Definition of Case Study
- A case study is a research methodology which has commonly utilized in social sciences.
- A case study is a research strategy and an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon inside its real-life context.
- Case studies are primarily based on an in-depth investigation of a single individual, group or event to discover the causes of underlying principles.
- A case study is a descriptive and exploratory analysis of a person, group or event.
- A case study reserach can be single or multiple case research, includes quantitative proof, relies on numerous sources of evidence and advantages in the prior development of theoritical propositions.
- Case research are evaluation of persons, groups, events, decisions, periods, policies, institutions or other systems that are studied holistically by one or more techniques.
Case Study Research Design
The case study research style have evolved more than the previous few years as a helpful tool for investigating trends and particular circumstances in numerous scientific disciplines.
The case study has been particularly used in social science, psychology, anthropology and ecology.
This method of study is particularly helpful for trying to test theoretical models by utilizing them in genuine world circumstances. For example, if an anthropologist were to live amongst a remote tribe, while their observations might create no quantitative information, they are nonetheless helpful to science.
What is a Case Study?
Essentially, a case study is an in depth study of a particular scenario rather than a sweeping statistical survey. It is a method used to narrow down a really broad field of study into one easily researchable subject.
Whilst it will not answer a query totally, it will give some indications and permit additional elaboration and hypothesis creation on a topic.
The case study research design is also useful for testing whether scientific theories and models really function within the real globe. You may come out with a great pc model for describing how the ecosystem of a rock pool functions but it is only by attempting it out on a real life pool that you could see if it is a realistic simulation.
For psychologists, anthropologists and social scientists they’ve been regarded as a valid technique of research for a lot of years. Scientists are occasionally guilty of becoming bogged down in the common image and it is occasionally important to know particular instances and ensure a more holistic method to study.
H.M.: An example of a study using the case study research design.
The Argument for and Against the Case Study Research Design
Some argue that because a case study is such a narrow field that its results can’t be extrapolated to fit an entire query and that they show only one narrow instance. On the other hand, it is argued that a case study provides more realistic responses than a purely statistical survey.
The truth most likely lies between the two and it is probably best to attempt and synergize the two approaches. It’s valid to conduct case studies however they ought to be tied in with more common statistical processes.
For instance, a statistical survey may show how much time individuals spend talking on mobile phones, but it is case research of a narrow group that will determine why this really is so.
The other primary thing to remember during case studies is their flexibility. While a pure scientist is trying to prove or disprove a hypothesis, a case study might introduce new and unexpected results throughout its course, and result in study taking new directions.
The argument between case study and statistical technique also appears to be one of scale. Whilst many ‘physical’ scientists steer clear of case studies, for psychology, anthropology and ecology they’re an important tool. It’s essential to ensure that you understand that a case study can’t be generalized to fit a entire population or ecosystem.
Finally, one peripheral point is the fact that, when informing others of one’s results, case studies make more interesting topics than purely statistical surveys, something that has been realized by teachers and magazine editors for a lot of years. The general public has little interest in pages of statistical calculations but some well placed case studies can possess a strong impact.
How to Design and Conduct a Case Study
The benefit of the case study research style is that you are able to focus on particular and fascinating instances. This may be an try to test a theory with a typical case or it may be a specific subject that is of interest. Study ought to be thorough and note taking ought to be meticulous and systematic.
The first foundation of the case study is the subject and relevance. In a case study, you’re deliberately trying to isolate a little study group, 1 person case or 1 specific population.
For example, statistical analysis may have shown that birthrates in African countries are increasing. A case study on 1 or two particular countries becomes a potent and focused tool for figuring out the social and financial pressures driving this.
Within the style of a case study, it’s essential to plan and design how you are going to address the study and ensure that all collected information is relevant. Unlike a scientific report, there is no strict set of guidelines so the most essential part is making sure that the study is focused and concise; otherwise you’ll end up getting to wade via lots of irrelevant info.
It is very best in the event you make yourself a brief list of 4 or 5 bullet points that you’re going to attempt and address during the study. In the event you ensure that all study refers back to these then you won’t be far incorrect.
Having a case study, even more than a questionnaire or survey, it is essential to become passive in your research. You’re much more of an observer than an experimenter and also you should remember that, even inside a multi-subject case, each case should be treated individually and after that cross case conclusions may be drawn.
How to Analyze the results
Analyzing results to get a case study tends to be much more opinion based than statistical techniques. The usual idea would be to try and collate your data into a manageable type and construct a narrative about it.
Use examples in your narrative whilst maintaining things concise and fascinating. It’s useful to show some numerical data but remember that you’re only attempting to judge trends and not analyze every final piece of information. Constantly refer back for your bullet points to ensure that you do not shed concentrate.
It’s usually a great idea to assume that an individual reading your study may not possess a lot of understanding from the topic so attempt to write accordingly.
Additionally, in contrast to a scientific study which offers with details, a case study is according to opinion and is very much designed to provoke reasoned debate. There really is no right or wrong answer inside a case study.