The modern science at recurring times requires testing the validity of its theoretical models. The only way to do is to fit these models to the real world situations and observe the results. The case study research design has highly helped this cause. It has emerged as one of the top ways to examine various scientific principles. Despite its criticism as a study strategy, case studies are believed to be more relevant when a matter requires an in-depth analysis. Here we can learn various characters of case studies and how to achieve sound results.
Case study research can be a sound method of organizing and in-depth investigation about complex science arguments. The limitations of the quantitative methods in explaining the social and psychological questions made the method of case study more relevant. A case study goes beyond just the stats and explains the mental and behavioral aspects of the concerned subject. Case study research can support almost any branch of science in general. However, some disciplines that use the method more often are the psychology, ecology, anthropology and social sciences. The method finds its application in varied areas of Governance, Laws, Medicine, Management, etc.
Case Study Research Definition
Case study research happens to be a close analysis of a small amount of data. Here a small group of people is picked to act as the subject of the survey. Hence, case study when used as a research method is a way of traversing a theory in question in context with the real life situations comprising of a small group of subjects connected to each other.
Robert K. Yin, who wrote a famous book on case study research, defines the method as an experiential probe that reviews a simultaneous event in its real-life circumstances; when the barriers between the event and circumstances are not certainly evident; and multiple sources of data are used.
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Some case studies may record the data related to a single case over a longer period. This lets the examiner in a well-organized observation, data collection, analysis, and preparation of reports on a matter. For instance, a study of the IQ development of the children from a particular region requires a detailed and longitudinal study of the question. Therefore, case study research covers each and every phenomenon that depends upon a set of data.
Case Study Research Method
What do you think is the most prominent aspect of any case study research? It’s the case study research method and its design. The soundness of it has ever been in question. Therefore, a researcher needs to take utmost care while designing a case study research.
There are two kinds of design you may choose from. You either can go with the single case design or can pick the multiple case design. When the study is to be conducted on a matter that’s too unique to find other similar examples, researchers go with the single case design. Here it’s not fair to expect a generalized result. Researchers then can triangulate their study with other methods for more reliable results.
Alternatively, when an event has numerous sources or occurrences for data collection, the multiple-case design is chosen. This method links the data recorded to other such incidents in the past. Hence, case study research further strengthens a particular theory or belief. Here the conclusions can be expected to be more substantial and generalized.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Case Study Research Designs
There are numerous pros of the method. Here are the most prominent benefits of it.
- The very first advantage of the case study is about the real life situation. A researcher here investigates and analyzes the data related to the event in the same situations and environment that an event occurred. This never takes the study away from its context.
- The second significant advantage of case studies is that it allows both the qualitative and quantitative analyzing of data. This is because the study in itself has a lot of variation in its approach. Longitudinal studies rely on the qualitative data driven from previous papers. Several other studies involve both statistical and behavioral aspects of the response from the subjects.
- Next, a case study often results in the creation of a qualitative record of data. This lets a researcher test an event in a real life situation and explain the complexities of the matter. It not only gives the statistics of the methods used but also explains why a particular method was preferred in a specific event.
Now let’s consider some of the disadvantages of this research design.
- The very first disadvantage are the arguments that claim it lacks the rigor. A lot of people believe that the case study template often proves to be below par and gives out misleading evidence and partial opinions.
- Case studies often take into account the data of a small group of individuals. This makes it’s almost impossible to have a generalized conclusion for a scientific explanation.
- Next disadvantage highlights the difficulty of these studies. These studies take too much time and involve too much documentation. This also opens up a risk of miss management of data
So binding it up, we can say that case studies can probably be the most efficient method for examining of data at a micro level. Whenever it’s hard to collect data from a huge number of people, case studies can give fairly precise result by testing a small group. They can help you test data in real life situations but fail in giving out generalized results.
Next, choosing the right design and proper analysis is critical for any case study. Writing Analysis needs to be more based on opinions and less on stats. In addition, research data should be formatted in a manageable form so that it’s able to give definite conclusions. Further, research must be presented in a way to make a person lacking the knowledge about the event must also understand it quickly. Lastly, case studies are better than the scientific studies that are based on the facts. Case studies, rather, analyze the opinions and raise reasonable debates.