1994 summer qualitative seminar in Vail,
• Discussion about qualitative data analysis.
• Creswell - introducing one of his recent qualitative
studies-a case study of a campus response to a
student gun incident. (Asmussen & Creswell, 1995).
• “Standing before the group, I chronicled the events of
the case, the themes, and the lessons we learned
about a university reaction to a near tragic event.”
• Then, unplanned, Harry Wolcott of the University of Oregon, He explained
how he would approach the study as a cultural anthropologist. And he
"turned" the case study into ethnography, framing the study in an entirely
• Les Goodchild, then of Denver University, spoke, and he turned the
gunman case into a historical study.
• This made Creswell think that…..
“that one designed a study differently depending on the method of
• Each approach to qualitative research is not mutually exclusive.
They can be used in combinations.
• For example, a case study approach can also incorporate
Qualitative inquiry and research design:
Choosing among five approaches
• GROUNDED THEORY
• NARRATIVE RESEARCH
• CASE STUDY
Creswell, J.W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
•A mode of inquiry in qualitative research, with a
specific focus on the stories told by individuals.
•It explores what the story means and the lessons to be
"narrative is understood as a spoken or written text giving an account of
an event/action or series of events/actions, chronologically connected"
Narrative inquiry was first used by
Connelly and Clandinin as a methodology
to describe the personal stories of
The focus is on…..
• Studying a single person
• Gathering data through the collection of stories
• Reporting individual experiences
• Discussing the meaning of those experiences for the individual.
Who writes or records the story?
Biography vs. Autobiography
What are the key characteristics of
Collecting individual stories
Chronology of the experiences
Coding for themes Context or setting
Collaborating with participants
Steps in conducting narrative research
you can learn
Write a story
Collect the story from that individual
• Have the individual tell about his or her experiences through
personal conversations or interviews.
• Have the individual record his or her story in a journal or diary.
• Observe the individual and record field notes.
• Collect letters sent by the individual.
• Assemble stories about the individual from family members.
• Obtain photographs, and other personal/family/social artifacts.
Several ways to collect stories (field texts) from individuals:
Restory or retell the individual’s story
Logical connections among ideas ? Analyzing it for key elements
Rewriting the story
Restory or retell the individual’s story
• Narrative researchers differ about the elements to select in the raw data before
chronologically sequencing them.
• Two approaches regarding these elements are
problem solution and three-dimensional space approaches.
PROBLEM SOLUTİON APPROACH
Characters Setting Problem Actions Resolution
time, locale, year
Question to be
be described or
through the story
turning point or
the character to
THREE-DIMENSIONAL SPACE APPROACH
Interaction Continuity Situation
Personal Social Past Present Future Place
and points of
actions of an
to implied and
and plot lines
Look at context,
time and place
situated in a
or in a setting
and different points
Coding for themes
The researcher can segment stories into themes or categories.
Collaborate with the participant–storyteller
This collaboration might involve
• Negotiating on how to enter to the research site
• Working closely with the participant to get field texts
• Writing and telling the individual’s story in the researcher’s words.
Collaboration between the researcher and the participant decreases the potential
gap between the narrative told and the narrative reported.
Write a story about the participant’s experiences5
• Restory has a central place in the narrative report.
• Specific themes that derived from the story should be emphasized.
• It is not necessary to write a specific literature section. The literature
about the problem might be added to the final sections of the study.
Write a story about the participant’s experiences
• The setting in which the individual experiences the central
phenomenon should be described in detail.
• A section about the importance of narrative research and
the procedures involved in it can be written.
• The researcher can use the first-person pronoun to refer
What are some ethical issues in gathering stories?
• Distorting data
• Inability to tell the story because it is horrific
• Forgetting story
Overview of the study
• The story of Vonnie Lee, a 29-year-old mentally ill man whom the author met at
• Vonnie Lee talks openly about his life but his descriptions of his life centered on a
• The author took a bus trip with Vonnie Lee to his work place.
“The bus held special meaning for Lee
and on the bus he supplied the researcher with
details about the people, places, and events of
• The bus gave meaning to Vonnie Lee’s life through escape and empowerment
• This meaning explained why he told his life stories in the form of bus routes
• Vonnie Lee’s stable self-image, the bus trip, helped him survive the problems in
• The researcher reflected on the use of metaphor as a framework for analyzing
stories of participants in life history projects at the end of the study
“Case study research involves the study of an issue explored
through one or more cases within a
bounded system (i.e., a setting, a context)”
Edge of the case
Heart of the study
The "case" selected for study has boundaries, often
bounded by time and place. It also has interrelated parts that form a
whole. Hence, the proper case to be studied is both "bounded" and a
CASE STUDY IS INTERDISCIPLINARY
• The case study approach is familiar to social scientists because
of its popularity in psychology (Freud), medicine (case analysis
of a problem), law (case law), and political science (case
• Case study research has a long, distinguished history across
TYPES OF CASE STUDIES
• Single instrumental case study - The researcher focuses on a
single issue then selects a single case to illustrate the issue.
• Collective or multiple instrumental case study – The
researcher focuses on one issue but selects multiple cases to
illustrate the issue that can be purposefully sampled from one site
or several sites
• Intrinsic case study – This approach focuses on the case itself
because the case presents an unusual or unique situation (e.g.,
evaluating a program or one particular student who is having
CONFUSION- Is it a inquiry or methodology??
• Stake - states that case study research is not a methodology
but a choice of what is to be studied (i.e. a case within a
• Others present it as a strategy of inquiry, a methodology, or a
comprehensive research strategy
(Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Merriam, 1998; Yin, 2003)
Case Study Research Procedures
• Determine if a case study is appropriate for the research problem
• Identify the case or cases to be studied
• What kind of case study is most appropriate
• What case or cases will be studied
• Select cases that show different perspectives through maximal variation
• Engage in multiple forms of data collection including interviews,
observations, documents, audiovisual materials, participant-
observations to develop an in-depth understanding of the
THEMES AND ANALYSIS
• Develop a detailed description of the case(s) and common themes
in the cases
• When using multiple cases describe each case and themes first (within-case
• Compare cases to look for common themes (cross-case analysis)
• Look for common assertions and meanings within the case
• Report the lessons learned from the case regarding the issue of
the case (instrumental) or learning about an unusual situation
Case Study Challenges
• Identifying cases to study
• Identifying whether a single case or multiple cases are needed
• Selecting an appropriate purposeful sampling strategy
• Having access to multiple sources of data
• Deciding how the boundaries of a case might be constrained by
time, events, or processes
Ishaan Nandkishore Awasthi, the story's leading character, is an
eight-year-old boy who dislikes school and fails every test or exam.
He finds all subjects difficult, and is belittled by his teachers and
INVESTIGATOR CONDUCTING A CASE STUDY
• Prof Nikumb speaks to Ishant’s Parents, brother, friends and other professors.
• He discovers that he is finding it difficult to read and write.
• Thus he comes to a conclusion that he might be suffering from Dyslexia.
• Creswell, J.W. (2007) Qualitative inquiry and research design : choosing among five approaches. Thousand
Oaks : Sage Publications, 2007.
• Ollerenshaw, J. A., & Creswell, J. W. (2002). Narrative research: a comparison of two restorying data
analysis approaches. Qualitative Inquiry, 8(3), 329-347.
• Webster, L., & Mertowa, P. (2007).Using narrative inquiry as a research method: an introduction to using
critical event narrative analysis research on learning and teaching. Oxon: Routledge.
• Stake, R.E. (1995) The art of case study research, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; London: Sage.
• Yin, R.K. (2009) Case study research : design and methods, Thousand Oaks, Calif. Sage Publications.
“Principles are powerful but cases are memorable”.