Single case study research methodology

Does the case provide important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem. Popper himself used the now famous example: Single-subject designs produce or approximate three levels of knowledge: It is important that the data are stable steady trend and low variability before the researcher moves to the next phase.

When evidence conflicts, deeper probing of the differences is necessary to identify the cause or source of conflict.

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It is perhaps better to think of case studies as transparadigmatic; it is mistaken to assume single case study analysis to adhere exclusively to a qualitative methodology or an interpretivist epistemology even if it — or rather, practitioners of it — may be so inclined.

Therefore, emphasis is placed on using multiple methods with triangulation to circumvent errors and understand what is happening in reality as close as possible to the "truth" LINCOLN et al. The goal of a postpositivist researcher is to use science as a way to apprehend the nature of reality while understanding that all measurement is imperfect.

Taking a contrarian stance is one of the most important ways that new knowledge and understanding develops from existing literature. These types of case study include the following: Research which only looks into the measurable aspects of human behavior is not likely to give us insights into the subjective dimension to experience which is so important to psychoanalytic and humanistic psychologists.

Be sure to thoroughly extrapolate what your analysis of the case can tell the reader about situations or conditions beyond the actual case that was studied while, at the same time, being careful not to misconstrue or conflate a finding that undermines the external validity of your conclusions.

Harnessing various methods, process tracing may entail the inductive use of evidence from within a case to develop explanatory hypotheses, and deductive examination of the observable implications of hypothesised causal mechanisms to test their explanatory capability[4].

Flyvbjerg examines five misunderstandings about case study research and systematically "corrects" each one. Explain why you selected this particular individual to be studied and describe what experience he or she has had that provides an opportunity to advance new understandings about the research problem.

Structure and Writing Style The purpose of a paper in the social sciences designed around a case study is to thoroughly investigate a subject of analysis in order to reveal a new understanding about the research problem and, in so doing, contributing new knowledge to what is already known from previous studies.

Academy of Management Review, 14 4When a pattern from one data type is corroborated by the evidence from another, the finding is stronger. Each methodology is unique in approach depending on the ontological and epistemological stance, however all stem from the motivation to explore, seek understanding, and establish the meaning of experiences from the perspective of those involved ibid.

The research questions could be how and by what means are these vehicles used by ISIS being supplied to the militants and how might supply lines to these vehicles be cut. Harvard Business School has been among the most prominent developers and users of teaching case studies.

Case study methodology

Focused, short, repeat interviews may be necessary to gather additional data to verify key observations or check a fact. Criticism of generalisability is of little relevance when the intention is one of particularisation.

This is important because comparing and contrasting the findings of other studies helps to support the overall importance of your results and it highlights how and in what ways your case study design and the subject of analysis differs from prior research about the topic. Explain the Meaning of the Findings and Why They are Important Systematically explain the meaning of your case study findings and why you believe they are important.

Critical incident case studies must describe the method by which you identified the event and explain the process by which you determined the validity of this case to inform broader perspectives about the research problem or to reveal new findings.

With regard to the first point, the prototypical view here is that of Zeev Maoz Therefore, just as you have to clearly state the limitations of a general research studyyou must describe the specific limitations inherent in the subject of analysis.

After investigators are trained, the final advance preparation step is to select a pilot site and conduct a pilot test using each data gathering method so that problematic areas can be uncovered and corrected.

A critical case allows the following type of generalization: Exemplary case studies prepare good training programs for investigators, establish clear protocols and procedures in advance of investigator field work, and conduct a pilot study in advance of moving into the field in order to remove obvious barriers and problems.

The researcher contacts the Board of Directors of the community network, who are open to the idea of the case study. This method is useful for answering cause and effect questions. This logic then holds to rule out confound, one needs to replicate. University of Minnesota Press: This review establishes what research has been previously conducted and leads to refined, insightful questions about the problem.

The diversity of approaches subsequently adds diversity to definition and description. It is possible, however, to distil some of the more commonly-agreed principles. Reference service in university libraries, two case studies. Jossey-Bass, ; Miller, Lisa L. As noted above, a lack of consensus still exists within the wider social science literature on the principles and purposes — and by extension the advantages and limitations — of case study research.

Eckstein proposed a taxonomy which usefully identified what he considered to be the five most relevant types of case study.

Only someone qualified to diagnose and treat a person can conduct a formal case study relating to atypical i. In the social and behavioral sciences, the event or incident that represents the case to be studied is usually bounded by time and place, with a clear beginning and end and with an identifiable location or position relative to its surroundings.

Case Study Research Design

A case study of a place must not only describe its various attributes relevant to the research problem [e.g., physical, social, cultural, economic, political, etc.], but you must state the method by which you determined that this place will illuminate new understandings about the research problem.

2(14) A case study is expected to capture the complexity of a single case, and the methodology which enables this has developed within the social sciences. 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 well as its related contextual conditions.

Single-subject design

different research methods, including the case study method, can be determined by the kind of research question that a study is trying to address (e.g., Shavelson & Towne,pp. 99–). The case study research method originated in clinical medicine (the case history, i.e.

the patient’s personal history). The case study method often involves simply observing what happens to, or reconstructing ‘the case history’ of a single participant or group of individuals (such as a school class or a specific social group), i.e.

the Author: Saul Mcleod. In design of experiments, single-subject design or single-case research design is a research design most often used in applied fields of psychology, education, and human behavior in which the subject serves as his/her own control, rather than using another individual/group.

Researchers use single-subject design because these designs are.

Single case study research methodology
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Case Study Research Design - How to conduct a Case Study