Received Nov 29; Accepted Jun
Bibliography Definition The term case study refers to both a method of analysis and a specific research design for examining a problem, both of which are used in most circumstances to generalize across populations. This tab focuses on the latter--how to design and organize a research paper in the social sciences that analyzes a specific case.
A case study paper usually examines a single subject of analysis, but case study papers can also be designed as a comparative investigation that shows relationships between two or among more than two subjects.
The methods used to study a case can rest within a quantitative, A case study approach for understanding, or mixed-method investigative paradigm. Encyclopedia of Case Study Research. What, Why and How? How to Approach Writing a Case Study Research Paper General information about how to choose a topic to investigate can be found under the " Choosing a Research Problem " tab in this writing guide.
Review this page because it may help you identify a subject of analysis that can be investigated using a single case study design. However, identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem.
A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions. As Seawright and Gerring note, practical considerations such as time and access to information can influence case selection, but these issues should not be the sole factors used in describing the methodological justification for identifying a particular case to study.
Given this, selecting a case includes considering the following: Does the case represent an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis? Cases often represent a topic that rests on the fringes of prior investigations because the case may provide new ways of understanding the research problem.
For example, if the research problem is to identify strategies to improve policies that support girl's access to secondary education in predominantly Muslim nations, you could consider using Azerbaijan as a case study rather than selecting a more obvious nation in the Middle East.
Doing so may reveal important new insights into recommending how governments in other predominantly Muslim nations can formulate policies that support improved access to education for girls.
Does the case provide important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem? In-depth analysis of a case can be based on the hypothesis that the case study will reveal trends or issues that have not been exposed in prior research or will reveal new and important implications for practice.
For example, anecdotal evidence may suggest drug use among homeless veterans is related to their patterns of travel throughout the day.
Assuming prior studies have not looked at individual travel choices as a way to study access to illicit drug use, a case study that observes a homeless veteran could reveal how issues of personal mobility choices facilitate regular access to illicit drugs.
Note that it is important to conduct a thorough literature review to ensure that your assumption about the need to reveal new insights or previously hidden problems is valid and evidence-based. Does the case challenge and offer a counter-point to prevailing assumptions?
Over time, research on any given topic can fall into a trap of developing assumptions based on outdated studies that are still applied to new or changing conditions or the idea that something should simply be accepted as "common sense," even though the issue has not been thoroughly tested in practice.
A case may offer you an opportunity to gather evidence that challenges prevailing assumptions about a research problem and provide a new set of recommendations applied to practice that have not been tested previously.
For example, perhaps there has been a long practice among scholars to apply a particular theory in explaining the relationship between two subjects of analysis.
Your case could challenge this assumption by applying an innovative theoretical framework [perhaps borrowed from another discipline] to the study a case in order to explore whether this approach offers new ways of understanding the research problem.
Taking a contrarian stance is one of the most important ways that new knowledge and understanding develops from existing literature. Does the case provide an opportunity to pursue action leading to the resolution of a problem?
Another way to think about choosing a case to study is to consider how the results from investigating a particular case may result in findings that reveal ways in which to resolve an existing or emerging problem.
For example, studying the case of an unforeseen incident, such as a fatal accident at a railroad crossing, can reveal hidden issues that could be applied to preventative measures that contribute to reducing the chance of accidents in the future.
In this example, a case study investigating the accident could lead to a better understanding of where to strategically locate additional signals at other railroad crossings in order to better warn drivers of an approaching train, particularly when visibility is hindered by heavy rain, fog, or at night.Jun 27, · The case study approach allows in-depth, multi-faceted explorations of complex issues in their real-life settings.
The value of the case study approach is well recognised in the fields of business, law and policy, but somewhat less so in health services research. Exploring the philosophical orientation of case study research and variations in different case study approaches can help to clarify these differences, and promote a better understanding of how to apply these principles in practice.
Your case could challenge this assumption by applying an innovative theoretical framework [perhaps borrowed from another discipline] to the study a case in order to explore whether this approach offers new ways of understanding the research problem. Before Appearing for Case Studies The case method, writing and persuasion.
We hope that you have read the Part 1 of this series.. The case method. Ideally, you should read the case three times. Through a case study of individual managers’ working in the Third sector, this study examines the relationship between the identified career orientations of managers and their preferred career path.
In the social sciences and life sciences, a case study is a research method involving an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of a subject of study (the case), as .