case study research wiki

The Ultimate Guide to Qualitative Research - Part 1: The Basics

case study research wiki

  • Introduction and overview
  • What is qualitative research?
  • What is qualitative data?
  • Examples of qualitative data
  • Qualitative vs. quantitative research
  • Mixed methods
  • Qualitative research preparation
  • Theoretical perspective
  • Theoretical framework
  • Literature reviews

Research question

  • Conceptual framework
  • Conceptual vs. theoretical framework

Data collection

  • Qualitative research methods
  • Focus groups
  • Observational research

What is a case study?

Applications for case study research, what is a good case study, process of case study design, benefits and limitations of case studies.

  • Ethnographical research
  • Ethical considerations
  • Confidentiality and privacy
  • Power dynamics
  • Reflexivity

Case studies

Case studies are essential to qualitative research , offering a lens through which researchers can investigate complex phenomena within their real-life contexts. This chapter explores the concept, purpose, applications, examples, and types of case studies and provides guidance on how to conduct case study research effectively.

case study research wiki

Whereas quantitative methods look at phenomena at scale, case study research looks at a concept or phenomenon in considerable detail. While analyzing a single case can help understand one perspective regarding the object of research inquiry, analyzing multiple cases can help obtain a more holistic sense of the topic or issue. Let's provide a basic definition of a case study, then explore its characteristics and role in the qualitative research process.

Definition of a case study

A case study in qualitative research is a strategy of inquiry that involves an in-depth investigation of a phenomenon within its real-world context. It provides researchers with the opportunity to acquire an in-depth understanding of intricate details that might not be as apparent or accessible through other methods of research. The specific case or cases being studied can be a single person, group, or organization – demarcating what constitutes a relevant case worth studying depends on the researcher and their research question .

Among qualitative research methods , a case study relies on multiple sources of evidence, such as documents, artifacts, interviews , or observations , to present a complete and nuanced understanding of the phenomenon under investigation. The objective is to illuminate the readers' understanding of the phenomenon beyond its abstract statistical or theoretical explanations.

Characteristics of case studies

Case studies typically possess a number of distinct characteristics that set them apart from other research methods. These characteristics include a focus on holistic description and explanation, flexibility in the design and data collection methods, reliance on multiple sources of evidence, and emphasis on the context in which the phenomenon occurs.

Furthermore, case studies can often involve a longitudinal examination of the case, meaning they study the case over a period of time. These characteristics allow case studies to yield comprehensive, in-depth, and richly contextualized insights about the phenomenon of interest.

The role of case studies in research

Case studies hold a unique position in the broader landscape of research methods aimed at theory development. They are instrumental when the primary research interest is to gain an intensive, detailed understanding of a phenomenon in its real-life context.

In addition, case studies can serve different purposes within research - they can be used for exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory purposes, depending on the research question and objectives. This flexibility and depth make case studies a valuable tool in the toolkit of qualitative researchers.

Remember, a well-conducted case study can offer a rich, insightful contribution to both academic and practical knowledge through theory development or theory verification, thus enhancing our understanding of complex phenomena in their real-world contexts.

What is the purpose of a case study?

Case study research aims for a more comprehensive understanding of phenomena, requiring various research methods to gather information for qualitative analysis . Ultimately, a case study can allow the researcher to gain insight into a particular object of inquiry and develop a theoretical framework relevant to the research inquiry.

Why use case studies in qualitative research?

Using case studies as a research strategy depends mainly on the nature of the research question and the researcher's access to the data.

Conducting case study research provides a level of detail and contextual richness that other research methods might not offer. They are beneficial when there's a need to understand complex social phenomena within their natural contexts.

The explanatory, exploratory, and descriptive roles of case studies

Case studies can take on various roles depending on the research objectives. They can be exploratory when the research aims to discover new phenomena or define new research questions; they are descriptive when the objective is to depict a phenomenon within its context in a detailed manner; and they can be explanatory if the goal is to understand specific relationships within the studied context. Thus, the versatility of case studies allows researchers to approach their topic from different angles, offering multiple ways to uncover and interpret the data .

The impact of case studies on knowledge development

Case studies play a significant role in knowledge development across various disciplines. Analysis of cases provides an avenue for researchers to explore phenomena within their context based on the collected data.

case study research wiki

This can result in the production of rich, practical insights that can be instrumental in both theory-building and practice. Case studies allow researchers to delve into the intricacies and complexities of real-life situations, uncovering insights that might otherwise remain hidden.

Types of case studies

In qualitative research , a case study is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on the nature of the research question and the specific objectives of the study, researchers might choose to use different types of case studies. These types differ in their focus, methodology, and the level of detail they provide about the phenomenon under investigation.

Understanding these types is crucial for selecting the most appropriate approach for your research project and effectively achieving your research goals. Let's briefly look at the main types of case studies.

Exploratory case studies

Exploratory case studies are typically conducted to develop a theory or framework around an understudied phenomenon. They can also serve as a precursor to a larger-scale research project. Exploratory case studies are useful when a researcher wants to identify the key issues or questions which can spur more extensive study or be used to develop propositions for further research. These case studies are characterized by flexibility, allowing researchers to explore various aspects of a phenomenon as they emerge, which can also form the foundation for subsequent studies.

Descriptive case studies

Descriptive case studies aim to provide a complete and accurate representation of a phenomenon or event within its context. These case studies are often based on an established theoretical framework, which guides how data is collected and analyzed. The researcher is concerned with describing the phenomenon in detail, as it occurs naturally, without trying to influence or manipulate it.

Explanatory case studies

Explanatory case studies are focused on explanation - they seek to clarify how or why certain phenomena occur. Often used in complex, real-life situations, they can be particularly valuable in clarifying causal relationships among concepts and understanding the interplay between different factors within a specific context.

case study research wiki

Intrinsic, instrumental, and collective case studies

These three categories of case studies focus on the nature and purpose of the study. An intrinsic case study is conducted when a researcher has an inherent interest in the case itself. Instrumental case studies are employed when the case is used to provide insight into a particular issue or phenomenon. A collective case study, on the other hand, involves studying multiple cases simultaneously to investigate some general phenomena.

Each type of case study serves a different purpose and has its own strengths and challenges. The selection of the type should be guided by the research question and objectives, as well as the context and constraints of the research.

The flexibility, depth, and contextual richness offered by case studies make this approach an excellent research method for various fields of study. They enable researchers to investigate real-world phenomena within their specific contexts, capturing nuances that other research methods might miss. Across numerous fields, case studies provide valuable insights into complex issues.

Critical information systems research

Case studies provide a detailed understanding of the role and impact of information systems in different contexts. They offer a platform to explore how information systems are designed, implemented, and used and how they interact with various social, economic, and political factors. Case studies in this field often focus on examining the intricate relationship between technology, organizational processes, and user behavior, helping to uncover insights that can inform better system design and implementation.

Health research

Health research is another field where case studies are highly valuable. They offer a way to explore patient experiences, healthcare delivery processes, and the impact of various interventions in a real-world context.

case study research wiki

Case studies can provide a deep understanding of a patient's journey, giving insights into the intricacies of disease progression, treatment effects, and the psychosocial aspects of health and illness.

Asthma research studies

Specifically within medical research, studies on asthma often employ case studies to explore the individual and environmental factors that influence asthma development, management, and outcomes. A case study can provide rich, detailed data about individual patients' experiences, from the triggers and symptoms they experience to the effectiveness of various management strategies. This can be crucial for developing patient-centered asthma care approaches.

Other fields

Apart from the fields mentioned, case studies are also extensively used in business and management research, education research, and political sciences, among many others. They provide an opportunity to delve into the intricacies of real-world situations, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of various phenomena.

Case studies, with their depth and contextual focus, offer unique insights across these varied fields. They allow researchers to illuminate the complexities of real-life situations, contributing to both theory and practice.

case study research wiki

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Understanding the key elements of case study design is crucial for conducting rigorous and impactful case study research. A well-structured design guides the researcher through the process, ensuring that the study is methodologically sound and its findings are reliable and valid. The main elements of case study design include the research question , propositions, units of analysis, and the logic linking the data to the propositions.

The research question is the foundation of any research study. A good research question guides the direction of the study and informs the selection of the case, the methods of collecting data, and the analysis techniques. A well-formulated research question in case study research is typically clear, focused, and complex enough to merit further detailed examination of the relevant case(s).

Propositions

Propositions, though not necessary in every case study, provide a direction by stating what we might expect to find in the data collected. They guide how data is collected and analyzed by helping researchers focus on specific aspects of the case. They are particularly important in explanatory case studies, which seek to understand the relationships among concepts within the studied phenomenon.

Units of analysis

The unit of analysis refers to the case, or the main entity or entities that are being analyzed in the study. In case study research, the unit of analysis can be an individual, a group, an organization, a decision, an event, or even a time period. It's crucial to clearly define the unit of analysis, as it shapes the qualitative data analysis process by allowing the researcher to analyze a particular case and synthesize analysis across multiple case studies to draw conclusions.

Argumentation

This refers to the inferential model that allows researchers to draw conclusions from the data. The researcher needs to ensure that there is a clear link between the data, the propositions (if any), and the conclusions drawn. This argumentation is what enables the researcher to make valid and credible inferences about the phenomenon under study.

Understanding and carefully considering these elements in the design phase of a case study can significantly enhance the quality of the research. It can help ensure that the study is methodologically sound and its findings contribute meaningful insights about the case.

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Conducting a case study involves several steps, from defining the research question and selecting the case to collecting and analyzing data . This section outlines these key stages, providing a practical guide on how to conduct case study research.

Defining the research question

The first step in case study research is defining a clear, focused research question. This question should guide the entire research process, from case selection to analysis. It's crucial to ensure that the research question is suitable for a case study approach. Typically, such questions are exploratory or descriptive in nature and focus on understanding a phenomenon within its real-life context.

Selecting and defining the case

The selection of the case should be based on the research question and the objectives of the study. It involves choosing a unique example or a set of examples that provide rich, in-depth data about the phenomenon under investigation. After selecting the case, it's crucial to define it clearly, setting the boundaries of the case, including the time period and the specific context.

Previous research can help guide the case study design. When considering a case study, an example of a case could be taken from previous case study research and used to define cases in a new research inquiry. Considering recently published examples can help understand how to select and define cases effectively.

Developing a detailed case study protocol

A case study protocol outlines the procedures and general rules to be followed during the case study. This includes the data collection methods to be used, the sources of data, and the procedures for analysis. Having a detailed case study protocol ensures consistency and reliability in the study.

The protocol should also consider how to work with the people involved in the research context to grant the research team access to collecting data. As mentioned in previous sections of this guide, establishing rapport is an essential component of qualitative research as it shapes the overall potential for collecting and analyzing data.

Collecting data

Gathering data in case study research often involves multiple sources of evidence, including documents, archival records, interviews, observations, and physical artifacts. This allows for a comprehensive understanding of the case. The process for gathering data should be systematic and carefully documented to ensure the reliability and validity of the study.

Analyzing and interpreting data

The next step is analyzing the data. This involves organizing the data , categorizing it into themes or patterns , and interpreting these patterns to answer the research question. The analysis might also involve comparing the findings with prior research or theoretical propositions.

Writing the case study report

The final step is writing the case study report . This should provide a detailed description of the case, the data, the analysis process, and the findings. The report should be clear, organized, and carefully written to ensure that the reader can understand the case and the conclusions drawn from it.

Each of these steps is crucial in ensuring that the case study research is rigorous, reliable, and provides valuable insights about the case.

The type, depth, and quality of data in your study can significantly influence the validity and utility of the study. In case study research, data is usually collected from multiple sources to provide a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the case. This section will outline the various methods of collecting data used in case study research and discuss considerations for ensuring the quality of the data.

Interviews are a common method of gathering data in case study research. They can provide rich, in-depth data about the perspectives, experiences, and interpretations of the individuals involved in the case. Interviews can be structured , semi-structured , or unstructured , depending on the research question and the degree of flexibility needed.

Observations

Observations involve the researcher observing the case in its natural setting, providing first-hand information about the case and its context. Observations can provide data that might not be revealed in interviews or documents, such as non-verbal cues or contextual information.

Documents and artifacts

Documents and archival records provide a valuable source of data in case study research. They can include reports, letters, memos, meeting minutes, email correspondence, and various public and private documents related to the case.

case study research wiki

These records can provide historical context, corroborate evidence from other sources, and offer insights into the case that might not be apparent from interviews or observations.

Physical artifacts refer to any physical evidence related to the case, such as tools, products, or physical environments. These artifacts can provide tangible insights into the case, complementing the data gathered from other sources.

Ensuring the quality of data collection

Determining the quality of data in case study research requires careful planning and execution. It's crucial to ensure that the data is reliable, accurate, and relevant to the research question. This involves selecting appropriate methods of collecting data, properly training interviewers or observers, and systematically recording and storing the data. It also includes considering ethical issues related to collecting and handling data, such as obtaining informed consent and ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of the participants.

Data analysis

Analyzing case study research involves making sense of the rich, detailed data to answer the research question. This process can be challenging due to the volume and complexity of case study data. However, a systematic and rigorous approach to analysis can ensure that the findings are credible and meaningful. This section outlines the main steps and considerations in analyzing data in case study research.

Organizing the data

The first step in the analysis is organizing the data. This involves sorting the data into manageable sections, often according to the data source or the theme. This step can also involve transcribing interviews, digitizing physical artifacts, or organizing observational data.

Categorizing and coding the data

Once the data is organized, the next step is to categorize or code the data. This involves identifying common themes, patterns, or concepts in the data and assigning codes to relevant data segments. Coding can be done manually or with the help of software tools, and in either case, qualitative analysis software can greatly facilitate the entire coding process. Coding helps to reduce the data to a set of themes or categories that can be more easily analyzed.

Identifying patterns and themes

After coding the data, the researcher looks for patterns or themes in the coded data. This involves comparing and contrasting the codes and looking for relationships or patterns among them. The identified patterns and themes should help answer the research question.

Interpreting the data

Once patterns and themes have been identified, the next step is to interpret these findings. This involves explaining what the patterns or themes mean in the context of the research question and the case. This interpretation should be grounded in the data, but it can also involve drawing on theoretical concepts or prior research.

Verification of the data

The last step in the analysis is verification. This involves checking the accuracy and consistency of the analysis process and confirming that the findings are supported by the data. This can involve re-checking the original data, checking the consistency of codes, or seeking feedback from research participants or peers.

Like any research method , case study research has its strengths and limitations. Researchers must be aware of these, as they can influence the design, conduct, and interpretation of the study.

Understanding the strengths and limitations of case study research can also guide researchers in deciding whether this approach is suitable for their research question . This section outlines some of the key strengths and limitations of case study research.

Benefits include the following:

  • Rich, detailed data: One of the main strengths of case study research is that it can generate rich, detailed data about the case. This can provide a deep understanding of the case and its context, which can be valuable in exploring complex phenomena.
  • Flexibility: Case study research is flexible in terms of design , data collection , and analysis . A sufficient degree of flexibility allows the researcher to adapt the study according to the case and the emerging findings.
  • Real-world context: Case study research involves studying the case in its real-world context, which can provide valuable insights into the interplay between the case and its context.
  • Multiple sources of evidence: Case study research often involves collecting data from multiple sources , which can enhance the robustness and validity of the findings.

On the other hand, researchers should consider the following limitations:

  • Generalizability: A common criticism of case study research is that its findings might not be generalizable to other cases due to the specificity and uniqueness of each case.
  • Time and resource intensive: Case study research can be time and resource intensive due to the depth of the investigation and the amount of collected data.
  • Complexity of analysis: The rich, detailed data generated in case study research can make analyzing the data challenging.
  • Subjectivity: Given the nature of case study research, there may be a higher degree of subjectivity in interpreting the data , so researchers need to reflect on this and transparently convey to audiences how the research was conducted.

Being aware of these strengths and limitations can help researchers design and conduct case study research effectively and interpret and report the findings appropriately.

case study research wiki

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Case study is often defined in different ways, reflecting evolving practice. What is important then is to define the concept for yourself, and explain to your audience how you are using the term.

Some definitions

Case study involves a detailed in depth analysis of an organisation, person, a group, an event, allowing an understanding of complex phenomena, such as organisations. A case study generally involves looking at a single case (which already exists), an object of study which is easily identified and separated (a bounded system) from other similar objects e.g. an organization, a place, an illness in one patient. Case study is a useful methodology for focusing on relationships connecting everyday practices in natural settings, placing attention on a local situation (Stake, 2006).

The case study is useful to investigate an issue in depth and ‘provide an explanation that can cope with the complexity and subtlety of real of life situation’ (Denscombe, 2010, p. 55).

Research questions revolve around ‘How?’ or ‘Why?’ and may be explanatory, exploratory or descriptive in nature (Yin, 2003).

Case study can be used to develop theory. Yin (2003, p. 1) notes that a case study is a way to ‘contribute to our knowledge of individual, group, organisational, social, political and related phenomena’ Case study can be used to test theory: what is it supposed to do and does it do that? Case studies can be used to trace a process, developing an understanding and then test it (Bennett, Andrew).

  • 1 Data collection
  • 2 Multiple case studies
  • 3 References and resources

Data collection [ edit | edit source ]

Case studies generally use a combination of data collection methods.

Multiple case studies [ edit | edit source ]

In multiple cases, research single cases are meaningful in relation to the other cases cited. Multiple case study research needs to use cases that are similar in some ways. The cases become "members of a group or examples of a phenomenon" (Stake, 2006, p. 6). This allows examination of what is similar and dissimilar about the cases. The researcher is looking for patterns and uniqueness, particulars and generalizations in the cases developed.

References and resources [ edit | edit source ]

Denscombe,Martyn (2010)(4th ed). The good research guide for small scale social research projects . Maidenhead: Open University Pres McGraw Hill

Dufour, S. & Foutin, V., ‘Annotated bibliography of case study method’, Current Sociology vol.40/1, 1992, pp.166-181.

Fidel, R. (1984). ‘The Case Study Method: A Case Study’, Library and Information Science Research vol.6/3, pp.273-288.

Garson, G.D. (2008). Case Studies , available from http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/garson/PA765/cases.htm

Gerring, J. (2007). Case Study Research: Principles and Practices , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Gilbertson, D. W. & Stone, R. J. (1985) (2nd ed). Human resources management: cases and readings . Sydney: McGraw-Hill, 1985.

Giving, L. M. (2008) (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods, Los Angeles: Sage.

Hossain, Dewan Mahboob (2009). 'Case Study Research' Social Science Research Network http://ssrn.com/abstract=1444863

Marshall, C. & Rossman, G.B. (2006) (4th ed). Designing qualitative research , Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Merriam S. (1998). Qualitative research and case study application in education . San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Ragin, C.C. & Becker, H.S. (1992), What is a Case? Exploring the foundations of social enquiry , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Sadler, D. Royce (1985). ‘Evaluation, Policy Analysis and Multiple Case Studies: Aspects of focus and sampling’, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis , vol.7/2, pp.143-149.

Simons (2009). Case study research in practice . London: Sage

Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research . Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Stake, R.E. (2006), Multiple Case Study Analysis, New York & London: The Guildford Press.

Soy, Susan K. (1997). The case study as a research method . Available from http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~ssoy/usesusers/l391d1b.htm

Stoecker, R., ‘Evaluating and rethinking the case study’, The Sociological Review vol.39, no.1, February 1991, pp.88-112.

Yin, R.K. (1989). ‘Case study research design and method’. Applied Social Research Methods Series 5. Newbury Park: Sage

Young, Raymond (2010). Case study research http://ise.canberra.edu.au/raymond/?s=case+study

Zach, L. (2006), ‘Using multiple case studies design to investigate the information-seeking behaviour of arts administrators’, Library Trends vol.55/1, pp.4-21.

See also [ edit | edit source ]

  • Topic:Business case studies
  • Portal:Social entrepreneurship/Case Studies/more
  • Wikiversity:Case studies
  • CisLunarFreighter/Scripts and case studies
  • Case studies in patent litigation
  • Portal:Social entrepreneurship/Case Studies
  • Evidence-based medicine/Case studies
  • Case study: Blended design and openness
  • Case study in psychology

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Writing a Case Study

Hands holding a world globe

What is a case study?

A Map of the world with hands holding a pen.

A Case study is: 

  • An in-depth research design that primarily uses a qualitative methodology but sometimes​​ includes quantitative methodology.
  • Used to examine an identifiable problem confirmed through research.
  • Used to investigate an individual, group of people, organization, or event.
  • Used to mostly answer "how" and "why" questions.

What are the different types of case studies?

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Note: These are the primary case studies. As you continue to research and learn

about case studies you will begin to find a robust list of different types. 

Who are your case study participants?

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What is triangulation ? 

Validity and credibility are an essential part of the case study. Therefore, the researcher should include triangulation to ensure trustworthiness while accurately reflecting what the researcher seeks to investigate.

Triangulation image with examples

How to write a Case Study?

When developing a case study, there are different ways you could present the information, but remember to include the five parts for your case study.

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Home » Case Study – Methods, Examples and Guide

Case Study – Methods, Examples and Guide

Table of Contents

Case Study Research

A case study is a research method that involves an in-depth examination and analysis of a particular phenomenon or case, such as an individual, organization, community, event, or situation.

It is a qualitative research approach that aims to provide a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the case being studied. Case studies typically involve multiple sources of data, including interviews, observations, documents, and artifacts, which are analyzed using various techniques, such as content analysis, thematic analysis, and grounded theory. The findings of a case study are often used to develop theories, inform policy or practice, or generate new research questions.

Types of Case Study

Types and Methods of Case Study are as follows:

Single-Case Study

A single-case study is an in-depth analysis of a single case. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to understand a specific phenomenon in detail.

For Example , A researcher might conduct a single-case study on a particular individual to understand their experiences with a particular health condition or a specific organization to explore their management practices. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of a single-case study are often used to generate new research questions, develop theories, or inform policy or practice.

Multiple-Case Study

A multiple-case study involves the analysis of several cases that are similar in nature. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to identify similarities and differences between the cases.

For Example, a researcher might conduct a multiple-case study on several companies to explore the factors that contribute to their success or failure. The researcher collects data from each case, compares and contrasts the findings, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as comparative analysis or pattern-matching. The findings of a multiple-case study can be used to develop theories, inform policy or practice, or generate new research questions.

Exploratory Case Study

An exploratory case study is used to explore a new or understudied phenomenon. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to generate hypotheses or theories about the phenomenon.

For Example, a researcher might conduct an exploratory case study on a new technology to understand its potential impact on society. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as grounded theory or content analysis. The findings of an exploratory case study can be used to generate new research questions, develop theories, or inform policy or practice.

Descriptive Case Study

A descriptive case study is used to describe a particular phenomenon in detail. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to provide a comprehensive account of the phenomenon.

For Example, a researcher might conduct a descriptive case study on a particular community to understand its social and economic characteristics. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of a descriptive case study can be used to inform policy or practice or generate new research questions.

Instrumental Case Study

An instrumental case study is used to understand a particular phenomenon that is instrumental in achieving a particular goal. This type of case study is useful when the researcher wants to understand the role of the phenomenon in achieving the goal.

For Example, a researcher might conduct an instrumental case study on a particular policy to understand its impact on achieving a particular goal, such as reducing poverty. The researcher collects data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and documents, and uses various techniques to analyze the data, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. The findings of an instrumental case study can be used to inform policy or practice or generate new research questions.

Case Study Data Collection Methods

Here are some common data collection methods for case studies:

Interviews involve asking questions to individuals who have knowledge or experience relevant to the case study. Interviews can be structured (where the same questions are asked to all participants) or unstructured (where the interviewer follows up on the responses with further questions). Interviews can be conducted in person, over the phone, or through video conferencing.

Observations

Observations involve watching and recording the behavior and activities of individuals or groups relevant to the case study. Observations can be participant (where the researcher actively participates in the activities) or non-participant (where the researcher observes from a distance). Observations can be recorded using notes, audio or video recordings, or photographs.

Documents can be used as a source of information for case studies. Documents can include reports, memos, emails, letters, and other written materials related to the case study. Documents can be collected from the case study participants or from public sources.

Surveys involve asking a set of questions to a sample of individuals relevant to the case study. Surveys can be administered in person, over the phone, through mail or email, or online. Surveys can be used to gather information on attitudes, opinions, or behaviors related to the case study.

Artifacts are physical objects relevant to the case study. Artifacts can include tools, equipment, products, or other objects that provide insights into the case study phenomenon.

How to conduct Case Study Research

Conducting a case study research involves several steps that need to be followed to ensure the quality and rigor of the study. Here are the steps to conduct case study research:

  • Define the research questions: The first step in conducting a case study research is to define the research questions. The research questions should be specific, measurable, and relevant to the case study phenomenon under investigation.
  • Select the case: The next step is to select the case or cases to be studied. The case should be relevant to the research questions and should provide rich and diverse data that can be used to answer the research questions.
  • Collect data: Data can be collected using various methods, such as interviews, observations, documents, surveys, and artifacts. The data collection method should be selected based on the research questions and the nature of the case study phenomenon.
  • Analyze the data: The data collected from the case study should be analyzed using various techniques, such as content analysis, thematic analysis, or grounded theory. The analysis should be guided by the research questions and should aim to provide insights and conclusions relevant to the research questions.
  • Draw conclusions: The conclusions drawn from the case study should be based on the data analysis and should be relevant to the research questions. The conclusions should be supported by evidence and should be clearly stated.
  • Validate the findings: The findings of the case study should be validated by reviewing the data and the analysis with participants or other experts in the field. This helps to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings.
  • Write the report: The final step is to write the report of the case study research. The report should provide a clear description of the case study phenomenon, the research questions, the data collection methods, the data analysis, the findings, and the conclusions. The report should be written in a clear and concise manner and should follow the guidelines for academic writing.

Examples of Case Study

Here are some examples of case study research:

  • The Hawthorne Studies : Conducted between 1924 and 1932, the Hawthorne Studies were a series of case studies conducted by Elton Mayo and his colleagues to examine the impact of work environment on employee productivity. The studies were conducted at the Hawthorne Works plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago and included interviews, observations, and experiments.
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment: Conducted in 1971, the Stanford Prison Experiment was a case study conducted by Philip Zimbardo to examine the psychological effects of power and authority. The study involved simulating a prison environment and assigning participants to the role of guards or prisoners. The study was controversial due to the ethical issues it raised.
  • The Challenger Disaster: The Challenger Disaster was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. The study included interviews, observations, and analysis of data to identify the technical, organizational, and cultural factors that contributed to the disaster.
  • The Enron Scandal: The Enron Scandal was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the Enron Corporation’s bankruptcy in 2001. The study included interviews, analysis of financial data, and review of documents to identify the accounting practices, corporate culture, and ethical issues that led to the company’s downfall.
  • The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster : The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster was a case study conducted to examine the causes of the nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in 2011. The study included interviews, analysis of data, and review of documents to identify the technical, organizational, and cultural factors that contributed to the disaster.

Application of Case Study

Case studies have a wide range of applications across various fields and industries. Here are some examples:

Business and Management

Case studies are widely used in business and management to examine real-life situations and develop problem-solving skills. Case studies can help students and professionals to develop a deep understanding of business concepts, theories, and best practices.

Case studies are used in healthcare to examine patient care, treatment options, and outcomes. Case studies can help healthcare professionals to develop critical thinking skills, diagnose complex medical conditions, and develop effective treatment plans.

Case studies are used in education to examine teaching and learning practices. Case studies can help educators to develop effective teaching strategies, evaluate student progress, and identify areas for improvement.

Social Sciences

Case studies are widely used in social sciences to examine human behavior, social phenomena, and cultural practices. Case studies can help researchers to develop theories, test hypotheses, and gain insights into complex social issues.

Law and Ethics

Case studies are used in law and ethics to examine legal and ethical dilemmas. Case studies can help lawyers, policymakers, and ethical professionals to develop critical thinking skills, analyze complex cases, and make informed decisions.

Purpose of Case Study

The purpose of a case study is to provide a detailed analysis of a specific phenomenon, issue, or problem in its real-life context. A case study is a qualitative research method that involves the in-depth exploration and analysis of a particular case, which can be an individual, group, organization, event, or community.

The primary purpose of a case study is to generate a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the case, including its history, context, and dynamics. Case studies can help researchers to identify and examine the underlying factors, processes, and mechanisms that contribute to the case and its outcomes. This can help to develop a more accurate and detailed understanding of the case, which can inform future research, practice, or policy.

Case studies can also serve other purposes, including:

  • Illustrating a theory or concept: Case studies can be used to illustrate and explain theoretical concepts and frameworks, providing concrete examples of how they can be applied in real-life situations.
  • Developing hypotheses: Case studies can help to generate hypotheses about the causal relationships between different factors and outcomes, which can be tested through further research.
  • Providing insight into complex issues: Case studies can provide insights into complex and multifaceted issues, which may be difficult to understand through other research methods.
  • Informing practice or policy: Case studies can be used to inform practice or policy by identifying best practices, lessons learned, or areas for improvement.

Advantages of Case Study Research

There are several advantages of case study research, including:

  • In-depth exploration: Case study research allows for a detailed exploration and analysis of a specific phenomenon, issue, or problem in its real-life context. This can provide a comprehensive understanding of the case and its dynamics, which may not be possible through other research methods.
  • Rich data: Case study research can generate rich and detailed data, including qualitative data such as interviews, observations, and documents. This can provide a nuanced understanding of the case and its complexity.
  • Holistic perspective: Case study research allows for a holistic perspective of the case, taking into account the various factors, processes, and mechanisms that contribute to the case and its outcomes. This can help to develop a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the case.
  • Theory development: Case study research can help to develop and refine theories and concepts by providing empirical evidence and concrete examples of how they can be applied in real-life situations.
  • Practical application: Case study research can inform practice or policy by identifying best practices, lessons learned, or areas for improvement.
  • Contextualization: Case study research takes into account the specific context in which the case is situated, which can help to understand how the case is influenced by the social, cultural, and historical factors of its environment.

Limitations of Case Study Research

There are several limitations of case study research, including:

  • Limited generalizability : Case studies are typically focused on a single case or a small number of cases, which limits the generalizability of the findings. The unique characteristics of the case may not be applicable to other contexts or populations, which may limit the external validity of the research.
  • Biased sampling: Case studies may rely on purposive or convenience sampling, which can introduce bias into the sample selection process. This may limit the representativeness of the sample and the generalizability of the findings.
  • Subjectivity: Case studies rely on the interpretation of the researcher, which can introduce subjectivity into the analysis. The researcher’s own biases, assumptions, and perspectives may influence the findings, which may limit the objectivity of the research.
  • Limited control: Case studies are typically conducted in naturalistic settings, which limits the control that the researcher has over the environment and the variables being studied. This may limit the ability to establish causal relationships between variables.
  • Time-consuming: Case studies can be time-consuming to conduct, as they typically involve a detailed exploration and analysis of a specific case. This may limit the feasibility of conducting multiple case studies or conducting case studies in a timely manner.
  • Resource-intensive: Case studies may require significant resources, including time, funding, and expertise. This may limit the ability of researchers to conduct case studies in resource-constrained settings.

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A case study is an in-depth investigation of a single case or instance in a real context -- a single person, patient, group, event, community, program, organization, business, or other entity. It allows for detailed exploration of complex events or phenomena. The data involved are often gathered from observations, interviews, or other methods. Case studies have been used in clinical medicine and clinical psychology, e.g., detailed case studies of patients, focusing on a particular illness or a patient's experience. In business, one can examine a particular company's strategy and market performance. In political science and policy studies, one can investigate the complexities of a political event, campaign, or events leading to a major historical event or action (e.g., a war, a major political reform). In education, one can examine educational and learning experiences in detail from the viewpoint of student or teachers.

Case studies can focus on one individual, or a small group of individuals. It is a qualitative research method, as it does not involve a controlled comparison of carefully selected groups, and thus, is not based on the scientific method and does not involve statistical analysis. As such, it is not intended to be generalizable, i.e., for drawing general conclusions about what is true for an entire group or phenomenon, or for proving a hypothesis. Its advantage is in considering a larger number of factors that might be involved. It can be especially advantageous for exploratory study of a complex or poorly understood phenomenon, and for generating a hypothesis or model about such a phenomenon that can be followed up with other research methods. It is also ideal for more practical, non-research purposes, such as evaluating a program, or for analyzing a business to understand reasons for its success or failure.

  • See also: Doing case studies and case study examples

1 Study design

2.1 business case studies, 3 limitations.

Qualitative studies usually begin with a research question (unlike scientific and data-heavy quantitative research studies, which begin with a specific hypothesis that is to be proved or disproved). A research question can be more open-ended and exploratory, such as:

  • Symptoms, behaviors, and possible causes of mental health issues in a psychiatric patient
  • How a particular patient shows novel or interesting symptoms, and/or how the patent was treated
  • How do Mexican immigrant children adapt to an English-only grade school in a small city?
  • How do COVID-19 patients handle the unique psychological challenges of being quarantined at home?
  • How did AMD (the CPU manufacturer) make such a strong rebound after years of poor performance?
  • What are the prospects for a company's success in a new market, based on their past performance and their current business practices?

Common types of qualitative research include ethnography, content analysis, and case studies. Content analysis involves studying collections of written or oral communication, and looking for patterns or themes that emerge from the data set. This often involves identifying patterns or regularly occurring items, grouping and classifying them, and looking for themes or trends that emerge from this process. The analysis is often exploratory, but may also be guiding by an existing theoretical framework or model.

Ethnography (from the Greek 'ethnos' = people) refers to observational study of a group of people. The classic example is of an anthropologist spending an extended period of time with a tribal group or poorly understood people group, observing their behaviors, taking extensive notes, and conducting interviews with group members to understand their culture. The analysis involves inferring explanations from the data about their cultural beliefs and practices, and/or using an existing theoretical framework to explain the culture. This approach has been applied to other fields, such as educational research, e.g., where a researcher observes a classroom to study learning patterns of students, teachers' teaching methods, or the social dynamics of teachers and students. Applied linguists have used ethnography in recording conversations to analyze patterns of social interaction and language use.

A case study may simply be conducted to understand and analyze a complex situation, e.g., the growth, success, and/or failure of a company, or students' experiences in a particular learning environment. It might be used to generate a new model or hypothesis, which can lead to further research with different research methods, as in clinical case studies. It might be used for identifying anomalies that do not fit existing theories, in order to refine or challenge an existing theory (e.g., in applied linguistics research).

In clinical and educational case studies, case selection is one of the first considerations, as a study subject (the participant) must be identified who is a representative or typical sample for what one wishes to study; otherwise, if it is an atypical or outlier case, the study results will be of limited value. Sometimes this can be overcome with a larger case study of several participants, as in some educational linguistics studies.

Another consideration is the depth or "thickness" of the data, or how much detail the researcher wants to include. For example, this can range to a simple description in a few paragraphs of a language learner's experiences in a particular language course, to a very detailed biographical profile of the subject's language learning experience, his/her experiences throughout a course, multiple interviews with the subject over a semester, reports of the subject's past and current experiences and feelings, and observational data of the subject's classroom activities.

The data can be interpreted within an existing theory, model or framework for analysis, as well as the researcher's own professional experience. Additionally, interview data may be transcribed and coded (e.g., different aspects of the data are classified into different categories) and studied using other qualitative methods. The data may be analyzed without an existing theoretical framework, e.g., when a researcher conducts exploratory research on a new topic, and uses a case study as an exploratory research method to then develop a hypothesis based on the case study results. This hypothesis can then be developed and tasted in later research.

2 Use in different fields

Case studies can be used in many different fields for conducting in-depth research and finding insights into specific phenomena.

In business fields, case studies are not usually used for exploratory purposes, or to develop new theories. They are usually used simply to describe and analyze the history of a company or organization. Many times, business case studies are less formal, as they do not rely heavily on a theory or model to explain the data, though some business case studies do make use of a model or theory that the researchers have found useful. Occasionally, case study research may be used to develop a new model for analyzing business cases. Most business case studies, however, are more semi-formal, as they are mainly used to gain a practical understanding of a company or organization. The research questions might be focused on topics such as:

  • Reasons for a company's success
  • Reasons for a company's poor performance
  • Reasons for a company's failure
  • Likely prospects for a company based on its past performance, and based on its current leadership and performance

In doing a case study, often a specific challenge or challenges are identified. The challenge may relate to the research question, or the research question might be more general. For example, a more general research question might be the future prospects of a tech company in an ever-changing tech market, and specific challenges are identified, such as possible changes in several very specific markets where the company is active.

The data in a business case study can come from a variety of sources. One might conduct interviews with company leaders, such as CEOs, executives, managers, or even lower level employees. Information may be obtained from the company website, depending on how much is published online, as well as internal documents, if one has access to company documents. This can include web pages or documents that detail company goals and vision, budgets, sales data, strategy and planning, the company's structure, and other data about the company. Survey data or interview data might be collected from employees or customers. Information may also be available from detailed news articles or analysis articles in business news magazines.

A business case study will typically lead to results such as an analysis of the company that can inform other business leaders; proposed solutions or recommendations for the company to follow; or recommendations for other companies or leaders.

Thus, a case study can contain the following components.

  • Research question: The main point of the study; what the researcher wishes to find out.
  • Background: A narrative of the company's growth or actions that are relevant to the study.
  • Challenge: A specific challenge or challenges are identified
  • Data analysis: The data are presented, interpreted, and analyzed.
  • Recommendations or solutions: Based on the challenge and data, solutions or recommendations are made for what the company, or similar companies, can or should do.
  • Prospects: For an existing company, its future prospects can be discussed, e.g., if it fails to adapt to challenges or implement the case study's recommendations.

These methods might also be used for case studies of other organizations, e.g., to evaluate governmental agencies, governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other entities.

Case study research in clinical psychology shows some of the limitations of this kind of research. Freud developed his psychodynamic theory of psychoanalysis and his theories of human psychology from his case study research. This, however, shows the limitations of case studies for understanding mental health issues, as many aspects of his theories were rejected by the psychological and scientific community. A case study can lead to good hypotheses and theories, or to flawed hypotheses and theories. For an important field of work that can affect people's lives, or society, a hypothesis or theory needs to be subjected to rigorous scientific testing in order to validate it. If theories are developed solely on case studies are not tested with other research methods, and are accepted simply on pragmatic grounds -- they seem to work -- this can lead to acceptance of a flawed theory. For clinical and educational fields, a flawed theory can have negative effects. For example, in Freudian theory, patients who described being victims of sexual abuse by their parents were not taken seriously; their reports were dismissed as false memories that their subconscious minds created out of latent sexual attraction to a parent. Thus, sexual abuse victims were not taken seriously. Case studies in educational and clinical research also have the drawback in that the results may not be generalizable. Again, hypotheses or claims generated by case studies generally require follow-up research with other methods to verify their claims.

However, case studies can be a valuable tool for exploratory research in different fields. In business fields, they can be a convenient method for studying companies, and can be done in a semi-formal and practical manner, so that business people and students can readily learn by studying company histories.

  • Rashid Y, Rashid A, Warraich MA, Sabir SS, Waseem A. Case Study Method: A Step-by-Step Guide for Business Researchers. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. January 2019. http://doi:10.1177/1609406919862424
  • Informal case study examples (Hoffman Marketing Coummunications)
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  • Case Study | Definition, Examples & Methods

Case Study | Definition, Examples & Methods

Published on 5 May 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 30 January 2023.

A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organisation, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.

A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods , but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing , comparing, evaluating, and understanding different aspects of a research problem .

Table of contents

When to do a case study, step 1: select a case, step 2: build a theoretical framework, step 3: collect your data, step 4: describe and analyse the case.

A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case.

Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation . They keep your project focused and manageable when you don’t have the time or resources to do large-scale research.

You might use just one complex case study where you explore a single subject in depth, or conduct multiple case studies to compare and illuminate different aspects of your research problem.

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Once you have developed your problem statement and research questions , you should be ready to choose the specific case that you want to focus on. A good case study should have the potential to:

  • Provide new or unexpected insights into the subject
  • Challenge or complicate existing assumptions and theories
  • Propose practical courses of action to resolve a problem
  • Open up new directions for future research

Unlike quantitative or experimental research, a strong case study does not require a random or representative sample. In fact, case studies often deliberately focus on unusual, neglected, or outlying cases which may shed new light on the research problem.

If you find yourself aiming to simultaneously investigate and solve an issue, consider conducting action research . As its name suggests, action research conducts research and takes action at the same time, and is highly iterative and flexible. 

However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience, or phenomenon.

While case studies focus more on concrete details than general theories, they should usually have some connection with theory in the field. This way the case study is not just an isolated description, but is integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. It might aim to:

  • Exemplify a theory by showing how it explains the case under investigation
  • Expand on a theory by uncovering new concepts and ideas that need to be incorporated
  • Challenge a theory by exploring an outlier case that doesn’t fit with established assumptions

To ensure that your analysis of the case has a solid academic grounding, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the topic and develop a theoretical framework . This means identifying key concepts and theories to guide your analysis and interpretation.

There are many different research methods you can use to collect data on your subject. Case studies tend to focus on qualitative data using methods such as interviews, observations, and analysis of primary and secondary sources (e.g., newspaper articles, photographs, official records). Sometimes a case study will also collect quantitative data .

The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.

In writing up the case study, you need to bring together all the relevant aspects to give as complete a picture as possible of the subject.

How you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard scientific paper or thesis, with separate sections or chapters for the methods , results , and discussion .

Others are written in a more narrative style, aiming to explore the case from various angles and analyse its meanings and implications (for example, by using textual analysis or discourse analysis ).

In all cases, though, make sure to give contextual details about the case, connect it back to the literature and theory, and discuss how it fits into wider patterns or debates.

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How to Write a Case Study

Last Updated: April 1, 2024 Approved

This article was co-authored by Annaliese Dunne . Annaliese Dunne is a Middle School English Teacher. With over 10 years of teaching experience, her areas of expertise include writing and grammar instruction, as well as teaching reading comprehension. She is also an experienced freelance writer. She received her Bachelor's degree in English. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 82% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 580,765 times.

There are many different kinds of case studies. There are also various uses for writing case studies, from academic research purposes to provision of corporate proof points. There are approximately four types of case studies: illustrative (descriptive of events), exploratory (investigative), cumulative (collective information comparisons) and critical (examine particular subject with cause and effect outcomes). After becoming familiar with the different types and styles of case study instructions and how each applies to your purposes, there are some steps that make writing flow smoothly and ensure the development and delivery of a uniform case study that can be used to prove a point or illustrate accomplishments.

Getting Started

Step 1 Determine which case study type, design or style is most suitable to your intended audience.

  • Whatever case study method you're employing, your purpose is to thoroughly analyze a situation (or "case") which could reveal factors or information otherwise ignored or unknown. These can be written about companies, whole countries, or even individuals. What's more, these can be written on more abstract things, like programs or practices. Really, if you can dream it, you can write a case study about it. [1] X Research source

Step 2 Determine the topic of your case study.

  • Start your research at the library and/or on the Internet to begin delving into a specific problem. Once you've narrowed down your search to a specific problem, find as much about it as you can from a variety of different sources. Look up information in books, journals, DVDs, websites, magazines, newspapers, etc. As you go through each one, take adequate notes so you can find the info later on! [1] X Research source

Step 3 Search for case studies that have been published on the same or similar subject matter.

  • Find out what has been written before, and read the important articles about your case's situation . When you do this, you may find there is an existing problem that needs solution, or you may find that you have to come up with an interesting idea that might or might not work in your case situation.
  • Review sample case studies that are similar in style and scope to get an idea of composition and format, too.

Preparing the Interview

Step 1 Select participants that you will interview for inclusion in your case study.

  • Find knowledgeable people to interview. They don't necessarily have to be on your site, but they must be, actively or in the past, directly involved.
  • Determine whether you will interview an individual or group of individuals to serve as examples in your case study. It may be beneficial for participants to gather as a group and provide insight collectively. If the study focuses on personal subject matter or medical issues, it may be better to conduct personal interviews.
  • Gather as much information as possible about your subjects to ensure that you develop interviews and activities that will result in obtaining the most advantageous information to your study.

Step 2 Draft a list of interview questions and decide upon how you will conduct your study.

  • When you are interviewing people, ask them questions that will help you understand their opinions. I.e., How do you feel about the situation? What can you tell me about how the site (or the situation) developed? What do you think should be different, if anything? You also need to ask questions that will give you facts that might not be available from an article--make your work different and purposeful.

Step 3 Set up interviews...

  • Make sure all your informants are aware of what you're doing. They need to be fully informed (and signing waivers in certain cases) and your questions need to be appropriate and not controversial.

Obtaining Data

Step 1 Conduct interviews.

  • When you ask a question that doesn't let someone answer with a "yes" or a "no" you usually get more information. What you are trying to do is get the person to tell you whatever it is that he or she knows and thinks --even though you don't always know just what that is going to be before you ask the question. Keep your questions open-ended.
  • Request data and materials from subjects as applicable to add credibility to your findings and future presentations of your case study. Clients can provide statistics about usage of a new tool or product and participants can provide photos and quotes that show evidence of findings that may support the case.

Step 2 Collect and analyze all applicable data, including documents, archival records, observations and artifacts.

  • You can't include it all. So, you need to think about how to sort through it, take out the excess, and arrange it so that the situation at the case site will be understandable to your readers. Before you can do this, you have to put all the information together where you can see it and analyze what is going on.

Step 3 Formulate the problem in one or two sentences.

  • This will allow you to concentrate on what material is the most important. You're bound to receive information from participants that should be included, but solely on the periphery. Organize your material to mirror this.

Writing Your Piece

Step 1 Develop and write your case study using the data collected throughout the research, interviewing and analysis processes.

  • The introduction should very clearly set the stage. In a detective story, the crime happens right at the beginning and the detective has to put together the information to solve it for the rest of the story. In a case, you can start by raising a question. You could quote someone you interviewed.
  • Make sure to include background information on your study site, why your interviewees are a good sample, and what makes your problem pressing to give your audience a panoramic view of the issue. [2] X Research source After you've clearly stated the problem at hand, of course. [1] X Research source Include photos or a video if it would benefit your work to be persuasive and personalized.
  • After the reader has all the knowledge needed to understand the problem, present your data. Include customer quotes and data (percentages, awards and findings) if possible to add a personal touch and more credibility to the case presented. Describe for the reader what you learned in your interviews about the problem at this site, how it developed, what solutions have already been proposed and/or tried, and feelings and thoughts of those working or visiting there. You may have to do calculations or extra research yourself to back up any claims.
  • At the end of your analysis, you should offer possible solutions, but don't worry about solving the case itself. You may find referring to some interviewees' statements will do the alluding for you. Let the reader leave with a full grasp of the problem, but trying to come up with their own desire to change it. [1] X Research source Feel free to leave the reader with a question, forcing them to think for themselves. If you have written a good case, they will have enough information to understand the situation and have a lively class discussion.

Step 2 Add references and appendices (if any).

  • You may have terms that would be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case, include it in the appendix or in a Note for the Instructor .

Step 3 Make additions and deletions.

  • Go over your study section by section, but also as a whole. Each data point needs to fit into both it's place and the entirety of the work. If you can't find an appropriate place for something, stick it in the appendix.

Step 4 Edit and proofread your work.

  • Have someone else proofread, too. Your mind may have become oblivious to the errors it has seen 100 times. Another set of eyes may also notice content that has been left open-ended or is otherwise confusing.

Expert Q&A

Annaliese Dunne

  • If you are developing many case studies for the same purpose using the same general subjects, use a uniform template and/or design. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Be sure to ask open-ended questions while conducting interviews to foster a discussion. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Ask for permission to contact case study participants as you develop the written case study. You may discover that you need additional information as you analyze all data. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about writing, check out our in-depth interview with Annaliese Dunne .

  • ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 http://www.essayforum.com/grammar-usage-13/to-write-case-study-366/
  • ↑ https://www.universalclass.com/articles/business/the-process-of-writing-a-case-study.htm
  • http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/research/casestudy/pop2a.cfm Colorado State University Case Study writing guides
  • http://www.hoffmanmarcom.com/casestudy/howtowrite.php Hoffman Marketing and Communications case study overview

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To write a case study, start with an introduction that defines key terms, outlines the problem your case study addresses, and gives necessary background information. You can also include photos or a video if they will help your work to be more persuasive. Then, present your findings from the case study and explain your methodology, including how you used your data to come to your conclusions. In your conclusion, offer possible solutions or next steps for research, based on your results. To learn how to select participants for your case study, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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A case study design is a qualitative research technique that consists of data collection via a combination of observations, interviews, and/or selected written documents/audiovisual material that is collected and collated for data analysis.

  • 2 Principal Use
  • 3 Advantages
  • 4 Shortcomings
  • 5 Examples in Informatics
  • 6 Description
  • 8 Principal use
  • 9 Advantages
  • 10 Shortcomings
  • 11 References

As a distinct approach to research, use of the case study originated only in the early 20th century. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the phrase case study or case-study back as far as 1934, after the establishment of the concept of a case history in medicine. The use of case studies for the creation of new theory in social sciences has been further developed by the sociologists Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss who presented their research method, Grounded theory, in 1967.

There are multiple types of case studies including: [1]

  • illustrative case studies
  • exploratory case studies* critical instance case studies
  • program effects case studies
  • prospective case studies
  • cumulative case studies
  • narrative case studies
  • medical case studies
  • and embedded case studies

Principal Use

The principal use of a case study design approach is to understand a single case or single situation (which could include a small group of people) in significant depth through qualitative observational methods in the case’s natural setting.

Case studies provide a systematic way of looking at events, collecting data, analyzing information, and reporting the results. They are relatively easy to perform and are fairly intuitive. They also are useful in generating and in testing hypotheses.

Shortcomings

Limited ability to generalize to other situations outside the specific cases examined and bias.

Examples in Informatics

  • Gagnon MP, Duplantie J, Fortin JP, Landry R. Exploring the effects of telehealth on medical human resources supply: a qualitative case study in remote regions. BMC Health Serv Res. 2007 Jan 11;7:6. PMID: 17217534 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Aldrich R, Bonevski B, Wilson A. A case study on determining and responding to health managers' priorities for research to assist health service decision making. Aust Health Rev. 2006 Nov;30(4):435-41. PMID: 17073537 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Bomba D, Land T. The feasibility of implementing an electronic prescribing decision supportsystem: a case study of an Australian public hospital. Aust Health Rev. 2006 Aug;30(3):380-8. PMID: 16879097 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Koppel R, Metlay JP, Cohen A, Abaluck B, Localio AR, Kimmel SE, Strom BL. Role of computerized physician order entry systems in facilitating medication errors. JAMA. 2005 Mar 9;293(10):1197-203. PMID: 15755942 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Description

A case study is an in depth look at one or more cases. Case study methodology involves systematically gathering enough information about the “case” (a particular person, social setting, event, group, organization) to allow the researcher to understand how the subject operates or functions and glean insights.1 It is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon in a real-life context that is particularly useful when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are unclear.

The case study approach to research can be traced back to sociological fieldwork in the early 19th century.2 Similar methods have been used in medicine. In fact, the fields of medicine and psychology, for example, require physicians and psychologists to examine patients case by case. In addition, case studies are commonly used in business, information systems, and law curricula to help students bridge the gap between foundational studies and practice.1

Principal use

Case studies can be used in both qualitative and quantitative research. In qualitative research case studies can be:

  • Exploratory (to learn more about what is happening in a particular context)
  • Descriptive (to provide lengthy, in depth descriptions)
  • Explanatory (to explain a phenomenon in a particular context, useful when conducting causal studies)

Case studies can provide a deep understanding of events, people or organizations and can explain complex social phenomena.

The researcher cannot control events and inferences may not always be generalizable. A case can suggest an understanding or explanation in a given context. What is learned may only be transferrable if the study design included multiple cases (which can become expensive).

  • Ash JS, Gorman PN, Lavelle M, Payne TH, Massaro TA, Frantz GL, Lyman JA. A Cross-Site Qualitative Study of Physician Order Entry. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2003;10:188-200.
  • Koppel R, Metlay JP, Cohen A, Abaluek B, Localio AR, Kimmel SE, Strom BL. Role of Computerized Physician Order Entry Systems in Facilitating Medication Errors. JAMA 2005;293:10,1197-1203.
  • Berg, Bruce L. Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences, 6th ed. Pearson, Allyn & Bacon, 2007.
  • Crabtree, Benjamin F. and William L. Miller. Doing Qualitative Research, 2nd ed. Sage, 1999.

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Case Studies

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1. Case Studies Evaluation

There is no perfect case study, and with your help you could highlight and point out different areas of a case study that needs revision. This will help improve the Creative Commons Case Studies a great deal. For more information on Evaluation kindly visit https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/Case_Studies/Evaluation

2. Translating a Case Study

Creative Commons wikis are originally written in English. However, for the information may not be helpful/effective to others who don’t understand English. If you feel comfortable with English and another native language, you could assist CC by adding a translation of any wiki in your own language. For details on how to go about this visit https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/CCWiki:Translate

3. Expanding the wanted list

Expanding the Wanted List There is a long list of completed case studies but CC is open to new fresh ideas. If you feel there is need for a particular Case Study to be represented, you could as well give us your idea and it could be considered and implemented. To find out more on how to contribute vibrant ideas to CC case studies follow this link. https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/Talk:Case_Studies

Creative Commons Case Studies Categories

  • Government Usage
  • Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Photography
  • GLAM: Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums
  • Social Justice

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This book includes 60 stories of how people are using Creative Commons in Australia and internationally. It highlights the work being done by commoners the world over, as well as providing examples, models and guidance for those wanting to explore their c1opyright options in the digital environment.

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Stewart Mader

Case Study: Using a Wiki in Research

Wikipatterns – Table of Contents

By Peter Higgs Senior Research Fellow, Creative Digital Industries National Mapping Project Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I started managing a three year research project for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation, a research institute within Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in mid 2004. Even though I have been involved establishing and running with multimedia CD ROM content production since 1992 and the internet development since 1995, I never established a website for the creative industries national mapping project: there was no point! Establishing the traditional university passive “marketing” website for the project would have required the development of an extensive brief to the “publishing” division where every thing we wanted to say would have to be thought through, then there would be a series of extensive meetings which would generate concepts and revisions. All of this would have finally lead to a static website that no-one would want to visit, least of all me. Updating it would have been a similar nightmare. And none of this is a criticism of the publishing department. The procedure is perfectly appropriate for any large organization needing to communicate with 30,000 to 40,000 students and 10,000 staff. However the project I headed was one of about half a dozen around the world investigating definitions and statistical techniques for measuring the characteristics of what are called the creative industries. Each researcher has slightly or very different definitions, and every country has different conditions under which industrial activity and occupation statistics are classified, collected and disseminated.

Our project was cross discipline by nature involving industry experts, economists and statisticians with our project partners contributing to the research directly and also by being part of the research steering committee. However, for the first year the collaboration aspects of the project were constrained to periodic meetings, emails and phone calls which are very unsatisfactory as a way harnessing group expertise and contribution capacity.

Instead I spent that year (amongst many other things) clarifying my requirements on ways to augment the project’s capacity and influence through collaboration. I spent quite a few nights looking into various software and web based solutions that could possible address them: FTP and webDAV servers, collaborative document web sites and, through using wikipedia, with wikis which seemed to be closer to what I needed. I investigated establishing a wiki using a spare MacG4 I had at home as a server and the only solution close on paper to meeting my requirements, that also seemed to be within reach of my limited technical skills, was confluence. I used the experience of setting up the wiki and using it for a couple of weeks to clarify the requirements and to better express to management why a traditional web site approach would be inappropriate.

It may worth revisiting these as they could be useful to other researchers looking to establish a wiki. Objectives of the National Mapping Research Project Wiki. The wiki needed to provide a forum with the combination of information, participation and functionality that will attract and retain the interest of the researchers and consultants active in the field of the creative and cultural industry mapping and economic impact research. The wiki needed to not only publish information on the project and make available to others the resources from it but it needed to also: Encourage and facilitate discussion and agreement on approaches to taxonomies and strategies. Provide a focused forum for the sharing of drafts, papers, reports and statistics within the field. To harness the knowledge and willingness to contribute that is dispersed throughout the research and consultant community and to thereby establish a critical density of talent, effort, review and resources. Allow the project’s contracted participants to contribute in the day-to-day work, discussions and decisions that interests them and at the time and place they are able to contribute. To substantially reduce or eliminate the frustration that project partners feel at not being up to date, not being able to participate more fully and not being able to derive the short term or even ephemeral outputs they may have a requirement for.

To establish the CCI National Mapping Project as one of the world’s pre-eminent fora in the field of creative and cultural industry mapping research.

I knew from experience that meeting these objectives would require a combination of technology capability, content that was seen as valuable, clean functional design, and an approach or aesthetic that empowers, attracts and energizes the contributors. These last factors are very difficult to achieve and to assess in advance. By getting one of the other factors wrong it is easy to undermine the empowerment factor so that it cannot be achieved. Furthermore it is possible to meet the capability, content, design requirements and still not achieve the emergence of the empowerment factor. But it needs to be strived for.

Following on from the articulation of the objectives for the project wiki the technical requirements were established:

Sophisticated handling of Users, Groups and Access Permissions. Having spent six years managing a research project and software company in the field of rights management I knew how critical it was to have as a foundation for the wiki a sophisticated capability of access and usage management which would require the application having an above average functionality for handling Users, Groups and Access Permissions. It would have been a bit ambitious to hope that any existing wiki solution would also have implemented a rights expression language.

I determined that at a minimum the wiki and its supporting environment needed to be able to support at least four levels of access:

Role Capability Anonymous public: Will not be able to edit pages or make comments but will be able to see most of the site as this is the only effective way of engaging new active participants. Self-enrolled researchers and practitioners in the field Are able to see, edit and comment on most parts of the site. Able to add and edit pages, resources and forums. Project partners, contractors and consultants Are able to see, edit and comment on most parts of the site including the project administration area. Able to add and edit pages, resources and forums. Project Administrator Manage user logins, authority levels, page and global access levels. It was likely that at least half of the users of the wiki would not be QUT staff and so the use of QUT LDAP connected authentication system was problematic. It was not feasible nor desirable to provide QUT access accounts to all possible project contributors or even a select number of them. And to require a formal approach of “please request an account and we will issue you one in a couple of days” would reduce the number of people able to engage with the project. All aspects of the wiki had to facilitate the stages of project engagement The wiki was seen to be critical method with which to establish virtuous cycles which would lead to it becoming a viable dynamic community. The wiki needed to support the natural stages that people go through when they engage with a community, project or product. Stage Description Attraction The Wiki needed to be “infectious”, it needed to support google and other site ranking services to ensure the Wiki has prominence when relevant criteria are searched for. It needed to support short and human readable URLs to its pages unlike content management systems. Interest Once the site is reach the “seeker” needed to be attracted to stay and explore more. Desire The Wiki needed to be engaging so the seeker explores more deeply into the structure of the site and develops a strong commitment that the wiki can provide meaningful solutions to the seekers needs. Action The Wiki needed to encourage the seeker to engage, commit and contribute to the content on the site. Retention The Wiki needed to be “sticky”. It needed to provide real, social and psychological benefits to return to the wiki often, to participate, contribute and possible integrate into their day to day workflow. Expansion The Wiki needed to be “infectious”, it needed to encourage and support the existing participants to bring in and engage other researchers and contributors who can enrich the project. Collaboration The wiki needed to encourage and facilitate true multi-directional collaboration in a number of ways; Editing (with version histories) of pages Comments and threads

Adding of sections, pages, resources and attachments.

Addition of other spaces for other project which may be highly similar or in a related field. Federation with other projects through RSS and cross linking.

Ease of Use: the thin end of the wedge

I knew from experience that the emotive appeal and the ease of use of the wiki would be critical to the success of the project. The usability of the wiki had to be such that anyone can feel at ease contributing without them thinking they are damaging the system or even worse thinking they have to be html coders. It was essential that the wiki was not technically daunting or block in any way the naïve user from the act of making their first, simple contribution of perhaps making a comment or fixing a typo or correcting a defintion.

With each contribution they make they gain more confidence and might start to explore how to make their posting look as good as some of the other through say bullet points or table formatting.

Addressing the “why nots”

Of course getting any new approach approved is rather interesting and there are the normal question of well, why not just use the corporate website. That was pretty easy to address. The next question, obviously from the IT department was, “well, we already have a content management system, why not use it?”

“Why not use our existing Content Management System”

A competent Wiki will almost certainly include a content management system layer but the users will never see it or be aware of it. I know of no existing CMS that has built in the functionality needed for a wiki. And even if it did chances are that it would be unsuited for tailoring to meet the requirements of a wiki especially that of the ease of use. It is the psychology of the tool that is critical: CMSs are used, configured and controlled by technologists to support their objectives. Wikis on the other hand are tools focussed on the needs of end users and should require even less technical sophistication than using a word processor. It would take an exceptional amount of work to make a cms into a competent wiki.

Getting it accepted into a corporate environment

Approval was obtained to move the prototype I was running at home onto a linux server within the Creative Industries faculty with a 50 user license from Atlassian. Within a couple of months there were three or four additional spaces on the server for other projects within Creative Industries. The NMP space increased to about 120 pages pretty quickly and the management team started to use it and refer to it.

Word spread, the QUT IT department obtained an enterprise licence of confluence and jira for them to use internally with a view to at some stage rolling it out for teaching and learning.

How are we using the wiki?

The wiki has been in use within QUT now for just over a year and is essentially still in the first generation of usage being fairly straight forward: the site has areas on the project background, objectives, and findings. A resources area includes links to reports and other projects. There are lots of tables and links.

But the real expansion in the usage of the NMP wiki has come from its flexibility and availability to be used for projects that have a high coordination requirement within a relatively short time frame. Putting together tenders and proposals for research consortia has grown the number of spaces on the server to almost 20 with the number of registered users approaching 200. In more traditional uses aside from projects, PhD candidates have established spaces as semi-private blogs that are narratives of their research journey.

We haven’t yet connected the wiki to an external database for more sophisticated reference book management nor has it been integrated with the LDAP server for authentication. But these will happen soon.

The server is managed (when required) by a QUT IT specialist who uploads and configures the server and any updates. No other technical assistance has been sought to date so augmentation has occurred only when the non-technical manager (myself) could find a solution to a pressing need. So the addition of macros and other plug-ins has been relatively slow as there has not been enough free time to evaluate and test them. We have implemented a couple such as the repository plug (amazing!) and the formating plug-ins. Being able to read excel and word files have made it much easier to post content especially formatted spreadsheets directly in a page.

The wiki as eResearch Infrastructure

The second generation of usage we envisage as using confluence as the foundation or infrastructure for delivering a number of eResearch services that are currently too technically challenging for the non-technical researchers or too specific a requirement for a smallish group to be justified supporting.

QUT’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation is conducting a significant range of research ver the next five years into the nature of creative industries and creative innovation, social networks, the cluster effects and the creation and evolution of participatory media. To conduct meaningful research often requires sophisticated web based systems where the behaviours and responses can be established and observed. But as budgets are tight it is important to be able to share and re-use not just the technical code components but also the processes, and procedures.

One way to achieve this is could be to use confluence as a foundation service and source or develop the other functionality required on top of confluence including new interface metaphors without detracting from its basic wiki appeal.

Research Publications, Reference and Citation Management

University research is changing in many disciplines, including creative industries. Subject matter is getting more and more complex, published material is doubling every X years. Managing your sources, key points, prioritizing and grouping references and citations used to be just hard. But with Multi-discipline teams becoming more the norm; how does a team of researchers communicate, share and efficiently manage their research source material; both original material and that from others, how do they share and preserve a link to the things they think are excellent, insightful or just well phrased and which might be useful, if not this week, next month or even next year. Online services such as CiteULike.com, and del.icio.us, and applications such as Adobe Acrobat’s catalog function, EndNote and DevonThink Professional (for you Mac users) can help don’t really get to the heart of a networked, group based research material resource.

The existing electronic holdings within a department of reports such as journals, articles, case studies, books could have their meta data entered into the register either manually or through pulling in references via DOIs, citation links or ISBNs. The NMP project has a relative large holding of some 1000 or so government reports that are not on standard citation systems and these would have to be entered manually.

Why is this important? To facilitate the searching and browsing of relevant research within a domain and most importantly to aid the researcher community to accrete over time its knowledge and its knowledge of the knowledge.

Researchers within a field would be encouraged to register their own reports into a structure database with a simple forms front end which would include links to the download of electronic copies.

Additional functionality would allow electronic copies of reports that are held on internal repositories to be available online to authorized users . They can access the report and be able to add layers of additional information such document page and paragraph level tags (folksonomy), allow a section or paragraph of the native document such as PDF or word to be marked up for extraction, commented on and automatically resaved onto the server.

Authorized users could then search for the specific tags and harvest the relevant marked-up extracts and their references, perhaps store them in databases and then collate them into a report with citation management. Ideally this usage is then reflected back into the research archive so that you can keep track of what has been quoted.

The closest I have been able to identify is the [NeuroScholar system |^http://sourceforge.net/projects/neuroscholar/] which is obviously optimized to the requirements of neurology research. It would be excellent to be able to adapt the NeuroScholar source code which is available under an LGPL, to the more general research document requirements and to put it onto confluence.

Project and Team Management

Confluence currently supports dynamic task lists, but research always requires more sophisticated project planning, team and task management. At the simplest putting a project proposal together with short deadlines requires online project management, task delegation, collation and reporting. And very often this has to happen in the midst of very full calendar.

The NMP project is looking for an online project management service similar to that currently offered by BaseCampHQ but ontop of Confluence to facilitate the establishment and planning of projects and the tracking of tasks, people and resources.

It is possible that Atlassian could be the best organization to provide this by re-skinning a subset of JIRA Atlassian’s bug and feature management tool that is the sister application to the Confluence wiki.

Network Enhancers: People, Organisations and Projects

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation (CCI) at Queensland University of Technology currently has a number of research projects that require it to either establish forums for the creation and exchange of new and existing digital content or to facilitate the growth of communities of practice such as the networks between small firms and sole practitioners of different creative disciplines who could team up for a short term project.

CCI believes the answer to better understanding (say) the dynamics of Creative Industry clusters may lie in providing a Web 2.0 petri dishes: “networking sandboxes” or a “linkage enhancer” which are combine the functionality of a “growth medium” and also provide a rich source of anonymized or pseudo-anonymized data of the interactions for research analysis. It has proposed the development of a hybrid system built on top of Confluence which is part research infrastructure, part linkage conduit and part team management.

For individuals and companies within a community or discipline members the linkage enhancer would act similarly to LinkedIn.com or ORKUT with ways to discover and maintain links with people with specific talents, products and projects in a specific domain.

Communication within the community would be facilitated through an escalation of online forums such as the traditional functions of a wiki: newsgroups, blogs, newsletters, chat and email.

Linkages between individuals, the companies and projects they have worked with or worked on would be maintained by using more structured data handled by the system (similarly to LinkedIn and Orkut.com) but once a profile has been established, actions provide the data necessary for keeping the profiles up to date.

For firms or individuals wishing to locate a person or company with a specific skill or history of working on a project then this can be discovered through the directories built into the system.

Where the a team is formed either to develop a proposal or to execute a project, the management of the team, the milestones and tasks and the communications within the team would be facilitated by the online system. In this respect the Linkage enhancer would have similar functionality to a lightweight version of Groove.net groupware.

All the time the system is managing the tracking and reporting of the activities and interactions on a number of levels some anonymous, some pseudo-anonymous and some fully identified according to system, research and user preferences.

In this way the system would update profiles with project and participation details that are suitable for publication to the public, to peers and prospects. Research on the network effects and the growth in interaction activity can be conducted from the wealth of data that would be captured.

The deployment of the Linkage enhancer would be via local industry groups and associations hopefully with the support of local and state government. If as envisaged, the system is truly distributed then those groups wishing to provide a customized and special focus enhancer could do so without reducing the effectiveness of the linkages and network building with other disciplines and regions.

Handling, presenting and commenting on Structured Data

The majority of research requires the development and use of specific term most often terms that are part of structured hierarchical category or classification schemes.

Developing an accurate scheme is critical for segment analysis purposes as:

It is very difficult to capture, store or perform statistical analysis on measurements of things that cannot consistently be described. This enables use.

Measurements of things are only useful to other parties if the other parties know what has been measured and how it has been measured in order to permit these measures to correspond to their own approach. This requires comparable units of measurement for the objects that have been described in common. This enables re-use.

A well-structured category scheme enables the patterns and the relationships buried in diverse and large populations and collection to be seen.

Classification Registries/ commentaries To fulfill its objects the National Mapping Project has established databases containing the hierarchical records of existing standard classifications for industry of employment, occupation of employment and qualifications. These are all then mapped to an abstract classification spine to allow a more unified view and their consistent use in analytical programs. It is difficult to communicate these cascades as there are many levels and many dimensions. Outliners such as those supported by the OPML project allows a pagetree like view of a single classification structure. But confluence does not currently support the display of OPML files from its content plugin so we are currently working to develop such a plug in. Even when this is available it will still be difficult for another research to comment on a specific point in a cascade or to suggest an alternative. Visualizing the links between different releases of a classification or between different types of classification is difficult using drawing programs and near to impossible any other way currently. Integrating and optimizing the functionality of something like the Hypergraph plugin which uses the GraphXML with an OPML XML or a direct link to a XML based classification registry service could also be an approach. Conclusions

The experience of the last year in implementing and expanding the use of Confluence has left no doubt to the substantial benefits of a well engineered, enterprise wiki over using a traditional web server approach. Even at its most basic level of implementation and usage, Confluence allows researchers to take direct control of the publishing and communication with their collaborators and community with a minimum of distraction.

The full potential of the wiki approach will begin to be realized when the things that previously required dedicated sophisticated application to achieve can be delivered simply and effectively by adding functionality onto Confluence. Extending the functionality through utilizing common resources, attracting a higher proportion of the interaction from a growing proportion of a research community and facilitating this in a federated seamless manner will generate substantial positive network effects. One mechanism to accelerate the research community’s adoption of Confluence and other advanced wikis would be to establish focused online communities to discuss the usage and possible research specific enhancements. This should also include opt-in listings of those wikis used for research along with case studies of the impact of the wiki on the research.

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COMMENTS

  1. Case study

    A case study is an in-depth, detailed examination of a particular case (or cases) within a real-world context. For example, case studies in medicine may focus on an individual patient or ailment; case studies in business might cover a particular firm's strategy or a broader market; similarly, case studies in politics can range from a narrow happening over time like the operations of a specific ...

  2. What Is a Case Study?

    A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research. A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods, but quantitative methods are sometimes also used.

  3. What is a Case Study?

    Case studies play a significant role in knowledge development across various disciplines. Analysis of cases provides an avenue for researchers to explore phenomena within their context based on the collected data. Analysis of qualitative data from case study research can contribute to knowledge development.

  4. Case Study Methodology of Qualitative Research: Key Attributes and

    A case study is one of the most commonly used methodologies of social research. This article attempts to look into the various dimensions of a case study research strategy, the different epistemological strands which determine the particular case study type and approach adopted in the field, discusses the factors which can enhance the effectiveness of a case study research, and the debate ...

  5. Case study

    Case study is a useful methodology for focusing on relationships connecting everyday practices in natural settings, placing attention on a local situation (Stake, 2006). The case study is useful to investigate an issue in depth and 'provide an explanation that can cope with the complexity and subtlety of real of life situation' (Denscombe ...

  6. Case Study Methods and Examples

    The purpose of case study research is twofold: (1) to provide descriptive information and (2) to suggest theoretical relevance. Rich description enables an in-depth or sharpened understanding of the case. It is unique given one characteristic: case studies draw from more than one data source. Case studies are inherently multimodal or mixed ...

  7. Case Study Method: A Step-by-Step Guide for Business Researchers

    Although case studies have been discussed extensively in the literature, little has been written about the specific steps one may use to conduct case study research effectively (Gagnon, 2010; Hancock & Algozzine, 2016).Baskarada (2014) also emphasized the need to have a succinct guideline that can be practically followed as it is actually tough to execute a case study well in practice.

  8. LibGuides: Research Writing and Analysis: Case Study

    A Case study is: An in-depth research design that primarily uses a qualitative methodology but sometimes includes quantitative methodology. Used to examine an identifiable problem confirmed through research. Used to investigate an individual, group of people, organization, or event. Used to mostly answer "how" and "why" questions.

  9. Case study

    A case study is an in-depth, detailed examination of a particular case within a real-world context. For example, case studies in medicine may focus on an individual patient or ailment; case studies in business might cover a particular firm's strategy or a broader market; similarly, case studies in politics can range from a narrow happening over time like the operations of a specific political ...

  10. What Is a Case, and What Is a Case Study?

    Résumé. Case study is a common methodology in the social sciences (management, psychology, science of education, political science, sociology). A lot of methodological papers have been dedicated to case study but, paradoxically, the question "what is a case?" has been less studied.

  11. Case Study

    Defnition: A case study is a research method that involves an in-depth examination and analysis of a particular phenomenon or case, such as an individual, organization, community, event, or situation. It is a qualitative research approach that aims to provide a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the case being studied.

  12. (PDF) The case study as a type of qualitative research

    Abstract. This article presents the case study as a type of qualitative research. Its aim is to give a detailed description of a case study - its definition, some classifications, and several ...

  13. 3 Ways to Do a Case Study

    5. Plan for a long-term study. Most academic case studies last at least 3-6 months, and many of them continue for years. You may be limited by your research funding or the length of your degree program, but you should allow a few weeks to conduct the study at the very least. 6. Design your research strategy in detail.

  14. Case study

    Case study research in clinical psychology shows some of the limitations of this kind of research. Freud developed his psychodynamic theory of psychoanalysis and his theories of human psychology from his case study research. This, however, shows the limitations of case studies for understanding mental health issues, as many aspects of his ...

  15. Case Study vs. Research: What's the Difference?

    A case study involves a detailed examination of a single subject, such as an organization, event, or individual, to gain in-depth insights. Research, on the other hand, encompasses a broader spectrum of activities aimed at discovering new knowledge or understanding. 9. Case studies are often used to understand the dynamics and complexities of ...

  16. Case Study

    A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organisation, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research. A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods, but quantitative methods are sometimes also used.

  17. 4 Ways to Write a Case Study

    Preparing the Interview. 1. Select participants that you will interview for inclusion in your case study. Experts in a particular field of study or customers that have implemented a tool or service that is the subject of the study will provide the best information. Find knowledgeable people to interview.

  18. Case study

    The case study approach to research can be traced back to sociological fieldwork in the early 19th century.2 Similar methods have been used in medicine. In fact, the fields of medicine and psychology, for example, require physicians and psychologists to examine patients case by case. In addition, case studies are commonly used in business ...

  19. Case Studies

    Expanding the Wanted List There is a long list of completed case studies but CC is open to new fresh ideas. If you feel there is need for a particular Case Study to be represented, you could as well give us your idea and it could be considered and implemented. To find out more on how to contribute vibrant ideas to CC case studies follow this ...

  20. Case Study: Using a Wiki in Research

    Wikipatterns - Table of Contents By Peter Higgs Senior Research Fellow, Creative Digital Industries National Mapping Project Queensland University of Technology Brisbane, Queensland, Australia I started managing a three year research project for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation, a research institute within Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in mid 2004.