How to do a Case Study
There are common steps that most approaches recommend be followed in tackling a case study.
Beforehand (usually a week before), you will get:
1. the case study,
2. (often) some guiding questions that will need to be answered, and
3. (sometimes) some reading assignments that have some relevance to the case subject.
Your work in completing the case can be divided up into three components:
1. what you do to prepare before the class discussion,
2. what takes place in the class discussion of the case, and
3. anything required after the class discussion has taken place.
For maximum effectiveness, it is essential that you do all three ...view middle of the document...
" To targeting and formulating questions, researchers conduct a literature review.
Step 2. Select the Cases and Determine Data Gathering and Analysis Techniques
The researcher determines what approaches to use in selecting single or multiple real-life cases to examine in depth and which instruments and data gathering approaches to use. When using multiple cases, each case is treated as a single case. Each case conclusions can be used as information contributing to the whole study, but each case remains a single case. Data gathered is normally largely qualitative, but it may also be quantitative. Tools to collect data can include surveys, interviews, documentation review, observation, and even the collection of physical artifacts. Researchers must ensure that the study is well constructed to ensure construct validity, internal validity, external validity, and reliability.
Step 3. Prepare to Collect the Data
Researchers prepare databases to assist with categorizing, sorting, storing, and retrieving data for analysis in handling large amount of data. Researchers need to anticipate key problems and events, identify key people, prepare letters of introduction, establish rules for confidentiality, and actively seek opportunities to revisit and revise the research design in order to address and add to the original set of research questions.
Step 4. Collect Data in the Field
The researcher must collect and store multiple sources of evidence comprehensively and systematically, in formats that can be referenced and sorted so that converging lines of inquiry and patterns can be uncovered. Researchers carefully observe the object of the case study and identify causal factors associated with the observed phenomenon. Case study research is flexible, but when changes are made, they are documented systematically.
Step 5. Evaluate and Analyze the Data
The researcher examines raw data using many interpretations in order to find linkages between the research object and the outcomes with reference to the original research questions. Throughout the evaluation and analysis process, the researcher remains open to new opportunities and insights. The case study method, with its use of multiple data collection methods and analysis techniques, provides researchers with opportunities to triangulate data in order to strengthen the research findings and conclusions. In all cases, the researcher treats the evidence fairly to produce analytic conclusions answering the original "how" and "why" research questions.
Step 6. Prepare the report
The goal of the written report is to portray a complex problem in a way that conveys a vicarious experience to the reader. Case studies present data in very publicly accessible ways and may lead the reader to apply the experience in his or her own real-life situation. Researchers pay particular attention to displaying sufficient evidence to gain the readers confidence that all avenues have been explored, clearly communicating the...