(Opportunities for Case Study Research)

Case Study Research
Prof. L. K. Vaswani KIIT School of Rural Management
KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India


Qualitative Research
• It crosses the humanities and the social and physical sciences. • Its practitioners are sensitive to the value of the multi-method approach. • They are committed to the naturalistic perspective, and to the interpretative understanding of human experience. It is multi-paradigmatic in focus. • Qualitative research is an interdisciplinary,

Application of Qualitative Approaches • the description and interpretation of new or not well-researched issues; • theory generation, theory development, theory qualification, and theory correction; • evaluation, policy advice, and action research; and • research directed at future issues.

Qualitative Methods & Theory Building
• A theory tries to make sense of out of the observable world • Data describe the empirical patterns observed, while • theory explains why empirical patterns are observed or expected. • ‘data don’t generate theory – only researchers do that’

Research Process
• The process starts with identifying the research problem and framing of a research question that demarcates the phenomenon to be studied. • What is relevant to this question is allowed to emerge during the research process. • Sampling decisions evolve during the research process, and cannot be planned

Research Objective
• To explain the causality between different observations or the reasons behind a certain situation concerning the phenomenon One can distinguish between mainly three objectives or purposes with a research project:

• To explore a vague problem or a new area of research The research objective does not automatically define a quantitative or qualitative logic • To describe i.e., observe and visualise the describe, situation of certain phenomena

Research Objective
The research questions implicitly determine the research objective, and together they indicate quantitative vs. qualitative research: • WHAT questions of explanatory or exploratory nature call for a qualitative approach

• WHAT questions of descriptive nature in the sense “how much” or “how many” call for a quantitative approach

Qualitative research is needed when we want to come to terms with the meaning, not the “right” or “wrong” with the phenomena under investigation

• HOW questions and WHY questions call for a qualitative approach

What Is A Case Study Research? • A case study research is an empirical enquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within a real-life context where the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident, and in which multiple sources of evidence are used.

Positioning case method research

Positioning case method research
• Appreciation of the case method comes with recognition that it fits within the traditions of qualitative research. • In qualitative research the researcher is actively involved in understanding the situation and, in describing this understanding, creates knowledge. • On recognizing these differences, one can appreciate that the qualitative research is as scholarly and demanding as quantitative research. • The benefit of using qualitative research is that it is better equipped than is quantitative research to tackle certain problems.

• To explain the causal links in real-life interventions that is too complex for the survey or experimental strategies (explanatory study). • To describe the real-life context in which an intervention has occurred (descriptive study). • To evaluate an intervention that has already occurred (evaluative study). • To explore those situations in which intervention being evaluated has no clear, single set of outcomes (exploratory study).
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Case Study is a Holistic Inquiry
• The phenomenon and setting are a bound system • Holistic inquiry involves collection of indepth and detailed data that are rich in content and involve multiple sources. • The multiple sources of information provide the wide array of information needed to provide an in-depth picture.

Case Study is a Holistic Inquiry
• A case study is a holistic inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its natural setting. • The phenomenon can be many different things: a program, an event, an activity, a problem or an individual(s). • The natural setting is the context within which this phenomenon appears.

Case Study is a Holistic Inquiry

–Context is included because contextual conditions are considered highly pertinent to the phenomenon being studied either because
• many factors in the setting impinge on the phenomenon or • because the separation between the phenomenon and the context is not clearly evident.

Data Triangulation
• Gathering evidences from multiple sources creates the ideal condition for triangulating data and methodologies, which has been increasingly used in contemporary research (not only in case studies) and is recognized as a valuable strategy to increase the confidence and the credibility of a case • Triangulation is the process of confronting data and methodologies in search for convergence and contrasts.

Analysis & Interpretation
• A key concept for this approach is “theoretical sensitivity” • Theoretical sensitivity as “the attribute of having insight, the ability to give meaning to data, the capacity to understand, and capability to separate the pertinent from that which isn’t” • Pre-conceptions can get in the way of critical thinking and discovery.

Rigour “Case studies do not use standard methodologies; hence, they lack rigour.” Reality: Reality Case studies use multiple sources of data collection like observation, interviews, archives, and quantitative data. This ensures triangulation and provides stronger substantiation of constructs and hypotheses (Eisenhardt, 1989).

Generalizability “Case studies are subjective, lack rigour and not capable of arriving at generalisation”. Reality: An investigator's goal is to expand and generalise theories (analytic) and not to enumerate frequencies (statistical) [Yin, 1984]. For case studies generalisability is determined by the strength of the description of the context.

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