Case Study Basics


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  • Interpretational- is the process of examining the case study data closely in order to find constructs, themes, and patterns that can be used to describe and explain the phenomenon being studied.Structural – is the process of examining case study data for the purpose of identifying patterns inherent in discourse, text, events, or other phenomena.Reflective-is the process in which the researcher relies primarily on intuition and judgment in order to portray or evaluate the phenomenon.
  • Case Study Basics

    1. 1. By Person-Redmond and Walker
    2. 2. • Most widely used approach in qualitative inquiry• Represents a basic form of qualitative research • Used to study ALMOST any topic or type of phenomenon with the entire range of data collection and analytic methods used by qualitative researcher• Basic elements appear in specialized approaches to qualitative research • Called qualitative research traditions• Learning the case study approach makes it easier to understand the purposes and methods of other approaches to qualitative research.• Play a role in mix-methods research.
    3. 3. • Case study is defined as • The in-depth study of • One or more instances of a phenomenon • In its real-life context that • Reflects the perspective of the participants involved in the phenomenon.• Study of Particular Instances • Phenomenon • Case • Unit of analysis • Focus
    4. 4. • In-Depth Study of the Case • Substantial amount of data is collected about the specific case selected to represent the phenomenon • Data is in the form of words, images, or physical objects • Quantitative data can also be collected • Data is often collected over an extended time period • Several methods of data collection are used• Study of a Phenomenon in Its Real-Life Context • Involve fieldwork in which the researcher interacts with study participants in their natural settings
    5. 5. • Representation of Emic ad Etic Perspectives • An effort to portray truthfully the etic perspective of researchers as well as the emic perspective of the research participants • Emic perspective- participants’ viewpoint • Etic perspective-case study researchers perspective as investigator or an outsider
    6. 6.  To produce detailed descriptions of a phenomenon  Researcher attempts to depict a phenomenon and conceptualize it.  Depiction can focus on various phenomena.  The meaning that the research participants ascribe to their life possible outcomes, contextual factors that influence their lives, a series of events and their possible outcomes, or new or unusual in society.  Thick description-statements that re-create a situation and as much of its context as possible, in addition to the meanings and intentions inherent in that situation.  Construct  Themes
    7. 7.  To develop possible explanations of it  Explanations are referred to as patterns  Meaning that one type of variation observed in a case study is systemically related to another observed variation  Relational pattern and causal pattern  To evaluate the phenomenon  Responsive evaluation, fourth-generation evaluation, quasi- legal models of evaluation, and expertise-based evaluation (Discussed more in chapter 17)
    8. 8.  Standard designs for quantitative research have evolved. Standard designs can be used as “blueprints” of methods and sequential steps for starting new research. There is no true-of case study design.  Design is determined by the researcher conducting the study and is specific to the phenomenon being studied.
    9. 9.  Formulating a Research Problem  Step 1- Identify a problem that interests you and that is worthy of study.  Step 2-The research problem needs to be translated into explicit questions or objectives. Selecting a Case  Key issue- the decision concerning what you want to be able to say something about at the end of the study.  Cases that are qualitative are selected by a purposeful sample process
    10. 10.  Defining the Role of the Case Study Researcher  Obtain necessary institutional review and approval  Obtain permission from site or sites in which the research will be conducted.  Quantitative researchers  Specify precise procedures for data collection and analysis  Play limited role in data collection; use assistants to collect data.  Qualitative researchers (case study researchers)  Data collection is more complex; procedures are standardized  Primary “measuring instrument”  Like to interact closely with research participants, attend social events in the field settings, and use empathy and other psychological processes to grasp the meaning of the phenomenon as it is experienced by individuals and groups in advance of the setting.
    11. 11.  Gaining Entry  Identifying appropriate sites is a critical step  Issues can include  Identifying people within the field setting with whom to make initial contact  Selecting the best method of communication  Deciding how to phrase your request  Being prepared to answer questions and address concerns. Addressing Ethical Issues  Utilitarian ethics  Deontological ethics  Relational ethics  Ecological ethics
    12. 12.  One method can begin case study and gradually shift to, or add other methods Personal Involvement in the Data-Collection Process  The extent to which they should disclose their personal experiences, feelings, or beliefs to field participants during data collection.  Subjectivity audit- involves taking notes about situations connected to one’s research that arouse strong positive or negative feelings  Objective evidence that their views are incorrect.
    13. 13.  Analyzing Data during Data collection  Data collection is emergent.  Two strategies can be facilitated  Making records of field contacts  Contact summary sheet  Document summary form  Thinking “finish-to –start”  Thinking through the entire research project at the very beginning Ending Data Collection  Involves practical and theoretical considerations  Practical- time and budgetary constraints or observation of participants running thin
    14. 14.  Theoretical considerations  Exhaustion of sources  Saturation of categories  Emergence of regularities  Overextension
    15. 15.  Three types of approaches commonly used to analyze case study data:  Interpretational- is the process of examining the case study data closely in order to find constructs, themes, and patterns that can be used to describe and explain the phenomenon being studied.  Structural – is the process of examining case study data for the purpose of identifying patterns inherent in discourse, text, events, or other phenomena.  Reflective-is the process in which the researcher relies primarily on intuition and judgment in order to portray or evaluate the phenomenon.
    16. 16.  Researchers must consider if the research is meeting the needs of the users (Strategies 1-5) Researchers must consider the thoroughness of the data collection (Strategies 6-10) Researchers must ensure there were sound research methods used (Strategies 11-17)
    17. 17. Meeting the Users’ Needs Thorough Data Collection1. Usefulness 6. Triangulation of data2. Participatory Models sources, analysts, and3. Chain of Evidence theorist 7. Contextual4. Truthfulness and reporting style completeness 8. Long-term observation5. Quasi-statistics 9. Rich data 10. Representative check
    18. 18. Reflect Sound Research Design 14. Intervention and patter11. Coding Checks checking12. Disconfirming case 15. Comparison analysis 16. Peer Examination13. Member checking 17. Research reflection
    19. 19.  Researchers must also consider the quality of the case study in terms of its validity and reliability.  Construct Validity  Internal Validity  External Validity  Reliability
    20. 20.  According to Gall, Gall, and Borg (2007) the term applicability, rather than generalizability, is more appropriate for this goal of qualitative research because it is based on different processes and types of evidence.1. Use purposeful sampling so that the case may apply to other similar cases.2. Unit of analysis can be using a random sample3. Comparison of cases or settings in relation to an existing theory.
    21. 21.  Case study research is unique in that it is not until the phase of writing up or reporting the research that the researchers finalize their identification of the specific case or cases that the study concerns. Two main types of Reporting Styles  Reflective- use of writing characterized by literary devices and strong presence of researchers voice.  Analytic- objective writing style (researchers voice is silent or subdued)
    22. 22. AdvantagesCase Study research brings a case to life in a way that is not possible using the statistical methods helps readers to compare cases with their own situations reveals the researchers perspective, thus enabling readers to determine whether the researcher has the same perspective on the phenomenon as they do Is ideally suited to investigating outliers and other unusual phenomena
    23. 23. DisadvantagesCase Study research Is difficulty of generalizing the findings to other situations Is ethical problems can arise if it proves difficult in the report to disguise the identity of the organization or individuals that were studied Is highly labor-intensive and require highly developed language skills
    24. 24. Gall, Meredith D., Gall, Joyce P., & Borg, Walter R. (2007). Educational research (8th Edition), A B Longman Publishing, ISBN: 0-321-08189-7