Application of a Case Study Methodology

That methodology will follow the commendation of Yin (1994) and has four stages: Design the case study, Conduct the case study, Analyze the case study evidence, and lop the conclusions, recommendations and implications. Ere article begins with an introduction, that includes some of the background information that is intended to inform the reader. Following that section, each step of the methodology will be explored in detail. Finally a summary will connect all the Information in a concise manner. Introduction Case study is an ideal methodology when a holistic, in-depth investigation is needed teasing, Arum, & Jobber, 1991).

Case studies have been used in varied investigations, particularly in sociological studies, but increasingly, in instruction. Yin, Stake, and others who have wide experience in this methodology have developed robust procedures. When these procedures are followed, the researcher will be following methods as well developed and tested as any in the scientific field. Whether the study is experimental or quasi-experimental, the data collection and analysis methods are known to hide some details (Stake, 1995).

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Case studies, on the other hand, are designed to bring out the details from the viewpoint of the participants by sing multiple sources of data.

(in (1993) NAS identified some specific types to case studies: Exploratory, Explanatory, and Descriptive. Stake (1995) included three others: Intrinsic – when the researcher has an interest in the case; Instrumental – when the case is used to understand more than what is obvious to the observer; Collective – when a group of cases is studied. Exploratory cases are sometimes considered as a prelude to social research. Explanatory case studies may be used for doing causal investigations.

Descriptive cases require a descriptive theory to be developed before starting the project.

Peach 1988) used this methodology in a special education study, using a pattern-matching procedure. In all of the above types of case studies, there can be single-case or multiple-case applications. Case study research is not sampling research; that is a fact asserted by all the major researchers in the field, including Yin, Stake, Fagin and others. However, selecting cases must be done so as to maximize what can be learned in the period of time available for the study. He unit of analysis is a critical factor in the case study. It is typically a system of action rather than an individual or group of individuals.

Case studies tend to be selective, focusing on one or two issues that are fundamental to understanding the system being examined. Case studies are multi-perspectives analyses. This means that the researcher considers not Just the voice and perspective of the actors, but also of the relevant groups of actors and the interaction between them. This one aspect is a salient point n the characteristic that case studies possess. They give a voice to the powerless and lossless.

When sociological investigations present many studies of the homeless and powerless, they do so from the viewpoint of the “elite” (Fagin, Arum, & Jobber, 991). Case study is known as a triangulated research strategy. Snow and Anderson (cited in Fagin, Arum, & Jobber, 1991) asserted that triangulation can occur with data, investigators, theories, and even methodologies. Stake (1995) stated that the protocols that are used to ensure accuracy and alternative explanations are called triangulation. The need for triangulation arises from the ethical need to confirm the ‘Aladdin of the processes.

In case studies, this could be done by using multiple sources of data (Yin, 1984).

The problem in case studies is to establish meaning rather than location. Dentin (1984) identified four types of triangulation: Data source triangulation, when the researcher looks for the data to remain the same in different contexts; Investigator triangulation, when several investigators examine the same phenomenon; Theory triangulation, when investigators with different view points interpret the same results; and Methodological triangulation, when one approach is followed by another, to increase confidence in the interpretation. Nee issue to generalization NAS appeared in the literature Witt regularity It frequent criticism of case study research that the results are not widely applicable in real life. Yin in particular refuted that criticism by presenting a well constructed explanation of the difference between analytic generalization and statistical generalization: “In analytic generalization, previously developed theory is used as a template against which to compare the empirical results of the case study” (Yin, 1984).

The inappropriate manner of generalizing assumes that some sample of cases has been drawn from a larger universe of cases.

Thus the incorrect terminology such as “small sample” arises, as though a single-case study were a single respondent. Stake (1995) argued for another approach centered on a more intuitive, empirically- rounded generalization. He termed it “naturalistic” generalization. His argument Nas based on the harmonious relationship between the reader’s experiences and the case study itself.

He expected that the data generated by case studies would often resonate experientially with a broad cross section of readers, thereby facilitating a greater understanding of the phenomenon. Fin (1994) presented at least four applications for a case study model: or explain complex causal links in real-life interventions or describe the real-life context in which the intervention has occurred or describe the intervention itself o explore those situations in which the intervention being evaluated has no clear set of outcomes.

Information technologies involve all four of the above categories, but this study will only report on the last two.

Since the Levy (1988) case study of the University of Arizona, there has been very little literature relating to the pace of acquisition of information technology at institutions of higher education. For this reason, Levy (1988) conducted a case study after consulting with experts in the field and with senior case researchers. Their recommendation was to conduct an in-depth tidy of the institution using the case methodology. This study replicates and extends that study and thereby adds to the body of knowledge on the nature of information technology acquisition at universities.

Levy (1988) used a single-case design for the study at the University of Arizona. Single cases may be used to confirm or challenge a theory, or to represent a unique or extreme case (Yin, 1994). Single-case studies are also ideal for revelatory cases where an observer may have access to a phenomenon that was previously inaccessible. Reese studies can be holistic or embedded, the latter occurring when the same case tidy involves more than one unit of analysis. Multiple-case studies follow a replication logic. This is not to be confused with sampling logic, where a selection is made out of a population, for inclusion in the study.

This type of sample selection is improper in a case study. Each individual case study consists of a “whole” study, in Inch tact are gathered trot various sources and conclusions drawn on those tact. As in all research, consideration must be given to construct validity, internal validity, external validity, and reliability (Yin, 1989). Levy (1988) established construct validity sing the single-case exploratory design, and internal validity using the single-case explanatory design. Yin (1994) suggested using multiple sources of evidence as the Nay to ensure construct validity.