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Edwin D. Bell Winston-Salem State University

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1 Edwin D. Bell Winston-Salem State University
Case Study Research Edwin D. Bell Winston-Salem State University

2 Why Case Study Research?
It is one of several ways of doing research. “In general, case studies are preferred when (a) “how” and “why” questions are being posed, (b) the investigator has little control over events, and the focus is on contemporary phenomenon within a real-life context” (Yin, p. 2).

3 Definition of a Case Study is Two-Fold
A case study is an inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon in depth and within a real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not really clear

4 Definition of a Case Study is Two-Fold (continued)
The Case Study inquiry Copes with the technically distinctive situation in which thee are many variables of interest than data points, and as one result Relies on multiple sources of evidence, with data needing to converge in a triangulation fashion and as another result Benefits from the prior development of theoretical propositions to guide data collection and analysis. (Yin, ).

5 Triangulation It is generally accepted in action research “that researchers should not rely on any single source of data, interview, observation, or instrument” (Mills, 2003, p. 52) “In research terms, this desire to use multiple sources of data is referred to as triangulation.” ( Mills, 2003, p. 52)

6 Types of Triangulation
Yin (2009) describes four types of triangulation Data source (multiple data sources) Investigator(multiple investigators) Theories (see Essence of a Decision) Methodological (multiple data collection methods) (We will use multiple data sources and multiple data collection methods in our case studies)

7 Data Sources Yin (2009) Recommends six sources of data for case studies (see Figure 4.1 on p. 102) Documentation Archival Records Interviews (or surveys) Direct observation Participant observation Physical artifacts What is the difference between direct observation and participant observation

8 Data Collection methods
Creswell and Clark (2007) recommend mixed method data collection, i.e., using both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods to strengthen the validity of the conclusions that you reach. (see Research design and mixed methods approach: A hands on experience) What is quantitative data? What is qualitative data?

9 Theoretical Propositions
Literature Review (LR) Analysis of your environment (AN) Concept Map (CM) is a function of the literature review and your analysis of your environment, i.e., CM = f (LR*AN) Your concept map is the theoretical proposition for your case study

10 Validity Validity – generally there are four types
Construct validity – identifying correct operational measures for the concepts being studied Internal validity – does your concept map work the way you predicted External validity – does your study add to the theoretical understanding of the concepts Reliability – demonstrating that the operations of the study can be repeated with the same results (Yin, 2009).

11 References Creswell, J. W. & Clark, V. L. P. (2007).
Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand oaks, CA: Sage. Mills, G. E. (2003). Action research: A Guide for the teacher researcher, 2nd Edition, Merrill/Prentice-Hall: Upper saddle River, NJ.

12 References (continued)
Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods, 4th edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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