The simplest descriptive study is a case, which reports data on only one subject; examples are a study of an outstanding athlete or of a dysfunctional institution. Descriptive studies of a few cases are called case series. In cross-sectional studies variables of interest in a sample of subjects are assayed once and the relationships between them are determined. In prospective or cohort studies, some variables are assayed at the start of a study e.
There are substantial methodological differences between these approaches. Case selection and structure[ edit ] An average, or typical case, is often not the richest in information. In clarifying lines of history and causation it is more useful to select subjects that offer an interesting, unusual or particularly revealing set of circumstances.
A case selection that is based on representativeness will seldom be able to produce these kinds of insights. When selecting a case for a case study, researchers will therefore use information-oriented sampling, as opposed to random sampling.
Three types of cases may thus be distinguished for selection: Key cases Outlier cases Local knowledge cases Whatever the frame of reference for the choice of the subject of the case study key, outlier, local knowledgethere is a distinction to be made between the subject and the object of the case study.
The subject is the "practical, historical unity" through which the theoretical focus of the study is being viewed. Thus, for example, if a researcher were interested in US resistance to communist expansion as a theoretical focus, then the Korean War might be taken to be the subject, the lens, the case study through which the theoretical focus, the object, could be viewed and explicated.
Gary Thomas thus proposes a typology for the case study wherein purposes are first identified evaluative or exploratorythen approaches are delineated theory-testing, theory-building or illustrativethen processes are decided upon, with a principal choice being between whether the study is to be single or multiple, and choices also about whether the study is to be retrospective, snapshot or diachronic, and whether it is nested, parallel or sequential.
The typology thus offers many permutations for case-study structure. These are, to a differentiable degree, similar to the case study in that many contain reviews of the relevant literature of the topic discussed in the thorough examination of an array of cases published to fit the criterion of the report being presented.
These case reports can be thought of as brief case studies with a principal discussion of the new, presented case at hand that presents a novel interest.
In a case where the market of any organisation is in a messy state, the agency will always seek to find out some of the reasons why the scenario is that way.
They will have to gather information that may help them in solving such issues.
For this to be fully achieved, one must be able to carry out a market research to establish where the problem is. This, therefore, calls for the different methods which can be used in a situation where one wants to conduct a marketing research.
The organisations have to choose one of the available techniques so that they can thoroughly conduct their investigations. Some of the primary methods that would be used included interviews, surveys, focus groups, observations and in some cases use field trials.
Advantages of surveys[ edit ] One of the benefits of this method is that the company will be able to get feedback from a significant portion of customers. Most of the customers will be able to answer the questions which will pertain to the brand and therefore a concrete feedback will be achieved.
The other merit is the fact that it is less costly when compared to the others such as interviews. The company will just have to pay for the production of questionnaires used in the survey.
One of the disadvantages is the fact that their design is inflexible.
This is because the study that the company uses from the beginning, as well as its administration, cannot be changed throughout the process of gathering data that is meaningful.
In some cases, the survey questions are usually inappropriate since the company will be forced to come up with items that will be used by the entire body of customers. Under the more generalized category of case study exist several subdivisions, each of which is custom selected for use depending upon the goals of the investigator.
These types of case study include the following: These are primarily descriptive studies. They typically utilize one or two instances of an event to show the existing situation.
Illustrative case studies serve primarily to make the unfamiliar familiar and to give readers a common language about the topic in question. Exploratory or pilot case studies. These are condensed case studies performed before implementing a large scale investigation.
Their basic function is to help identify questions and select types of measurement prior to the main investigation.
The primary pitfall of this type of study is that initial findings may seem convincing enough to be released prematurely as conclusions. These serve to aggregate information from several sites collected at different times.
The idea behind these studies is that the collection of past studies will allow for greater generalization without additional cost or time being expended on new, possibly repetitive studies. Critical instance case studies. These examine one or more sites either for the purpose of examining a situation of unique interest with little to no interest in generalization, or to call into question a highly generalized or universal assertion.
This method is useful for answering cause and effect questions. Case studies in business[ edit ] At Harvard Law School InChristopher Langdell departed from the traditional lecture-and-notes approach to teaching contract law and began using cases pled before courts as the basis for class discussions.
But organizational behavior cannot always be easily reduced to simple tests that prove something to be true or false.CHAPTER 1. A (VERY) BRIEF REFRESHER ON THE CASE STUDY METHOD 5 different research methods, including the case study method, can be determined by the kind of research question that a study is trying to address (e.g., Shavelson.
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Different types of case study research methods. In business research, four common case study approaches are distinguished. First, there is the "no theory first" type of case study design, which is closely connected to Kathleen M.
Eisenhardt's methodological work. The second type of research design is about "gaps and holes", following Robert K. Yin's guidelines and making positivist assumptions. If you are conducting case study research for the first time, Yin is the best source.
As someone who was more experienced in quantitative research methods, this book was a great starting point for me when my dissertation committee decided it would be better for me to conduct a descriptive case study . A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event.
Much of Freud's work and theories were developed through the use of individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include Anna O, Phineas Gage, and Genie. Case-control Study Case-control studies begin with the outcomes and do not follow people over time. Researchers choose people with a particular result (the cases) and interview the groups or check their records to ascertain .