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Outline: Research Methodology: Case Study - what is case study

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1 Outline: Research Methodology: Case Study - what is case study
Outline: Research Methodology: Case Study - what is case study? - what are the data collection methods? - what are the data analysis methods? - what are the data validity and reliability procedures? Unless specified by the copyright symbol, the slides presentation are summarized from: Yin R. K Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, California.

2 Case study – a qualitative study (1)
Section 2: Research methodology Case study – a qualitative study (1) An umbrella concept covering several forms of inquiry that help to understand and explain the meaning of social phenomenon with as little disruption of the natural setting as possible Researchers are interested in the meaning people have constructed, meaning embedded in people experiences This meaning is mediated through investigator’s own perception

3 Case study – a qualitative study (2)
Usually involves fieldwork Researcher must physically go to the people, site, setting in order to observe behavior in its natural setting Primarily employs an inductive research strategy The research builds abstractions, concepts, hypotheses or theories rather than test existing theory Hope to find “theory that explains their data” (vs. deductive researchers who hope to find “data to a theory”)

4 Case study – a qualitative study (3)
It is undertaken because there is a lack of theory or existing theory fails to adequately explain a phenomenon Sample selection is usually (but not always) nonrandom, purposeful, and small Interest is in discovery rather than confirmation Is “grounded”, holistic, and lifelike Can communicate tacit knowledge

5 Case study – typology (1)
Type 1: descriptive Present a detailed account of the phenomenon under study A historical case study that chronicles a sequence of events Atheoretical A theoretical vacuum Neither guided by established or hypothesized generalizations nor motivated by a desire to formulate general hypotheses It comes before hypothesizing or theory testing

6 Case study – typology (2)
Type 2: interpretive (or analytical) Contains rich description Different from straightforward descriptive studies by their complexity, depth, and theoretical orientation Used to Develop conceptual categories, Illustrate, support or challenge theoretical assumptions held prior to the data collection Information is gathered with the intent of analyzing, interpreting, or theorizing about the phenomenon The level of abstraction may range from suggesting relationships among variables to constructing theory

7 Case study – typology (3)
Type 3: evaluative Involves description, explanation, and judgment Use information to produce judgment Judging is the ultimate act of evaluation

8 Data collection method (1)
Interviews Structured, semi-structured, unstructured Depends on whether wording and order of questions are predetermined Types of good question Hypothetical: usually begin with “what if” or “suppose” Devil’s advocate: challenge the respondent to consider an opposing view Ideal position: ask respondent to describe an ideal situation Interpretive: ask for a reaction Types of bad question: multiple, leading, and yes-or-no

9 Data collection method (2)
Archival records / Database Documentations – reports, forms, procedure, manuals Direct observation Participant observation Physical artifacts/evidence

10 Data analysis method (1)
Pattern-matching The predicted pattern of specific variables is defined before data collection Explanation-building Special type of pattern-matching To analyze the case study data by building an explanation about the case Part of a hypothesis-generating process (in exploratory case study) The goal is not to conclude a study but to develop ideas for further study

11 Data analysis method (2)
Time-series analysis Program logic models A combination of pattern-matching and time-series analysis Pattern being matched is the key cause-effect pattern between independent and dependent variables Specify a chain of events (pattern) over time (time series), covering these independent variables

12 Validity and reliability
Construct validity Multiple source of evidence, chain of evidence, data triangulation External validity Identify and describe characteristics of the case firm Verify findings consistency with other findings (if applicable) Reliability Case protocol, case study database

13 Case study: controversy
Cannot be generalized (“of course!”) It is not meant to make generalization Applications in Historical case (descriptive type) Support or challenge theoretical assumptions (analytical type) @ Celeste, 2004

14 Case study: the flip side of the coin about the controversy
@ Celeste, 2004

15 Application 1: Descriptive type
It is meant to identify and explore Characteristics Problems (management, decision) and opportunities (what can be done better) Success and failure factors Lesson learnt Also called discovery case @ Celeste, 2004

16 Application 2: Analytical type
It is meant to determine and explain “why” Also called explanatory case @ Celeste, 2004

17 Application 3: Evaluative type
To formulate new theory @ Celeste, 2004

18 Grounded theory The investigator is the primary instrument of data collection and analysis End result is a theory emerging from (or is “grounded” in) the data Emphasize in theory development The theory is substantive rather than “grand” theory It is useful to practice, has its referent specific, everyday world situation (Source: Merriam (1998))

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