Merriam Ch 3_5.24.10


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Merriam Ch 3_5.24.10

  1. 1. Qualitative Case Study Research Chapter 3 Sharan B. Merriam
  2. 2. Case Study Defined <ul><li>“ Case study is an in-depth description and analysis of a bound system” </li></ul><ul><li>Yin says “A case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Bounded system <ul><li>Merriam -” Single most defining characteristic of case study research lies in delimiting the object of the study, the case.” </li></ul><ul><li>The case could be a single person, a program, a group, a community, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Bound system is “fencing in” what is studied. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Bounded System <ul><li>“ The unit of analysis, not the topic of investigation, characterizes a case study.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ If the phenomenon you are interested in studying is not intrinsically bound, it is not a case.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Combining other types of studies <ul><li>Ethnographic case studies, i.e. study the culture of a particular social group. </li></ul><ul><li>Grounded theory within a case study. </li></ul><ul><li>Use critical theory perspective to analyze the data. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Case study <ul><li>“ No particular method for data collection or data analysis.” </li></ul><ul><li>Use qualitative research. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Design is chosen precisely because researchers are interested in insight, discovery……rather that hypothesis testing.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Case Study Defined <ul><li>Merriam “An in-depth description and analysis of a bounded system.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Special Features <ul><li>Particularistic-focuses on a particular situation, program or phenomenon. </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive-rich,thick description of phenomenon under study. </li></ul><ul><li>Heuristic-illuminate the readers’ understanding of the phenomenon. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Knowledge Learned <ul><li>Stake - claims that knowledge learned from case study is different from other research knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>More concrete - vivid experience. </li></ul><ul><li>More contextual - rooted in context. </li></ul><ul><li>Readers’ interpretation - bring in own experience. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Case Study Research IS NOT <ul><li>Case work - social services </li></ul><ul><li>Case method- using case studies for illustration. </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies - for teaching purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>Case history - tracking the past. </li></ul>
  11. 11. When to use a case study <ul><li>Depends on what the researcher wants to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Bromley - “get close to the subject of interest.” </li></ul><ul><li>Merraim - “spread the net for evidence widely” experiments and surveys have a narrow focus. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Qualitative Case Study <ul><li>“ Process or actually carrying out the investigation, the unit of analysis and the end product.” </li></ul><ul><li>Intensive </li></ul><ul><li>Holistic description </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of a single entity, phenomenon or social unit. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Types of Case Studies <ul><li>Historical Organizational Case Study - “study of the development of a particular organization over time.” </li></ul><ul><li>Yin - No one alive so researcher must rely on primary or secondary documents and cultural or physical artifacts. </li></ul><ul><li>Bogdan and Biklen - life history - extensive interviews with one person - first person narrative. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Intrinsic and Instrumental <ul><li>Stake - case studies differentiated by the researcher’s interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Intrinsic - researcher interested </li></ul><ul><li>Instrumental - “provide insight into an issue or to redraw a generalization.” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Multiple Case Studies <ul><li>Used to study a phenomenon, a population or a general condition. </li></ul><ul><li>Collective or multi-site </li></ul><ul><li>“ Individual cases share a common characteristic or condition.” </li></ul><ul><li>More cases = more compelling the interpretation. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Strengths of using Case Studies <ul><li>Real-life situations </li></ul><ul><li>Complex social units with multiple variables. </li></ul><ul><li>Expand the readers’ experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Good for applied fields of study. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on a single unit, single instance </li></ul>
  17. 17. Limitations of Case Studies <ul><li>May want rich description but lack resources. </li></ul><ul><li>May have too much information. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited experience of the researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Could cherry pick data to achieve a desired outcome - News </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of accurate representation. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Misunderstandings <ul><li>Flyvbejerg Table 3.1 </li></ul><ul><li>Determining the value of case studies. </li></ul><ul><li>No researcher is going to make a recommendation based on the findings of a single case. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Summary <ul><li>Encounter case studies with professional work. </li></ul><ul><li>The term “Case Study” is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The process of conducting the inquiry, the bounded system or unit of analysis selected for study, or the product, the end report of a case investigation.” (Merriam, p. 54) </li></ul>