CASE STUDY RESEARCH

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Nov 20, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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MYERS

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

Sage Publications Limited

© 2008 Michael D. Myers

All Rights Reserved

CASE STUDY RESEARCH

Chapter 7

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

Introduction


Case studies can be used in
teaching and research


The following is concerned
with the use of research
cases only

Written

Record

Data Analysis
Approach

Data Collection
Technique

Research Method

Philosophical
Assumptions

Case study research

2

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

Teaching and research cases

Case study research

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Teaching cases

Research cases


Written primarily for students


Designed to illustrate an existing
theory or principle


Published on its own as a
teaching case, often with notes
for the instructor


Written primarily for researchers


Designed to contribute to a new
theory or explore/test an existing
theory


Published as part of a research
article in a journal, conference or
book

Table 7.1


A comparison of teaching and research cases

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

Research cases


Research cases can be used:


In exploratory research


to discover


In explanatory research


to test, to explain, or to compare


The purpose of case study research in business and
management is to use empirical evidence from real people
in real organizations to make an original contribution to
knowledge


Case study research

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QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

5

Case study research


The term ‘case study’ has multiple meanings. It can be used
to describe a detailed study of a single social unit (e.g. a case
study of a particular organization) or to describe a research
method.


Yin defines a case study as an empirical enquiry that:


investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real
-
life
context, especially when


the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not
clearly evident" (
Yin, 1994: 13
).


Yin’s approach to case study research is basically positivist,
since he recommends the use of hypotheses and/or
propositions

Case study research

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

Definition of case study research in business


‘Case study research in business uses empirical evidence
from one or more organizations where an attempt is made
to study the subject matter in context. Multiple sources of
evidence are used, although most of the evidence comes
from interviews and documents’.



In business and management, case study research almost
always involves a firm or organization


Case study research can be positivist, interpretive or critical

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7

Positivist Case Studies


Good case study design is vital


Yin (1994) suggests five components of good case study
design:

1. a study’s questions

2. its propositions, if any

3. its unit(s) of analysis

4. the logic linking the data to the propositions

5. the criteria for interpreting the findings

Case study research

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

8

Interpretive Case Studies


Interpretive case studies
generally attempt to understand
phenomena through the meanings that people assign to
them


Interpretive case studies define quality in terms of the
plausibility of the story and the overall argument (not
validity and reliability)


Interpretive case studies focus on the social construction of
reality


how and why people see the world the way they do


Case study research

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

Critical case studies


Critical case study research involves critical reflection on
current practices, questions taken
-
for
-
granted assumptions,
and critiques the status quo based on the theories of one or
more critical theorists


Words such as ‘validity’ and ‘reliability’, which imply an
objective reality independent of social reality, are not
normally used in interpretive or critical studies


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QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

Doing case study research


Make sure that you find an interesting case


Make sure you have good people skills


Gather rich data and try to establish the context


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QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT

Critique of case study research


Case study research is the most popular qualitative research
method used in the business disciplines


Case study research allows researchers to explore or test
theories within the context of messy real
-
life situations


A disadvantage of case study research is that it can be
difficult to gain access to the particular company or group of
companies that you want to study


Another disadvantage is that the researcher has no control
over the situation


Case study research can be time consuming

Case study research

11

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12

What makes an exemplary case study?


The case study must be ‘interesting’


The case study must display sufficient evidence


The case study must be ‘complete’


The case study must consider alternative perspectives


The case study should be written in an engaging manner


The case study should contribute to knowledge



One case study is fine! A common error: sampling logic

Case study research