Application of a Case Study MethodologybyWinston Tellis
The Qualitative Report
, Volume 3, Number 3, September, 1997(http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR3-3/tellis2.html)
In the preceding article (Tellis, 1997), the goals and objectives were presented and explained indetail. In this article, the methodology to accomplish those goals and objectives will beexamined. The reader will become familiar with the specific techniques that are used in thecurrent study, and supported by the literature that was reviewed in the previous article. Thatmethodology will follow the recommendation of Yin(1994) and has four stages:1.
esign the case study,2.
Conduct the case study,3.
Analyze the case study evidence, and4.
evelop the conclusions, recommendations and implications.The article begins with an introduction, that includes some of the background information that isintended to inform the reader. Following that section, each step of the methodology will beexplored in detail. Finally a summary will connect all the information in a concise manner.
Case study is an ideal methodology when a holistic, in-depth investigation is needed (Feagin,Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991). Case studies have been used in varied investigations, particularly insociological studies, but increasingly, in instruction. Yin, Stake, and others who have wideexperience in this methodology have developed robust procedures. When these procedures arefollowed, the researcher will be following methods as well developed and tested as any in thescientific field. Whether the study is experimental or quasi-experimental, the data collection andanalysis methods are known to hide some details (Stake, 1995). Case studies, on the other hand,are designed to bring out the details from the viewpoint of the participants by using multiplesources of data.Yin(1993) has identified some specific types of case studies:
.Stake(1995) included three others:
- when the researcher has an interest inthe case;
- when the case is used to understand more than what is obvious to theobserver;
- when a group of cases is studied. Exploratory cases are sometimesconsidered as a prelude to social research. Explanatory case studies may be used for doing causalinvestigations.
escriptive cases require a descriptive theory to be developed before starting the project.Pyecha(1988) used this methodology in a special education study, using a pattern-