Dissertation case study methodology

Spring uctioncase study research excels at bringing us to tanding of a complex issue or object and can extend experience or add what is already known through previous research. Case studies emphasize tual analysis of a limited number of events or conditions and their chers have used the case study research method for many years across a disciplines. Critics of the case study e that the study of a small number of cases can offer no grounds for ility or generality of findings. Yet researchers continue to use the case study with success in carefully planned and crafted studies of real-life situations,Issues, and problems. This paper explains how to use the case and then applies the method to an example case study project designed e how one set of users, non-profit organizations, make use of an ity network. The study examines the issue of whether or not the ity network is beneficial in some way to non-profit organizations and benefits might be. Yin have written about case study suggested techniques for organizing and conducting the research introduction to case study research draws upon their work and proposes that should be used: determine and define the research the cases and determine data gathering and analysis techniques collect the data collect data in the field evaluate and analyze prepare the report step 1. Determine and define the ons the first step in case study research is to establish a ch focus to which the researcher can refer over the course of study of x phenomenon or object. The research object in a case study is often a program,An entity, a person, or a group of people. Each object is likely to be ted to political, social, historical, and personal issues, providing g possibilities for questions and adding complexity to the case study. Cher investigates the object of the case study in depth using a data gathering methods to produce evidence that leads to understanding of and answers the research questions. Careful definition questions at the start pinpoints where to look for evidence and helps methods of analysis to be used in the study. The literature review, the purpose of the case study, and early determination of the potential the final report guide how the study will be designed, conducted, and ed.

Select the cases and determine data gathering and ques during the design phase of case study research, the ines what approaches to use in selecting single or multiple real-life examine in depth and which instruments and data gathering approaches to using multiple cases, each case is treated as a single case. Each sions can then be used as information contributing to the whole study, case remains a single case. Exemplary case studies carefully select carefully examine the choices available from among many research tools order to increase the validity of the study. The determine whether to study cases which are unique in some way or cases considered typical and may also select cases to represent a variety of s, a variety of size parameters, or other parameters. A useful step in ion process is to repeatedly refer back to the purpose of the study in focus attention on where to look for cases and evidence that will satisfy e of the study and answer the research questions posed. Selecting single cases is a key element, but a case study can include more than one embedded analysis. For example, a case study may involve study of a ry and a firm participating in that industry. This type of case study levels of analysis and increases the complexity and amount of data to be analyzed. A key strength of the case study method involves using s and techniques in the data gathering process. Throughout the design phase, ensure that the study is well constructed to ensure construct validity, ty, external validity, and reliability. Ty (especially important with explanatory or causal studies) certain conditions lead to other conditions and requires the use of of evidence from multiple sources to uncover convergent lines of researcher strives to establish a chain of evidence forward and al validity reflects whether or not findings are generalizable beyond ate case or cases; the more variations in places, people, and procedures. Exemplary case ensures that the procedures used are well documented and can be the same results over and over again. Prepare to collect because case study research generates a large amount of data le sources, systematic organization of the data is important to researcher from becoming overwhelmed by the amount of data and to researcher from losing sight of the original research purpose and e preparation assists in handling large amounts of data in a systematic fashion.

Exemplary case e good training programs for investigators, establish clear protocols ures in advance of investigator field work, and conduct a pilot study e of moving into the field in order to remove obvious barriers and investigator training program covers the basic concepts of the study, terminology,Processes, and methods, and teaches investigators how to properly apply the used in the study. The program also trains investigators to understand gathering of data using multiple techniques strengthens the study by unities for triangulation during the analysis phase of the study. The protocols for case study research, including time deadlines, formats ive reporting and field notes, guidelines for collection of documents, ines for field procedures to be used. Investigators need to be flexible in real-life situations and threatened by unexpected change, missed appointments, or lack of office igators need to understand the purpose of the study and grasp the must be open to contrary findings. Investigators must also be aware that going into the world of real human beings who may be threatened or what the case study will bring. Researchers carefully object of the case study and identify causal factors associated with the enon. Renegotiation of arrangements with the objects of the study or questions to interviews may be necessary as the study progresses. Case ch is flexible, but when changes are made, they are documented ary case studies use field notes and databases to categorize and so that it is readily available for subsequent reinterpretation. The researcher may enter into a database and physically store other data, but the researcher documents,Classifies, and cross-references all evidence so that it can be efficiently sorting and examination over the course of the study. The case , with its use of multiple data collection methods and analysis techniques,Provides researchers with opportunities to triangulate data in order to research findings and conclusions. Exemplary case studies will deliberately sort the many different ways to expose or create new insights and will for conflicting data to disconfirm the analysis. Researchers categorize,Tabulate, and recombine data to address the initial propositions or purpose study, and conduct cross-checks of facts and discrepancies in accounts. Tions, on the other hand, cause the researchers to pry more r technique, the cross-case search for patterns, keeps investigators ng premature conclusions by requiring that investigators look at the many different ways.

Complex issue into one that can be understood, allowing the reader to examine the study and reach an understanding independent of the goal of the written report is to portray a complex problem in a way that conveys. Case studies present data in very ible ways and may lead the reader to apply the experience in his or real-life situation. Researchers pay particular attention to displaying ce to gain the readers confidence that all avenues have been explored,Clearly communicating the boundaries of the case, and giving special conflicting propositions. Techniques for composing the report can ng each case as a separate chapter or treating the case as a ting. Some case study researchers suggest that the audience include a journalist and some suggest that the documents reviewed by the participants in the study. Applying the case study an electronic community networkby way of example, we apply these six an example study of multiple participants in an electronic community participants are non-profit organizations which have chosen an ity network on the world wide web as a method of delivering the public. The case study method is applicable to this set of users can be used to examine the issue of whether or not the electronic k is beneficial in some way to the organization and what those be. Determine and define the research questions l, electronic community networks have three distinct types of users, a good candidate for case study research. In this case, the researcher is primarily interested in r or not the electronic community network is beneficial in some way to zation participants. The researcher begins with a review of the determine what prior studies have determined about this issue and uses ture to define the following questions for the study of the non-profit ing information to the electronic community network: why do zation participants use the network? At the the design phase, the researcher determines that only one of these be studied and further sets the study boundaries to include only some non-profit organizations represented on that one network. The researcher board of directors of the community network, who are open to the idea of study. The researcher also gathers computer generated log data from the , using this data, determines that an in-depth study of representative four categories -- health care, environmental, education, and religious --.

The investigator applies additional selection criteria so that -based and a rural-based non-profit are represented in the study in examine whether urban non-profits perceive more benefits from community rural organizations. The researcher considers multiple sources of this study and selects document examination, the gathering and study of nts such as administrative reports, agendas, letters, minutes, and ngs for each of the organizations. In this case, the investigator also conduct open-ended interviews with key members of each organization using. In this case study, the researcher cannot employ ation as a tool because some of the organizations involved have no meet infrequently to conduct business directly related to the electronic k. Prepare to collect the data the researcher prepares to collect first contacting each organization to be studied to gain their cooperation,Explain the purpose of the study, and assemble key contact information. The researcher develops a formal investigator training program to r topics on non-profit organizations and their structures in each of categories selected for this study. The training program also includes ns in conducting open-ended interviews and documenting sources, notes formats, and a detailed explanation of the purpose of the case researcher selects a fifth case as a pilot case, and the investigators data gathering tools to the pilot case to determine whether the planned feasible and whether or not the interview and survey questions are effective. Based on the results of the pilot, the researcher makes assigns investigators particular cases which become their area of the evaluation and analysis of the data. The interviews, although open-ended, are structured around the ons defined at the start of the case study. Once the surveys ed, the researcher codes and enters the data into the database so that be used independently as well as integrated when the case study the point of cross-case examination of data for all four cases. Evaluate and analyze the data within-case analysis is the first que used with each non-profit organization under study. Separate case to identify unique patterns within the data for that single dual investigators prepare detailed case study write-ups for each organization,Categorizing interview questions and answers and examining the data for rities and differences. In those cases, the investigator conducts follow-up iews to confirm or correct the initial data in order to tie the the findings and to state relationships in answer to the research 6 prepare the report the outline of the report includes of the participants, stating the problem, listing the research questions,Describing the methods used to conduct the research and any potential flaws method used, explaining the data gathering and analysis techniques used, ding with the answers to the questions and suggestions for further features of the report include a retelling of specific stories related successes or disappointments experienced by the organizations that were data collection, and answers or comments illuminating issues directly the research questions.

In library and information science, research has been used to study reasons why library school programs close. Researchers could case study method to further study the role of the librarian in ic models of service. For example, case study research could examine ation-seeking behavior in public libraries compares with or in places other than libraries, to conduct in-depth studies of ity based information services to compare with library based community es, and to study community networks based in libraries. S are complex because they generally involve multiple sources of data, e multiple cases within a study, and produce large amounts of data for chers from many disciplines use the case study method to build upon theory,To produce new theory, to dispute or challenge theory, to explain a situation,To provide a basis to apply solutions to situations, to explore, or to object or phenomenon. The advantages of the case study method are its real-life, contemporary, human situations and its public accessibility n reports. Case study results relate directly to the common readers ence and facilitate an understanding of complex real-life graphy busha, c. Powerful actors in public land use decision making processes:A case study in austin, texas. Towards a the singular: essays about case study in educational research and h, uk: university of east anglia, centre for applied research in , r. The case study as a research ished paper, university of texas at case study as a research methoduses and users of information. The case study as a research ished paper, university of texas at outfaqmy ation of a case study n m. The reader will become familiar with the specific techniques that are used in the current study, and supported by the literature that was reviewed in the previous article. That methodology will follow the recommendation of yin (1994) and has four stages: design the case study, conduct the case study, analyze the case study evidence, and develop the conclusions, recommendations and implications. Qualitative report,Since february 02, tative, qualitative, comparative, and historical methodologies commons,Social statistics view the content in your browser, please download adobe reader or, alternately,You may download the file to your hard : the latest versions of adobe reader do not support viewing pdf files within firefox on mac os and if you are using a modern (intel) mac, there is no official plugin for viewing pdf files within the browser qualitative report weekly e email notices or ative analysis: quantifying quality and qualifying context to search:Across all submission submissions on submissions in google ibility to undergraduate dissertations in the social is a dissertation?

Questions further sibility in the research ision of the g the ping your academic style of way you approach your question will have a profound effect upon the way you construct your dissertation, so this section discusses the types of research you might undertake for your dissertation. The use of literature and case studies is considered and the merits of primary research are debated and advice is given on the use of existing research data. Approach' means something more than the type of data you use – it refers to your overall orientation to research and the type of claims you will make for your study. Dissertations can be based on either quantitative or qualitative data, or on a combination of both. Quantitative dissertations are likely to be nearer to the lower end of the range of approved lengths for the dissertation (e. If the length is to be 5,000-8,000 words, dissertations based on quantitative analysis are likely to be closer to 5,000 words in length). Qualitative dissertations will include descriptive material, usually extracts from interviews, conversations, documents or field notes, and are therefore likely to be nearer to the upper limit of your word range (e. The types of method suitable for a dissertation could include content analysis, a small scale ethnographic study, small scale in-depth qualitative r you choose qualitative or quantitative analysis will depend on several things:Your preferred philosophical approach (realist, phenomenologist or constructionist). In your discussion of findings you can use the qualitative data to help you understand the patterns in the quantitative may be interested in doing an evaluative case study of a process or policy. You will analyse each type of data and describe this, and then write a discussion that shows how each piece of analysis contributes to the overall picture of what is going supervisor or research methods tutor may be able to give you detailed examples of these or other ways to combine my dissertation be entirely literature-based? If you decide to do a primarily theoretical dissertation, it is almost certain that your dissertation will be entirely literature-based. This is likely to be the methodology of theoretical analysis: selection and discussion of theoretical material and descriptive material, in context, and detailed comparison of theories in terms of their applicability. How the study is approached and how contrasting approaches are drawn upon needs to be stated very clearly.

Library-based or theoretical study is not necessarily 'easier' than an empirical study, indeed, it may well be harder. Remember that theoretical studies, like data-based studies, need to have their research design spelled out from the even if your dissertation is more empirically focused, it could still be entirely literature-based. While all dissertations will include a literature review, it is possible to produce a dissertation that is entirely based on a review of the literature. You might, for example, explore empirical debates in your chosen field across different countries or time is case study research? It is possible for dissertations to be entirely literature-based, the most common form of dissertation takes the form of a case study. The attraction of this kind of dissertation is that it stems from empirical curiosity but is at the same time practical. You may be interested in a wider question but a case study enables you to focus on a specific example. A major challenge in case study dissertations is connecting your own primary research or re-analysis with the broader theoretical themes and empirical concerns of the existing 's an empirical study? The reason for this is that the questions dissertations usually address take the following form: is x happening? These questions demand primary or secondary analysis of study 9 think hard before you decide to undertake empirical research: a student's is secondary analysis? The problem with using fieldwork methods in an undergraduate dissertation, however, is that they are costly in terms of time (which is relatively scarce in your final year! Here you would not be collecting your own data but instead would be analysing existing ad case study 6 media you are interested, for example, in doing historical research, you may need to visit archives. Research methods tutors on your course will be able to advise on the availability and accessibility of such data are some advantages of doing secondary analysis, particularly if you are doing a quantitative study.

Below are some data collection methods that you might want to use for your dissertation:A way of asking questions which allows the interviewee to have more control of the interview. The moderator tries to provide a relatively free rein to the ipant involves studying people in naturally occurring settings. You need to show in the final dissertation how you have given consideration to different methods, and why you have chosen and eliminated t voice: findings from our our study, supervisors saw part of their role as someone who draws out students’ reasons for choosing a particular research approach. Often in early supervision meetings they ask students to justify their reasons for choosing a library-based or an empirical study. Chose primary data because it would enable me to build skills that would be useful for postgraduate study. My dissertation is to be based around the experience of 'poverty', as poverty is the experience. Students need the approval of their dissertation supervisor before embarking on any type of fieldwork (see the section on research ethics for more information). Proposed outcome of this research (in your case, a dissertation) and the form it will take. An empirical study could involve close analysis of statistics or some form of qualitative research. However, a theoretical study brings its own challenges, and you may be called upon to compare theories in terms of their you have decided upon your approach, you can write out a research design, i. Apart from matching your research to your general sense of objective/subjective reality, it is important to ensure that you match your methodology to the problem you are kind of data do you need to answer your question/test your hypothesis? The ability to manage your time will be directly related to your ability to control the boundaries of the study – especially if it is closely linked to your that you have got so far, try to write up your research proposal as far as you can. A survey which includes interviews or a case study that looks at a situation from numerous factors may limit the scope of your research?

Method(s) best suit the questions and time you have available to do this study?