  • averages show how organisations are the same
    • what matters is how they are different
  • large samples & ‘statistical significance’...
    • generate ‘significant’ findings that have no meaning
  • large sample statistics...
    • deflect from individuality, complexity & variety

Bill Starbuck

how case studies can be used
How Case Studies can be Used...
  • explore social processes as they unfold
  • understand social processes in context

* internal, external

  • explore new processes or behaviours
  • explore extremes
  • capture emergent properties
  • explore informal or secret behaviour
  • cross-national comparative research

Hartley, 1994

applications of case based research
Applications of Case-Based Research

Exploratory Descriptive Explanatory Testing

Theory

Generation Testing

slide12

INDUCTIVE METHODS

DEDUCTIVE METHODS

Theories

Forming concepts

developing &

arranging

propositions

Deducing consequences making predictions

THEORISING

Empirical

generalisations

Hypotheses

Tests

Inducing generalisations estimating population parameters

Drawing samples & devising measuring instruments

DOING EMPIRICAL

RESEARCH

Observations

Wallace, 1971 in Blaikie, 1993

Research Strategy - induction v deduction?

research design considerations
Research Design Considerations
  • research questions
    • not just a journey into the unknown
  • hypotheses
    • balance between induction & deduction
  • data collection
    • triangulation (data source, method, investigator) for construct validity
    • researcher involvement, identity and biase
  • data analysis
    • within case and cross-case analytic strategies for internal validity (Yin’s research designs and Pettigrew’s framework)
  • interpreting the observations
    • explaining variation
slide16

Single-case designs

Multiple-case designs

CONTEXT

CONTEXT

CONTEXT

Case

Case

Case

Holistic

(single unit

of analysis)

CONTEXT

CONTEXT

Case

Case

CONTEXT

CONTEXT

CONTEXT

CONTEXT

CONTEXT

Case

Case

Case

Case

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 1

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 1

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 1

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 1

Case

Embedded

(multiple units

of analysis)

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 2

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 2

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 2

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 2

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 1

Embedded Unit

of Analysis 2

Yin, 2003

pettigrew s meta level analytical framework
Pettigrew’s ‘meta- level’ analytical framework

CONTEXT

Business environment, product/manufacturing process types

CHANGE CONTENT

Reasons for applying FPp & its application in a MTO and MTS environment

OUTCOME VARIABLES

MTS Unit of Analysis

Internal Variables

MTO Unit of Analysis

External Variables

Internal Variables

FPp Unit of Analysis

Internal Variables

Skipworth 2003

example of case study scope
Example of Case Study Scope

Production Equipment

Product

Specs.

Process

Specs.

Manufacturing

Planning

Production

Scheduling

Duration,

frequency,

capacity plan

Bills

of

Material

Production

line

schedules

Process

routings

Product

Data

Project Boundary

Project Boundary

Replenishment

factory

orders

Production

line

records

Ex-works

records

Delivery

schedule

Customer

Order

Processing

Stock

Control

Outbound

Logistics

Production

Facilities

Mode of transport

Skipworth, 2003

selection in case study research
Selection in Case Study Research
  • Case selection for external validity & analytic generalisation

- clarify domain

- sampling using replication logic – theoretical or literal

- extremes and polar types

  • Selecting the Unit of Analysis

- differences in outcome

- coming to terms with time - snapshot / longitudinal / retrospective

  • Selecting the data sources/methods

- informants - opponents / supporters / doubters

- methods - databases / documents / observations / interviews

analysing case studies
Analysing Case Studies
  • data collection and analysis iterative process

- theory data

  • within case analysis

- between units of analysis or establishing links between observations

- qualitative and quantitative data

  • cross-case analysis

- search for patterns

- similarities & differences

eisenhardt s roadmap assumes inductive
Eisenhardt’s Roadmap – assumes inductive
  • getting started
  • selection of cases
  • selection of research methods
  • entering the field
  • analysing data
  • shaping hypotheses
  • enfolding literature
  • reaching closure

Eisenhardt, 1989

analysing case study evidence
Analysing Case Study Evidence
  • Analysing case studies is always challenging because of the detail. It is helped by:
    • being clear about research objectives
    • being clear about the unit of analysis & study questions
    • coming to terms with time
    • making your research method explicit
    • making your meta level framework explicit
    • making your hypotheses explicit
    • identifying themes that cut across the data
    • using techniques of data reduction & display