Case Study Research Presentation Compiled by: Ramesh Adhikari CJMC, Kathmandu, Nepal Original text from: ‘Inside the Researchers’ Toolbox’ Professional Lecture Series Dr Josephine Muir email@example.com
Definition: Case Study Research “An empirical enquiry that: investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and uses multiple sources of evidence” (Yin,1984:23)
Key Features Qualitative research technique Means of investigating complex phenomenon Anchored in real-life situations Intensive and descriptive Contextual analysis
Why so Wishy-Washy? Dubious (uncertain) historical beginnings multiple and conflicting definitions no standard methodological package is it a method, a methodology, a paradigm or an approach? common parlance (jargon)
Study or Case Study? Is your thesis a case study of a particular phenomenon or is it a study of a particular phenomenon? What is the working title of your thesis? In one sentence, what is your thesis about? In one sentence, what are you really interested in finding out about your particular subject? Is it a case study or study???
How to Conduct Case StudyResearch? 1. Determine and define the research questions 2. Select the cases and determine data gathering and analysis techniques 3. Prepare to collect the data 4. Collect data in the field (look at Merriam for field note tips - Merriam, S. B. “Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education”. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco: 1998. 5. Evaluate and analyse the data 6. Prepare the report
Analysis Goals ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions Triangulation original findings accurate and reliable systematic method for deliberately sorting data cross check and verify data
Analysis Techniques Holistic interpretation or coding Coding = labels to classify, categorize and assign meaning to your data Initial and focused coding Qualitative software or by hand Master coding sheet
Good case studies? “.. case studies should be evaluated in terms of the adequacy of the theoretical inferences that can be generated. The aim is not to infer findings from a sample to a population, but to engender patterns and linkages of theoretical importance.” Source: Bryman (1989:173)
Critical Issues in Case Study Research Reliability Construct validity Internal validity External validity Extent to which findings can be extrapolated and generalized
Westgren’s Burden of Proof? is the technique you have used appropriate to the research question? have you applied the technique properly? does your analysis follow the conventions of the technique in your field, or in other social science fields? have you provided a "chain of evidence" in obtaining and archiving data? is your case study tied to appropriate theory?
Sources of Evidence Stake and Yin indentified the following 6 sources of Evidence in Case Studies: Documents Archival Records Interviews Direct Observation Participant Observation Physical Artifacts