Case study overview

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Not to be confused with case method, used in teaching. Case studies can be produced by following a formal research method. These case studies are likely to appear in formal research venues, as journals and professional conferences, rather than popular works. In doing case study research, the «case» being studied may be an individual, organization, event, or action, existing in a specific time and place. For instance, clinical science has produced both well-known case studies of individuals and also case studies of clinical practices.

Another suggestion is that case study should be defined as a research strategy, an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context. Case study research can mean single and multiple case studies, can include quantitative evidence, relies on multiple sources of evidence, and benefits from the prior development of theoretical propositions. Case studies may involve both qualitative and quantitative research methods. In business research, four common case study approaches are distinguished. First, there is the «no theory first» type of case study design, which is closely connected to Kathleen M.

An average, or typical case, is often not the richest in information. In clarifying lines of history and causation it case more useful to select subjects that offer an interesting, unusual or particularly revealing set of circumstances. A case selection that is based on representativeness will seldom be able to produce these kinds overview insights. The subject is the «practical, historical unity» through which the theoretical focus of the study is being viewed. Beyond decisions about case selection and the subject and object of the study, decisions study to be made about purpose, approach and process in the case study.

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Some cases study marketing analysis to ensure a full understanding of the effects on an organization. In a case where the market of any organization is in jepoardy, the agency will seek answers and solutions. In order to fulfill this need, the organization must gather pertient information. Case studies can be used to establish where the problem originates by utilizing several research methods. Under the more generalized category of case study exist several subdivisions, each of which is custom selected for use depending upon the goals of the investigator.

They typically utilize one or two instances of an event to show the existing situation. Illustrative case studies serve primarily to make the unfamiliar familiar and to give readers a common language about the topic in question. These are condensed case studies performed before implementing a large scale investigation. Their basic function is to help identify questions and select types of measurement prior to the main investigation. The primary pitfall of this type of study is that initial findings may seem convincing enough to be released prematurely as conclusions. These serve to aggregate information from several sites collected at different times.

The idea behind these studies is that the collection of past studies will allow for greater generalization without additional cost or time being expended on new, possibly repetitive studies. These examine one or more sites either for the purpose of examining a situation of unique interest with little to no interest in generalization, or to call into question a highly generalized or universal assertion. This method is useful for answering cause and effect questions. At Harvard Law School In 1870, Christopher Langdell departed from the traditional lecture-and-notes approach to teaching contract law and began using cases pled before courts as the basis for class discussions.

By 1920, this practice had become the dominant pedagogical approach used by law schools in the United States. Research in business disciplines is usually based on a positivist epistemology, namely, that reality is something that is objective and can be discovered and understood by a scientific examination of empirical evidence. Case studies in management are generally used to interpret strategies or relationships, to develop sets of «best practices», or to analyze the external influences or the internal interactions of a firm. Frederic Le Play first introduced the case-study method into social science in 1829 as a handmaiden to statistics in his studies of family budgets. One of the areas in which case studies have been gaining popularity is education and in particular educational evaluation.

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