International Issues in Case StudiesCarolyn LuttrellSTC-PMC AnnualConferenceMarch 28, 2009
What is a case study? Story about something unique, special, or interesting One way of doing research One way of marketing a product Way to add credibility to sale One method of presenting a situation One way to relate your needs to someone else’sneeds One way to show problem, solution, and results
Who does them? Corporations Non-profits Non-governmental organizations Educational institutions Students (dissertations)
Where are they used? Professional trade shows Professional publications Magazines Textbooks
Advantages Documented information In scholarly papers, present data frommultiple methods (surveys, interviews,document review, and observation) Thorough, complete story (generally) Real-life examples (more memorable/tangible because they are a story)
Disadvantages Can be shallow Can be biased Can lack rigor (academic point of view) Overgeneralization (few examples withoutevidence that they are representative of thepopulation)
What are the characteristics? Focus on one issue! Real life situation/study Present a picture Illustrate theory and application in classroomsetting
What formats do they take? Brochures Articles Dissertations/theses
Why are they important?• Present documentation about a particularsubject
How are they done? Identify the problem Identify the steps undertaken to address the problem Discuss results What were the challenges and how were they met? What was learned? Are results sustainable (why or why not)? Conclusion
Data collection All data about the case is gathered Data is organized into an approach tohighlight the focus of the study A case study narrative is developed The narrative might be validated by reviewfrom program participants Case studies might be cross-compared toisolate any themes or patterns
Who writes them? Marketers Technical writers Sociologists Scientists Students
What makes a good case study? Pictures/graphs/charts Well-written text (clear, to the point, persuasive, nojargon) Appropriate length (four pages maximum forcommercial case studies) Color Professional looking If from an organization, uniform design Good layout
What are some international case studyissues? Translation Cultural taboos Cultural relevance Cultural concern Appropriateness of document for audience Might need to localize for audience (get a localization firm to dothis)– Note: No matter what part of the world you’re in, a client will beinterested in something if he/she can relate to it. For example, apetrochemical company with a particular problem will be interestedin reading about a petrochemical company with a similar problemand solution, no matter where in the world it happened.
Activity Some examples of international case studies What makes them good or bad case studies? Will they work in another culture? Why? Why not?
Issues Consent forms Signoffs Multiple reviewers – fraught with peril especially if reviewersare not working in their native language Translation Localization Intellectual property – may require a signoff from the legaldepartment Use of taping Confidentiality Units of measurement