case study | Validity (Statistics) | Case Study

CASE STUDY RESEARCH METHOD

”METHODOLOGY” COURSE, BM07

Vladimir Ryabov, PhD, Principal Lecturer

LOGIC OF CASE STUDY

PREPARE

PLAN

DESIGN

COLLECT

SHARE

ANALYZE

Based on R.Yin, 2009, Case Study Research, 4th Ed., SAGE.

WHEN TO USE?
• “How” and “Why” research questions • Researcher has little control over events • Focus is on contemporary phenomenon within real-life context

GOALS OF CASE STUDY
• Exploratory • Descriptive • Explanatory

CRITICISM • Rigor of case study research • Little basis for scientific generalization • Too long. result in massive. unreadable documents • Can’t directly address causal relationships .

4th Ed. especially when • the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident.(R. 2. . SAGE. 2009. The case study inquiry • copes with the technically distinctive situation in which there will be many more variables of interest than data points. with data needing to converge in a triangulating fashion. A case study is an empirical enquiry that • investigates a contemporary phenomenon in depth and within its real-life context. Case Study Research.18) DEFINITION 1.YIN. p. and as another result • benefits from the prior development of theoretical propositions to guide data collection and analysis. and as one result • relies on multiple sources of evidence..

NUMBER OF CASES • Single vs. Multiple • Comparative case method (distinctive form of multiple case study) .

DESIGN PREPARE PLAN DESIGN COLLECT SHARE ANALYZE .

RESEARCH DESIGN OF CASE STUDY • Research design – logic linking data to be collected to the initial questions of study • Logical connection between questions and findings • Example: inter-organizational study .

COMPONENTS OF RESEARCH DESIGN • Questions of a study • Propositions • Unit(s) of analysis • Logic linking the data to the propositions • Criteria for interpreting the findings .

g.. and inter-organizational partnerships) • Generalizations: statistical and analytic . excellence in organizational performance.ROLE OF THEORY IN DESIGN • Theoretical framework for a study • E. organizational theories (theories of bureaucracy. organizational structure and functions.

CRITERIA FOR JUDGING THE QUALITY OF RESEARCH DESIGN • Construct validity: identifying correct operational measures for the concepts being studied • Internal validity: seeking to establish a causal relationship. the same results . whereby certain conditions are believed to lead to other conditions • External validity: defining the domain to which a study’s findings can be generalized • Reliability: demonstrating that the operations of a study – such as the data collection procedures – can be repeated.

CONSTRUCT VALIDITY • Problem: • Operational set of measures: objectivity vs. subjectivity • Tactics: • Use multiple sources of evidence • Establish chain of evidence • Have key informants review draft case study report .

INTERNAL VALIDITY • Problem: • Mainly a concern for explanatory case studies • Making inferences in a case study • Tactics: • Do pattern matching • Do explanation building • Address rival explanation • Use logic model .

EXTERNAL VALIDITY • Problem: • Is this study generalizable? This is a major concern in case studies! • Tactics: • Use theory in single-case studies • Use replication logic in multiple-case studies .

RELIABILITY • Problem: • To minimize errors and biases in a study • Tactics: • Use case study protocol • Develop case study database .

PREPARING FOR DATA COLLECTION PREPARE PLAN DESIGN COLLECT SHARE ANALYZE .

DESIRED SKILLS • Ask good questions • Be a good ”listener” • Be adaptive and flexible • Have a firm grasp of the issues being studied • Be unbiased by preconceived notions .

PROTOCOL OF INVESTIGATION • Major way to increase the reliability of case study • Guides the investigator in the data collection • General content of a case study protocol: • an overview of the project • field procedures • case study questions • a guide for case study report .

COLLECTING CASE STUDY EVIDENCE PREPARE PLAN DESIGN COLLECT SHARE ANALYZE .

SOURCES OF EVIDENCE • Documentation • Archival records • Interviews • Direct observation • Participant observation • Physical artefacts .

reporting bias. exact. unobtrusive. and access • Use of documents: to corroborate and augment evidence from other sources • An Internet search prior to field visit . biased selectivity. broad coverage • Weaknesses: • Retrievability.DOCUMENTATION • Strengths: • Stable.

g. organizational records (budget or personnel records) • Usefulness of archival records vary: from essential to passive relevance ..ARCHIVAL RECORDS • Strengths: • Same as for documents • Precise and usually quantitative • Weaknesses: • Same as for documents • Accessibility due to privacy reasons • Often take a form of computer files and records • E.

insightful • Weaknesses: • Bias due to poorly articulated questions • Response bias • Inaccuracies due to poor recall • Reflexivity .INTERVIEWS • Strengths: • Targeted.

factory work. selectivity. reflexivity. etc.DIRECT OBSERVATIONS • Strengths: • Reality. contextual • Weaknesses: • Time-consuming. and cost • Observations of meetings. classrooms. .

PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION • Strengths: • Same as for direct observation • Insightful into interpersonal behavior and motives • Weaknesses: • Same as for direct observation • Bias due to participant-observer’s manipulation of events .

. a work of art .g.PHYSICAL ARTEFACTS • Strengths: • Insightful into cultural features and technical operations • Weaknesses: • Selectivity and availability • E. technological device. tool or instrument.

knowledge in different data collection methods .PRINCIPLE 1: USE MULTIPLE SOURCES OF EVIDENCE • Use of multiple sources is a strength of a case study • Triangulation -> findings are more convincing and accurate • Convergence and nonconvergence of sources • Prerequisites for using multiple sources: costs.

.g. results of interviews. survey and other quantitative data) • narratives (open-ended answers to the questions) .PRINCIPLE 2: CREATE A CASE STUDY DATABASE • Way of organizing and documenting the data collected • Increases reliability of research • Database includes: • case study notes (e. observations) • case study documents • tabular materials (e..g.

PRINCIPLE 3: MAINTAIN A CHAIN OF EVIDENCE • To allow an external observer to follow the derivation of any evidence from initial research questions to ultimate conclusions • Not only the actual evidence but the circumstances of its collection .

ANALYSIS PREPARE PLAN DESIGN COLLECT SHARE ANALYZE .

GENERAL STRATEGIES • Relying on theoretical propositions • Developing a case description • Using both qualitative and quantitative data • Examining rival explanations .

PATTERN MATCHING • Compare an empirically based pattern with a predicted one • Can help to strengthen the internal validity • A pattern might be related to the variables of the study • Example of pattern analysis .1.

EXPLANATION BUILDING • Analysis of a case study by building an explanation about the case • Mainly relevant to explanatory case studies • Explanation building occurs most often in a narrative form • Reflect theoretically significant propositions • Iterative nature of explanation building • Potential problems with explanation building .2.

TIME-SERIES ANALYSIS • The ability to trace changes over time is a strength of case studies • Single dependent or independent variable • Statistical tests are used • Complex time series analysis • Chronologies .3.

4. LOGIC MODELS • The model stipulates a complex chain of events over an extended period of time • Repeated cause-effect-cause-effect patterns • Can be considered as a form of pattern matching • Matching empirically observed events to theoretically predicted events .

5. CROSS CASE SYNTHESIS • Applied specifically to the analysis of multiple cases • Cases for synthesis might come from different studies .

REPORTING CASE STUDY PREPARE PLAN DESIGN COLLECT SHARE ANALYZE .

ISSUES IN REPORTING • There is no any stereotypic form • Targeting case study reports • Structures for case study reports: • • • • • • Linear-analytic (for all types) Comparative (for all types) Chronological (for all types) Theory-building (for explanatory and exploratory) Suspense (only for explanatory) Unsequenced (only for descriptive) .

4th Ed.. Case Study Research: design and methods. 2009. . SAGE. Yin.REFERENCES • R.

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