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Case studies emphasize detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events or conditions and their relationships. Researchers have used the case study research method for many years across a variety of disciplines. Social scientists, in particular, have made wide use of this qualitative research method to examine contemporary real-life situations and provide the basis for the application of ideas and extension of methods.
Yin defines the case study research method as an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident; and in which multiple sources of evidence are used Yin,p.
Critics of the case study method believe that the study of a small number of cases can offer no grounds for establishing reliability or generality of findings.
Others feel that the intense exposure to study of the case biases the findings. Some dismiss case study research as useful only as an exploratory tool.
Yet researchers continue to use the case study research method with success in carefully planned and crafted studies of real-life situations, issues, and problems. Reports on case studies from many disciplines are widely available in the literature.
This paper explains how to use the case study method and then applies the method to an example case study project designed to examine how one set of users, non-profit organizations, make use of an electronic community network. The study examines the issue of whether or not the electronic community network is beneficial in some way to non-profit organizations and what those benefits might be.
Many well-known case study researchers such as Robert E. Stake, Helen Simons, and Robert K. Yin have written about case study research and suggested techniques for organizing and conducting the research successfully. This introduction to case study research draws upon their work and proposes six steps that should be used: Determine and define the research questions Select the cases and determine data gathering and analysis techniques Prepare to collect the data Collect data in the field Evaluate and analyze the data Prepare the report Step 1.
Determine and Define the Research Questions The first step in case study research is to establish a firm research focus to which the researcher can refer over the course of study of a complex phenomenon or object. The researcher establishes the focus of the study by forming questions about the situation or problem to be studied and determining a purpose for the study.
The research object in a case study is often a program, an entity, a person, or a group of people. Each object is likely to be intricately connected to political, social, historical, and personal issues, providing wide ranging possibilities for questions and adding complexity to the case study.
The researcher investigates the object of the case study in depth using a variety of data gathering methods to produce evidence that leads to understanding of the case and answers the research questions.
Case study research generally answers one or more questions which begin with "how" or "why. To assist in targeting and formulating the questions, researchers conduct a literature review. This review establishes what research has been previously conducted and leads to refined, insightful questions about the problem.
Careful definition of the questions at the start pinpoints where to look for evidence and helps determine the methods of analysis to be used in the study. The literature review, definition of the purpose of the case study, and early determination of the potential audience for the final report guide how the study will be designed, conducted, and publicly reported.
Select the Cases and Determine Data Gathering and Analysis Techniques During the design phase of case study research, the researcher determines what approaches to use in selecting single or multiple real-life cases to examine in depth and which instruments and data gathering approaches to use.
When using multiple cases, each case is treated as a single case. Exemplary case studies carefully select cases and carefully examine the choices available from among many research tools available in order to increase the validity of the study.
Careful discrimination at the point of selection also helps erect boundaries around the case. The researcher must determine whether to study cases which are unique in some way or cases which are considered typical and may also select cases to represent a variety of geographic regions, a variety of size parameters, or other parameters.
A useful step in the selection process is to repeatedly refer back to the purpose of the study in order to focus attention on where to look for cases and evidence that will satisfy the purpose of the study and answer the research questions posed.
Selecting multiple or single cases is a key element, but a case study can include more than one unit of embedded analysis. For example, a case study may involve study of a single industry and a firm participating in that industry. This type of case study involves two levels of analysis and increases the complexity and amount of data to be gathered and analyzed.
A key strength of the case study method involves using multiple sources and techniques in the data gathering process. The researcher determines in advance what evidence to gather and what analysis techniques to use with the data to answer the research questions.
Data gathered is normally largely qualitative, but it may also be quantitative.The study and survey of financial inclusion is useful for both policy makers and bank service providers to make strategic decisions.
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This dissertation attempts to provide a snap shot of the extent of financial inclusion i.e. the level and expansion.
About us. John Benjamins Publishing Company is an independent, family-owned academic publisher headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. More. The comparative method presupposes linguistically uniform speech communities and independent development after sudden, sharp cleavage. Critics of the comparative method have pointed out that this situation does not generally hold.
Posted by Claude Rubinson, 22 Oct On October 8, an International Workshop on QCA, sponsored by the 'Top Global University Project' and hosted by the Center for Positive/Empirical Analysis of Political Economy was held at Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan).
Jan 22, · KEYWORDS: Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), Methods for translational and implementation research, Case study INTRODUCTION In this paper, we describe the methodological features and advantages of . Comparative historical research is a method of social science that examines historical events in order to create explanations that are valid beyond a particular time and place, either by direct comparison to other historical events, theory building, or reference to the present day.
Generally, it involves comparisons of social processes across times and places.