Research Case Study

He states, “In general, case studies are the preferred strategy when ‘how’ or ‘why’ questions are being posed, when the investigator has little control over events, and when the focus is on a contemporary phenomenon within some real-life context.” (Yin 1994 p.1) One of the biggest disadvantages to using the case study method has to do with external vs. Using the case study method, the researcher often does not have control over certain variables and events and, therefore, cannot control them as the researcher could in a lab experiment Consequently, the researcher using the case study method must be content that his/her findings may only be applicable to similar cases.

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The main objective of this work is to present the case study method as a research approach and to consider issues relevant for the conduct using this method, analyzing its advantages and disadvantages that should be considered in light of the kinds of problems and questions to be answered.

Case study can accomplish many of the same goals as other methods.

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For example, the case study can be exploratory (create new knowledge), constructive (solve some problem), or confirmatory (test a hypothesis with empirical evidence).

The case study can also use either a primary (the researcher collects the data) or secondary (the researcher uses someone else’s data) approach.

Despite its advantages, the case study method is traditionally considered to have several major limitations as an evaluation tool.

Descriptive case studies are qualitative and unreliable.

The method often is presented as being more appropriate for exploratory research and particularly useful for hypothesis generation and this may have contributed to complicate the understanding of what the study method cases, how it is designed and conducted.

(Yin, 1994) According to different authors, the case study has originated in medical research and psychological research, with analysis in detail of an individual case that explains the dynamics and pathology of a given disease.

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