Research is beautifully presented through various methods and techniques called research methodologies. These methods enhance the research process and demonstrate how research is carried out. Various methods are used to explain an idea, and a case study is one such research methodology.
The case study method utilizes the proper case studies for the particular research. It helps form an idea of the research to build the overall foundation. Researchers can make the topic general or specific as per the reviews from studies. The case study helps offer a proper understanding of the research to audiences and researchers.
This article will make you understand all the essential aspects of the case study method. We will also go through the advantages and drawbacks (if any) of the case study method. And understand various case study methods used in education, business, psychology, and more. Let us first understand the case study method in detail.
What Is A Case Study Method?
The case study is the learning technique where the student is given a particular issue or the case. It helps students explore the real issue within a defined context through various data sources. In simple terms, this method analyzes the given problem using real-life situations based on factual information. This real information is the prime methodological tool in the case study.
The method is used to conduct an in-depth study of a person, group, place, event, organization, or community. The case study data is collected through observations and interviews. Clinical medicine has given rise to the case study methodologies, the case history that is the patient’s personal history.
The case study method helps students develop skills like comprehension, analyzing real problems, and providing alternatives. The method also allows them to work in collaboration and improve information management ability.
The case study research techniques are usually based on qualitative methods; however, quantitative methods are also employed if required. Case studies are used to describe, compare, evaluate, and understand the various aspects of research problems. Click Here! For Everything You Need to Know About a Case Study Format!
The Prime Purpose of Case Study Method
The case study techniques are helpful when the researcher wants to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world issue or subject. The technique helps to gain insight into the case’s key characteristics, meanings, and implications.
The general purpose of the case study is to:
- In detail, describe and analyze an individual situation or case, such as a person, business, institution, or organization.
- Identifying the critical issues of the case, the assignment question will help where to focus while conducting the research.
- Analyzing the case based on the theoretical framework of concepts on the given subject or discipline.
- Case studies always recommend a course of action for a particular case, especially problem-solving case studies.
Case studies are best for a thesis or a dissertation. It helps to keep the entire research-focused and manageable when you cannot spare time or have resources for big-scale research. The case study can be used for just one complex subject to perform the in-depth analysis. Sometimes, multiple case studies are conducted to illuminate and compare the various aspects of the research problem.
The case methods provide a sense of the complex issues to the students so that they can quickly arrive at a reasonable solution. The students further communicate these solutions to readers effectively and concisely. The best tips to write a case study and shine in class!
Who Uses Case Study Method – Qualitative Research
Researchers utilize the case studies methods when they want to find out a reasonable solution to the real-world problem. The fields like education, medicine, psychology, business, and other social areas are the best where case study methods are used.
The case study techniques provide a holistic view of the issue or subject so that researchers can come to a fair conclusion. While other standalone research techniques usually provide a snapshot of the entire issue. That’s why the case studies help researchers get a detailed understanding of the topic and establish a sound platform to explore sound factors influencing the case study in detail.
Moreover, the case studies capture a range of perspectives that provides a greater understanding of the subject and reduces the potential for any bias. The qualitative research techniques employed in the case studies offer first-hand and proper data to the researcher.
Explore The Methods Of A Case Study
The case studies utilize a number of methods, while these methods are decided upon as the main objective behind the research. It depends on the subjects and who you want to study. You can’t say which method is better, as it depends on how you wish to collect the data. The most frequently used case study methods are:
- Observation: It is an observational case study of the real-world case without performing an intervention. As the researcher doesn’t intervene, the observational research methods are useful for implementation evaluation and problem investigation, where researchers investigate the real world as they find it.
- Surveys: In the case study survey research design, the researcher samples a population and uses questionnaires or interviews to ask questions related to the topic or issue. It helps the researcher to develop conclusions regarding a trend in the population.
- Interviews: The case study interviews are usually one-to-one interviews, where a holistic view is gained on the particular issue. The interviewee is provided with the specific subject, and their broader perspective is recorded on the subject.
- Focus Groups: Focus groups discussion in case studies is utilized as a qualitative approach to gain in-depth insight into social issues. The data is acquired from the purposely selected group of individuals rather than arbitrary selection from the broader population.
- Experiments: However, case studies are based on observations, but sometimes experiments are conducted to analyze the conclusion or test the hypothesis.
- Secondary Data Analysis: Here, the researcher uses the data collected by someone else for their own purposes. Researchers analyze the secondary data analysis trying to solve a new research question. It can also be used to examine an alternate perspective on the original question of the previous study.
- Mixed Methods (Combinations of above): The researchers can also utilize more than one method summarized above to perform the case studies. The selection of methods depends upon the prime objective of the research and the type of data collection for the research.
One particular method can be most suitable for your research goal, as the data you collect from these methods will differ in quality and quantity. For example, surveys are usually conducted to produce short answers, while interviews provide more extensive responses to the issue. Get the best help on Write my Essay!
How To Write Methods For Case Study – Qualitative Methods
The case studies research methods are based on the qualitative approach; however quantitative methods are sometimes used. Below we have presented the steps on how to approach a case study:
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Step 1: Select A Case
When you have developed research questions and problem statements, select a specific topic that you want to focus on. A good case study must cover the following points:
- Offers new or unexpected insight into the subject.
- Challenge or complicate already existing norms, assumptions, theories, or opinions on the subject.
- Propose a practical course of action to solve the issue.
- Open up new directions for future research.
The strong case studies don’t require a random sample, unlike quantitative or experimental research. The fact is case studies usually focus on the neglected, unusual, or outlying cases, which may shed new light on the research problem. You can use the more common or representative case to explore a particular phenomenon or experience.
Step 2: Build a Theoretical Framework
Case studies are more detailed oriented than focusing on general theories; they must have some connection with the theory in the field. That’s why the case study is not an isolated description but integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. The prime purpose should be:
- Exemplify a given theory by demonstrating how it explains the particular case.
- Provide a broader perspective to the theory by uncovering new concepts and ideas that need to be incorporated.
- Challenge an existing theory by exploring an outlier case that does not match the pre-established assumptions.
To ensure that your case is based on a solid academic foundation, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the subject/topic and develop a theoretical framework. That helps you identify the key concepts and theories and support your analysis and interpretation.
Step 3: Gather the Data
We have described various different data collection methods utilized in the case studies above. You can use any one or combination of them to gather your data. Case studies are usually based on qualitative data by conducting interviews, observations and analyzing primary and secondary data sources. These sources can be magazine reports, articles, photographs, newspapers, and so on. Sometimes case studies also gather quantitative data. The prime aim is to understand every aspect of a given subject or issue in detail and offer a reasonable solution.
Step 4: Describe and Analyze the Case
While writing the case study, you need to highlight all the relevant aspects to complete the given issue or subject. The way you present your findings depends upon the type of research you are conducting.
Some case studies are structured like a standard thesis writing or scientific paper, with separate sections for the methodologies, results, and discussion. At the same time, some are presented more narratively so that the case can be explored from various perspectives and angles to analyze meanings and implications. It is done by using textual or discourse analysis.
It is imperative to provide contextual details about the case and make the connection with the literature and theory. So that it can fit into broader debates and perspectives.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Case Study Methods?
The case study method is the widely used & popular form of qualitative data analysis. The case study as a research method involves careful and complete observation of social units, which can be a person, group, family, institution, or society.
The case study research method emphasizes more on the limited number of events and conditions and their interrelations. That makes a case study an intense investigation of the particular unit under consideration.
The case studies offer many advantages as well as got some limitations. But before moving to that, let’s understand the essential characteristics of the case study method. This will help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of case studies more efficiently.
The Essential Characteristics of the Qualitative Case Study Data Analysis Methods
- The researcher can select one social unit or more for the research purpose or even take the situation to undergo the comprehensive study.
- To get the correct information to draw the correct interferences.
- To undergo the complete study of the social units covering all the aspects.
- Try to analyze and understand the complex factors within social units.
- Every possible effort is made to collect the qualitative information to reach the proper conclusion.
- It makes the mutual inter-relationship between the casual factors.
- The behavior pattern of the subject is studied directly, and not any indirect approach is used.
- Case studies provide the fruitful hypothesis accompanying the data helpful in testing them, so it offers the generalized knowledge to have a richer perspective.
Benefits of the Case Study Method
There are many advantages of the case study methodologies; some of them are listed below:
- It helps to understand the complete behavior pattern of the concerned unit.
- It helps to obtain real and verified records of personal experience and perspectives.
- The methodologies help the researcher trace out the social unit’s natural history and its correlation with the social factors and other forces in the surroundings.
- It formulates the hypothesis through the data collected in the process.
- It facilitates the intensive study of the social units; that’s the reason case studies are frequently used for social research.
- The entire process helps the researcher compose an appropriate questionnaire for the research.
- Case studies are also known as the mode of organizing data, as it has proved beneficial in determining the nature of units with the help of historical analysis.
- The historical analysis also suggests the measures for improvement in the present context for the social units.
- It demonstrates the real record of the personal experiences that can be missed out utilizing other research techniques.
- The research methodologies enhance the experience, analyzing ability, and other researcher skills.
- It draws the interferences and helps maintain the research process’s continuity.
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What are the Major Disadvantage of The Case Study Method
However, case studies are considered one of the best techniques for qualitative data analysis; it has also got a few limitations. Let us go through the important limitations of the case study methods:
- Case situations are seldom correlated or comparable, and the qualitative data gathered is often not comparable. As the subject describes the case history in his/her own words, the investigator must incur the logical concepts and units of scientific classification.
- Many researchers do not consider the case study data scientific as the researcher’s subjectivity may influence the collection of information in the case study.
- The danger of false generalization always exists as no pre-decided rules are applied for the data collection, and only a couple of units are studied.
- It takes significant time of the researcher and is often not very cost-effective. Case studies require more time as researchers minutely study the social units’ natural history cycle.
- The case study data can be of low quality because the researcher may influence the subject. The subject can provide the information as per the researchers’ requirements.
- The case study method is based on various assumptions that may not be realistic, and that’s why the case study data is often in doubt and debatable.
- The methods can be used in the limited sphere, and it’s not possible to use them in the case of the big society. The case study method also does not allow sampling.
- The researcher often thinks they have the complete knowledge of the unit and can offer the complete solution. That’s why case studies may result in a faulty interpretation because of researchers’ methods.
Despite all these limitations, case study research design and methods are used in various disciplines, particularly sociology. In sociology, it is considered the tool of scientific research because of the advantages listed above. Most of the limitations can be improved if the researchers are conscious of these limitations.
Moreover, the well-trained researcher utilizing modern methods of collecting data and using scientific techniques to assemble, classify, and process give better results. The modern techniques have helped researchers to quantify and undergo statistical treatment. That’s the reason case studies are getting popular every day.
As we promised, here we will present the use of case studies methods in various fields. But before moving to that, it is important to briefly go through the case study method in research methodology. It will help you understand the research methodologies more appropriately. Access Here, A Definitive Guide On What Is A Case Study
What Is Case Study Method In Research Methodology
The case study analysis requires the researcher to understand and analyze the specific issue and examine the alternate solutions. In the end, the researcher proposes the most effective solution based on the supporting evidence.
Preparing The Case Study
Before start writing, follow the guidelines provided here to help you understand and prepare the case study:
Read & Examine the Case Properly
- Take notes, make observations, underline critical problems and highlight relevant facts.
Focus on Analysis
- Identify key problems by analyzing all the perspectives.
- Analyze the reason for the problems.
- How these problems are affecting the subject or issue.
- Who is responsible for these problems.
Find Possible Solutions/Changes Required
- Apply your experience, make a valid observation, perform outside research and discussions, and finally review the already existing literature. This will help you to find the aptest solution.
Offer Best Solution to the Problem
- Consider strong supporting evidence to offer the best solution for the specific problem. Analyze every pros and cons and find out whether the solution is realistic or not?
How To Draft A Case
Once the necessary information is gathered through various data gathering techniques. You need to draft a case that should include the general sections given below. These sections may differ as per your specific case study and assignment guidelines:
- Identify the fundamental problems and issues in the subject or case.
- Write a thesis statement summarizing the object and outcome of your analysis using a couple of sentences.
- Discuss the background information, relevant facts, and other important issues.
- Demonstrate how you have researched the problems in your case with proper evidence.
3. Evaluation of Case
- Outline the various sections of the case study on which you are focusing.
- Evaluate these sections and rule out those which are not working by discussion.
- Provide the reasons for those sections which are not working well with your case.
4. Proposed Solutions/Changes
- Suggest realistic solutions or changes required in your case.
- Explain why you are suggesting the specific solution.
- Support the solution with valid evidence like – text readings, outside research, and personal experience(anecdotes).
- Demonstrate and discuss the specific strategies for offering the proposed solution.
- If required, recommend further action to resolve some remaining issues.
- Suggest the best action plan and who can perform this.
6. Finalizing the Case
When you are done with the rough draft of your case study, go through it again to find any errors or inconsistencies in content and structure.
- Try to refine your thesis statement to impress readers.
- Analyze the evidence once again.
- Find out the missing component (if any) in your case.
When you have performed all these steps and made necessary revisions proofread and edit your analysis before submitting the final draft.
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What Is Case Study Method Of Teaching
Education is one of the most important aspects of students’ life. Academic institutions and universities often utilize various case studies, including students’ classroom engagements, offering customized learning methods, teaching techniques for teachers, and much more. Every student is different, which means some can learn better from examples while others focus on basic subject concepts.
The main objective of the case study method in education is to improve the educational sector overall for students and teachers. Case studies have been used in business schools, law schools, medical colleges, and social sciences for many years. However, it can be used in any department if tutors want students to explore how they have learned applies in real-life situations.
Utilizing the case study method in teaching depends on the course objective. Cases in teaching can come in various formats, ranging from simple questions to detailed descriptions. Usually, the students are required to answer the open-ended questions or develop a solution to the open-ended problem providing multiple solutions. Basically, it’s all about improving learners’ engagement. Let us discuss the types of teaching cases and the learning they promote.
Types of Teaching Cases & Learning They Promote
|Case Type||Description||Promoted Learning|
|Directed Case||It presents a scenario that is followed by a discussion using a set of directed open-ended questions. The student needs to answer those referring to the course material.||It helps students to understand the fundamental principles, concepts, and facts.|
|Decision Case||It demonstrates an individual, group, or community facing a problem that must be solved. Students are required to come up with factual historical evidence to provide solutions.||Improve problem-solving and decision-making skills in students.|
|Interrupted Case||Presents a problem in a progressive disclosure format to a student. The case is provided in the parts, and students need to make decisions before moving to the next part.||Enhance problem-solving skills.|
|Analysis of Issue Case||Its focus is on answering the specific situation, including retrospective cases in story form and their outcomes. Students need to analyze the alternative solutions and why they were not taken.||Improve analysis skills.|
How To Do A Case Study Using The Scientific Method
The scientific method is a step-by-step process used by researchers to determine any kind of relationship between two or more variables. It is based upon conducting experiments and exploring observations. Usually, it is used in some areas of science to get the proper answers about a particular issue.
The prime goal is to establish a relationship between cause and effects in various situations and applications. While using the scientific methods in case studies, the researchers ask questions, collect and look at the evidence and determine whether the evidence provides the answer to their question.
The scientific method is also used to determine all the information collected that can offer a logical answer. The scientific method opens the door to applying logical and rational problem-solving methods to scientific queries. Let us discuss the steps involved in a case study using scientific methods.
Steps Involved in the Scientific Case Study Methods
The steps given here are the basic steps to apply the scientific methods. One strength of the case study method is that you can prove your point with experiments in scientific methods. You can alter or remove the steps based on the type of science being applied according to your particular case. So here we go:
1. Ask A Question
The prime step in the scientific method involves asking a question for which you want to find a solution. The question may include and start with the keywords like – how, when, why, where, who, or which. The question you are analyzing must be answered based on scientific experiments and explanations. The scientific method often answers the question with numerical proof; however, behavioral results are also part of the scientific methods.
2. Conduct Research
Conduct preliminary research so that you can perform the related experiments. You can find information online, in the local library, and even by taking the help of experts in the field. Also, go through the previous studies and experiments conducted on the same to help you out with your processes and experiments.
3. Establish Your Hypothesis
Now you can offer an educated guess that seeks to answer a question that can be tested through systematic scientific methods. Always remember your predictions can be measured through experimentation and research in your hypothesis.
4. Test Hypothesis by Conducting Experiments
Experiments are important to test your hypothesis. It provides you the way to test your predictions quantifiable and must be able to be utilized by another researcher.
5. Make an Observation
Analyze the complete scientific process and make sure that the conditions remain the same throughout all testing experiments. In case any factors are changed within the experiment, keep all others the same to get a fair result. After completing the experiment, repeat it some more times to check the accuracy of the results.
6. Analyze the Results & Suggest Conclusion
Your experiment’s findings help you to draw proper results about the main question. Drawing results means demonstrating to the audience that the outcome is based on scientific experiments. Similarly, your experiment does not support your hypothesis; you can go back and conduct a new experiment to prove another theory. Whatever you hypothesized during the experimentation phase, put all your findings and present them to others.
7. Present the Findings
You can present the findings based on your scientific understanding and level. In simple words, you are the researcher, and you have to present all the facts and findings in front of the audience based on collected information and experiments. In case you are unable to prove your findings, you must provide the reasons for that to make your case.
Case Study Method In Psychology
Case studies are popularly used in psychology, and there have been many famous psychological case studies in the past. In a psychological procedure case study, the researcher provides a particular description of the behavior gathered from interviews, observations, and other sources.
The clients also present detailed events according to their perspectives. The researcher collects the information from both the courses as a case study and interprets the information for the betterment of the client.
The psychological case study research may continue for an extended period of time to study the processes and developments that happened with the time. Amongst the various data collected, the psychologists decide when to use the particular data.
In the psychological case study, the method often involves simply making observations on the events or reconstructing the case history of a subject or group of individuals. The group of individuals can be class, particular social group, and so on.
The interview is also an important method to gather information in psychological studies. The comments from persons’ friends, family, employers, office staff, and other individuals who know the person well provide important insight about the person to the psychologists. The information is gathered through from the person himself/herself also.
Most of the information gathered in psychological studies is qualitative; however, the psychologists may collect numerical data also. The collected data is then analyzed using different theories like grounded theory, text interpretation, interpretative phenomenological analysis, etc.
Good psychologists interpret information based on facts, and for that, they need to decide which information is useful and which information can be ignored. A good case study is based on selecting the factual information so that the unnecessary opinions can be rejected.
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Case Study In Business Research
The business organization or company usually conducts the case study in business. The business case study is performed for various purposes. To understand the customer base & demography, understand the effectiveness of the marketing techniques, analyze the ways for further growth, and so on.
Every successful online or traditional company uses case studies. Business case studies are much more than just a piece of marketing material. It provides proper insight to the managerial group in which direction the business is heading and what can be the short-term and long-term goals of the company.
Writing a business study is very important as it has got many advantages. Let us go through why business case studies are important:
- It allows the company to bring their product to life: The business can be a kind of service or hard and fast consumer product. The case studies are the best way to illustrate them and help bring them to life for the customers. Just like any good movie, the case study has a start, middle, and end that involves conflict and finally resolution. Business studies are the most effective way to make complex products real and help the way customers perceive the products.
- Offers peer-to-peer influence: Peer-to-peer influence is the most effective aspect of any business, and case studies best fulfill these requirements. As it offers the customers’ perspective about the particular service or product. However, it’s the company that releases the case studies, but the entire thing is dedicated to the customers’ experience. The customer’s experience is demonstrated with the help of direct quotes, statistics, etc., to help potential clients to see the value in the company.
- Provides real-life examples: Customers’ reviews are most important for the conversion rate, and case studies take this one step ahead. The real-life examples of the services and product offering combined with excellent customer reviews help new customers feel more confident and can take an interest in the company.
- It provides powerful words for mouth advertising: As companies and business houses are required to take permission from the client to use their data in a case study, and inclusion of a customer in the process usually leads to some brand evangelism. That is helpful to boost the company’s visibility and improve the conversion rates.
Case Study Method For Understanding Adolescence
The case study on children is conducted for various reasons. It helps to carefully observe the developing adolescent understand their cognitive, social, psychological, moral, and physical development. This development can be in school and non-school contexts, and it further evaluates the interaction between these areas of development.
The case studies also help to examine how one or more social systems like school, friends, teachers, family influence the children. So that to identity development, thinking, and more of the growing adolescent.
The case study methods for understanding growing children provide insights and principles from research on adolescent development and learning to a specific case. It further helps to observe and interpret the world from another’s perspective. Let us go through the case study methods applied to the adolescence:
- Identify the problem: The process starts with identifying the particular problem with the children.
- Devise a plan: The second step is to make a plan to understand the reasons for the problem.
- Select a course of action: The course of action on the children helps to analyze whether the particular problem still exists or not.
- Collect relevant data & information: The relevant data and information provide more facts about the particular problem.
- Analyze the data: In this step, analyze the data to offer a workable conclusion.
- Incorporate the results: Provide the result and action plan to resolve the problem.
- Review: Review the action plan if required.
Conclusion Of Case Study Method
A case study is the most popular form of research. The modern data collection techniques and scientific approach make it an excellent research methodology. Case studies are used in various sectors related to individuals, groups, organizations, or places. Case studies provide rich qualitative information and provide insight for further research. The best part is it offers investigation in various impractical and unethical situations.
The various aspects of the case study and its uses in various sectors provided here must have provided you with a proper insight into the case studies. The school and university students are often asked to write a case study. We hope this write-up has helped you understand the case studies in easier ways. However, if you need help writing case studies for school exams, visit eduessay.com. The best online platform that offers customized writing services at affordable rates.