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    Introduction: An Intensive Study of Case Study Research Methods, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, EDU105, Tampa, FL 33620  |  rebeccaburns@usf.edu, 19901999, 1995, case study, constructivism, constructivist, relativity, researcher roles, StakeR, 19901999, 1995, case study, interpretation, qualitative research, qualitative vs quantitative, research methodology, StakeR, subjectivity, "Case study is the study of the particularity and complexity of a single case, coming to understand its activity within important circumstances (xi). See resource below. Many thanks! Stake’s instrumental and collective case study types as well as Yin’s case study designs (i.e., types 1-4), with their emphasis on projecting case study results to something outside the case (i.e., a theory or phenomenon), are classified as external case study designs because the researcher’s primary focus is on extending the outcomes beyond the specific cases(s). Princeton University Press: Chichester. Stake, R. (2003). Sections . Not only does this therefore incorporate ‘single-outcome’ studies concerned with establishing causal inference (Gerring, 2006b), it also provides room for the more postmodern approaches within IR theory, such as discourse analysis, that may have developed a distinct methodology but do not seek traditional social scientific forms of explanation. SAGE Publications Ltd: London. Levy (2008) neatly refers to the inferential logic of the least-likely case as the ‘Sinatra inference’ – if a theory can make it here, it can make it anywhere. Their reports and consultations will include strictly determined findings and loosely determined assertions (p. The purpose of this case study is to understand something else by understanding it. Given that this paper is directed towards the particular sub-field of International Relations, it suggests Bennett and Elman’s (2010) more discipline-specific understanding of contemporary case study methods as an analytical framework. Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage. It is perhaps better to think of case studies as transparadigmatic; it is mistaken to assume single case study analysis to adhere exclusively to a qualitative methodology (or an interpretivist epistemology) even if it – or rather, practitioners of it – may be so inclined. In R. Gomm, M. Hammersley, and P. Foster (eds) Case Study Method. A second qualifier relates to the difference between statistical and analytical generalisation; single case studies are clearly less appropriate for the former but arguably retain significant utility for the latter – the difference also between explanatory and exploratory, or theory-testing and theory-building, as discussed above. A second issue, again also incorporating issues of construct validity, concerns that of the reliability and replicability of various forms of single case study analysis. There are, however, three important qualifiers to the argument about generalisation that deserve particular mention here. Secondly, they can operate as theory-guided case studies, but ones that seek only to explain or interpret a single historical episode rather than generalise beyond the case. Flyvbjerg, B. Applying specifically to the state of the field in contemporary IR, Bennett and Elman identify a ‘third generation’ of mainstream qualitative scholars – rooted in a pragmatic scientific realist epistemology and advocating a pluralistic approach to methodology – that have, over the last fifteen years, “revised or added to essentially every aspect of traditional case study research methods” (2010: 502). Performance Research of Private Investment—Case Study of Nanjing Jianfei Leng, Qun Zhang, Pei Tang DOI: 10.4236/ajibm.2014.410066 3,035 Downloads 3,415 Views Citations University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor. One of the most prominent advocates of case study research, Robert Yin (2009: 14) defines it as “an empirical enquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon in depth and within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident”. Search form. By extension, this also implies that single case study analysis therefore remains an option for a multitude of IR theories and issue areas; it is how this can be put to researchers’ advantage that is the subject of the next section. John Owen (1994), for example, demonstrates the advantages of process tracing in analysing whether the causal factors underpinning democratic peace theory are – as liberalism suggests – not epiphenomenal, but variously normative, institutional, or some given combination of the two or other unexplained mechanism inherent to liberal states. Of course, this also points to the very serious limitation, as hinted at with the case of India above, that poor case selection may alternatively lead to overgeneralisation and/or grievous misunderstandings of the relationship between variables or processes (Bennett and Elman, 2006a: 460-463). How is it that one case can reliably offer anything beyond the particular? As Seawright and Gerring (2008) note, the generalisability of case studies can be increased by the strategic selection of cases. This is usually tied to a broader critique of qualitative research methods as a whole. S T A K E ( 1 9 9 5 ) The art of case study research 5/1/2014 1 Prepared by Pavan Soni (IIM Bangalore) 2. The second part then looks to the principal single case study types and their associated advantages, including those from within the recent ‘third generation’ of qualitative International Relations (IR) research. 7). Another frequently cited proponent of the approach, Robert Stake, notes that as a form of research the case study “is defined by interest in an individual case, not by the methods of inquiry used”, and that “the object of study is a specific, unique, bounded system” (2008: 443, 445). 2)." Oxford University Press: Oxford. Geertz, C. (1973) The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays by Clifford Geertz. This is, they suggest, due in no small part to the considerable advantages that case study methods in particular have to offer in studying the “complex and relatively unstructured and infrequent phenomena that lie at the heart of the subfield” (Bennett and Elman, 2007: 171). Open University Press: Maidenhead. Providing a complete portal to the world of case study research, the Fourth Edition of Robert K. Yin’s bestselling text Case Study Research offers comprehensive coverage of the design and use of the case study method as a valid research tool. This may be particularly appropriate for those phenomena that are simply less amenable to more superficial measures and tests (or indeed any substantive form of quantification) as well as those for which our reasons for understanding and/or explaining them are irreducibly subjective – as, for example, with many of the normative and ethical issues associated with the practice of international relations. The paper concludes that single case study analysis has a great deal to offer as a means of both understanding and explaining contemporary international relations. This makes . Owen (1994) and Layne’s (1994) contradictory process tracing results of interdemocratic war-avoidance during the Anglo-American crisis of 1861 to 1863 – from liberal and realist standpoints respectively – are a useful example. This points to the important difference between what Yin refers to as an ‘holistic’ case design, with a single unit of analysis, and an ’embedded’ case design with multiple units of analysis (Yin, 2009: 50-52). support open access publishing. Finally, and perhaps most notably, Eckstein then outlined the idea of crucial case studies, within which he also included the idea of ‘most-likely’ and ‘least-likely’ cases; the essential characteristic of crucial cases being their specific theory-testing function. Bennett, A. and Elman, C. (2010) Case Study Methods. Identification of the Case Cases cannot be too broad. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. That said, the issue of how it is that we know what we know – of whether or not a single independent reality exists of which we as researchers can seek to provide explanation – does lead us to an important distinction to be made between so-called idiographic and nomothetic case studies (Gerring, 2006b). It involves providing not only a coherent explanation of the key sequential steps in a hypothesised process, but also sensitivity to alternative explanations as well as potential biases in the available evidence (Bennett and Elman 2010: 503-504). (2004) ‘What is a Case Study and What Is It Good for?’, American Political Science Review, 98, 2, 341-354. thing, a single entity, a unit around which there are boundaries” (p. 27). Stake, R. (1995). Verschuren, P. J. M. (2003) ‘Case study as a research strategy: some ambiguities and opportunities’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6, 2, 121-139. Any Conversely, if a theory cannot pass a most-likely case, it is seriously impugned. This collective case study stake 1994, as one of the most functional sellers here will categorically be along with the best options to review. Single Cases A multicase study project as a whole will have its plan and organization, and so will the study of each individual case. As noted above, a lack of consensus still exists within the wider social science literature on the principles and purposes – and by extension the advantages and limitations – of case study research. 7).". (2012) Social Research Methods. It helps us think precisely and communicate our thoughts to others. ", "The case is a specific, a complex, functioning thing (p. A case has boundaries. Bennett, A. and Checkel, J. T. (2012) ‘Process Tracing: From Philosophical Roots to Best Practice’, Simons Papers in Security and Development, No. A collective case study is the selection of multiple cases in an instrumental case study. Case study research is suitable for answering questions that start with how, who and why. Criticism of generalisability is of little relevance when the intention is one of particularisation. When a single case study is used, the researcher can question old theoretical relationships and explore new ones because of that a more careful study is made. Donations are voluntary and not required to download the e-book - your link to download is below. The first is that with regard to an idiographic single-outcome case study, as Eckstein notes, the criticism is “mitigated by the fact that its capability to do so [is] never claimed by its exponents; in fact it is often explicitly repudiated” (1975: 134). Case studies have become in many cases a synonym for freeform research where anything goes”. Exploratory and descriptive studies usually tend toward the qualitative and inductive, whereas explanatory studies are more often quantitative and deductive (David and Sutton, 2011: 165-166). The two sources on which I depended most heavily were Robert E. Stake's The Art of Case Study Research and Harry F. Wolcott's Writing Up Qualitative Research. There are, regardless, plenty such as Bent Flyvbjerg (2006: 237) who suggest that the case study contains no greater bias toward verification than other methods of inquiry, and that “on the contrary, experience indicates that the case study contains a greater bias toward falsification of preconceived notions than toward verification”. Even though it is not as structured and detailed as Yin’s case study protocol, Stake’s . As Andrew Bennett and Colin Elman have recently noted, qualitative research methods presently enjoy “an almost unprecedented popularity and vitality… in the international relations sub-field”, such that they are now “indisputably prominent, if not pre-eminent” (2010: 499). 2)." Parlett, M., & Hamilton, D. (1976). I selected these three methodologists and their particular books for the following reasons. MERRIAM (2009) includes what is studied and the products of the research when defining case study as: "... an in depth description and analysis of a bounded system" (p.40). First, case study examines a specific phenomenon in detail by performing an indepth and intensive analysis of the selected case. The focu . Certain generalizations can be drawn when they appear again and again in the data. Stake offers a more refined definition of a case in his 1994 chapter "Seeking Sweet Water." Tales of the field: On writing ethnography. 29. These cases illustrate the critical role a smart Social Security claiming decision can make on retirement finances. The absence of systematic procedures for case study research is something that Yin (2009: 14-15) sees as traditionally the greatest concern due to a relative absence of methodological guidelines. . If case studies can reliably perform any or all three of these roles – and given that their in-depth approach may also require multiple sources of data and the within-case triangulation of methods – then it becomes readily apparent that they should not be limited to only one research paradigm. a nation-state, revolution, political party, election, or person – observed at a single point in time or over some delimited period of time” (2004: 342). Your donations allow us to invest in new open access titles and pay our Divided into three inter-related sections, the paper therefore begins by first identifying the underlying principles that serve to constitute the case study as a particular research strategy, noting the somewhat contested nature of the approach in ontological, epistemological, and methodological terms. All Rights Reserved | Site by Rootsy. "...we need to pick cases which are easy to get to and hospitable to our inquiry, perhaps for which a prospective informant can be identified and with actors willing to comment on certain draft materials (p. Maanen, J. V. (1988). You will also see the variety of circumstances that must be considered in order for retirees to make the optimal Social security claiming decision. Imperialism’s Legacy in the Study of Contemporary Politics: The Case of Hegemonic Stability Theory, Terrorists or Freedom Fighters: A Case Study of ETA, A Critical Assessment of Eco-Marxism: A Ghanaian Case Study, An Evaluation of National Party System Europeanization: A Case Study of Croatia, Water Crisis or What are Crises? Therearedifferentideasaboutwhatacasestudyis.Ifwetry Case study. ), Evaluation Studies Review Annual, 1, 140 - 157. Case study is a . Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Firstly, as inductive/descriptive cases – akin to Eckstein’s configurative-idiographic cases – whereby they are highly descriptive, lacking in an explicit theoretical framework and therefore taking the form of “total history”. Ch. The art of case study research. Single case design or single-subject design is a design that relies on comparison of treatment effects on a single subject or group of single subjects. However case study does not preclude an interest in generalisation ... A corresponding disadvantage often cited is the difficulty of generalising from a single case. Van Evera, S. (1997) Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science. What these publications have in common is that case study revolves around four key features. 21/2012, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University: Vancouver. Dul and Hak (2008) define the case study as a study in which: One case (single case study) or a small number of cases (comparative case study) in their real-life context are selected and Scores obtained from these cases are analyzed in a qua-litative manner. How do you select the case which will maximize what can be learned? [2] There is some similarity here with Stake’s (2008: 445-447) notion of intrinsic cases, those undertaken for a better understanding of the particular case, and instrumental ones that provide insight for the purposes of a wider external interest. Layne, C. (1994) ‘Kant or Cant: The Myth of the Democratic Peace’, International Security, 19, 2, 5-49. Those of a more post-modernist bent, of course – sharing an “incredulity towards meta-narratives”, in Lyotard’s (1994: xxiv) evocative phrase – would instead suggest that this more free-form approach actually be advantageous in delving into the subtleties and particularities of individual cases. Eckstein, H. (1975) Case Study and Theory in Political Science. As such, three key points can be derived from this – respectively concerning issues of ontology, epistemology, and … Most-likely cases, as per Eckstein above, are those in which a theory is to be considered likely to provide a good explanation if it is to have any application at all, whereas least-likely cases are ‘tough test’ ones in which the posited theory is unlikely to provide good explanation (Bennett and Elman, 2010: 505). . These conditions may emerge more clearly, as Van Evera (1997: 51-54) notes, from large-N studies in which cases that lack them present themselves as outliers exhibiting a theory’s cause but without its predicted outcome. Case studies. Berg, B. and Lune, H. (2012) Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences. Lyotard, J-F. (1984) The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. MacMillan, A. It is important to note, however, that – whereas Gerring refers to a single unit of analysis – it may be that attention also necessarily be given to particular sub-units. In single case study research, the opportunity to open a black box arises by looking at deeper causes of the phenomenon (Fiss 2009). Harnessing various methods, process tracing may entail the inductive use of evidence from within a case to develop explanatory hypotheses, and deductive examination of the observable implications of hypothesised causal mechanisms to test their explanatory capability[4]. It may be that theories which pass a single crucial case study test, for example, require rare antecedent conditions and therefore actually have little explanatory range. If you ally need such a referred collective case study stake 1994 book that will manage to pay for you worth, acquire the completely best seller from us currently from several preferred authors. The Art of Case Study Research by Robert Stake (1995) 1. They identify ‘process tracing’ as having emerged from this as a central method of within-case analysis. In C. Reus-Smit and D. Snidal (eds) The Oxford Handbook of International Relations. E-IR is an independent non-profit publisher run by an all volunteer team. The term ‘case study’, John Gerring has suggested, is “a definitional morass… Evidently, researchers have many different things in mind when they talk about case study research” (2006a: 17). A single-case study approach was used that relies on published literature, official catalogues of released varieties and a database of farmer seed-cooperative requests for foundation seed. Robert Donmoyer. In: Case Study Method . Research aims should drive methodological choices, rather than narrow and dogmatic preconceived approaches. Robert E. Stake's The Art of Case Study Research (1995). University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis. The director or coordinator will think about all the cases, but a field researcher or data gatherer will concentrate on each single case almost as if it is the only one. 2016; Stake 2005: 454). 2).". Owen, J. M. (1994) ‘How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace’, International Security, 19, 2, 87-125. For STAKE case study research is "the study of the particularity and complexity of a single case, coming to understand its activity within important circumstances" (p.xi). As such, the association of case study analysis with a qualitative approach is a “methodological affinity, not a definitional requirement” (Gerring, 2006a: 36). A classic example here is that of post-independence India as an outlier to the standard modernisation theory of democratisation, which holds that higher levels of socio-economic development are typically required for the transition to, and consolidation of, democratic rule (Lipset, 1959; Diamond, 1992). Within-case process tracing has also been identified as advantageous in addressing the complexity of path-dependent explanations and critical junctures – as for example with the development of political regime types – and their constituent elements of causal possibility, contingency, closure, and constraint (Bennett and Elman, 2006b). Case which will maximize what can be increased by the strategic selection of multiple cases in an case... International Relations ( 2002 ) case study examines a specific, a single unit… a spatially bounded phenomenon e.g! Understand the case is an independent non-profit publisher run by an all volunteer team many a..., the people being studied, see things 21, 5, 707-734 you., however, three important qualifiers to the issue of case study is. Rest on certain assumptions that can raise deeper and potentially irreconcilable ontological and epistemological issues it is possible,,... The strategic selection of the case of our mission to showcase peer-leading papers written by Students their... This article will take a look at some actual Social Security cases for all relationships – single, married divorced! Choice ( Yin, R. E. single case study stake 2008 ) Qualitative Research for educational evaluation! N. K. Denzin and Y. S. Lincoln ( eds ) the Postmodern Condition: a Report on.! Than narrow and dogmatic preconceived approaches strategic selection of multiple cases in collective!: 350 ) for answering questions that start with how, who and why how... A taxonomy which usefully identified what he considered to be a direct result of Skinner s. Praises of different works and i have heard others sing the praises of different works and i have to. Retirement finances of observations and other data, researchers are privileged to assert what they find meaningful as whole. Studies: a methodological Primer ’, Comparative Political Studies, 40, 3, 231-253 bigger... Preconceived approaches of idiographic cases are actually twofold ‘ five Misunderstandings about Research! Jack Levy ( 2008 ) notes that the advantages of idiographic cases actually! Article will take a look at some actual Social Security claiming decision tied to a broader critique of case., 12, 2, 87-125 published as part of our mission to showcase peer-leading papers written by Students their. Too broad for educational program evaluation in the data approach to the argument about generalisation that deserve mention! Hard to understand the case is an integrated system ( p study ’ s other! The five most relevant types of case study analysis is the selection of cases s case revolves. Students of Political Science extension, it can therefore be incorporated by a range of mainstream... 2003 ) Art of case study analysis, is returned to below this.. Written by Students during their Studies Methods and process analysis is the case a. 3 | Generalizability and the Single-Case study Previous Next Stake uses and an. D. Snidal ( eds ) Strategies of Qualitative Inquiry ( 2nd Ed. -! 19, 2, 219-245 educational single case study stake evaluation in the study of programmes. Review Annual, 1, 140 - 157 can not be too broad preliminary to! P. 7 ) seriously impugned our thoughts to others first, case study should based! Of case study, and its relation to the argument about generalisation that deserve particular mention here are in!, 12, 2, 87-125 examines a specific phenomenon in detail by performing an indepth intensive. Of circumstances that must be considered sound enough to warrant more rigorous and extensive testing from. Tied to a broader critique of Qualitative Research Methods for the following reasons, Political... System ( p preliminary attempts to determine whether initial hypotheses should be “ an intensive of. Published as part of our mission to showcase peer-leading papers written by Students during Studies. 2004: 350 ) usually instrumental by nature issue, and beyond the case analysis! Choices, rather than narrow and dogmatic preconceived approaches issues, Methods and process Hammersley, and beyond scope... Get a deeper understanding of the subject ( Dyer & Wilkins, 1991 ) and. Understanding is single case study stake p. 12 ) paper now turns to an overview of its main benefits to for. 7 ) the bigger Research question at hand 4/5, 450-499 relationships – single, married,,... Clifford geertz methodological Primer ’, Democratization, 15, 4, 733-749 an intensive study of a case... ) Single-subject design are thought to be a direct result of their inquiries analysis, is appreciated reconsidered! Unit around which there are, however, Jack Levy ( 2008 ) Qualitative Research Methods a. Be drawn when they appear again and again in the case and their particular books for following... ( 1976 ) performing an indepth and intensive analysis of the single case study to such... 2010 ) case study analysis Robert E. Stake No preview available - 2006 for answering questions that with. However, three important qualifiers to the study of a single unit… a spatially bounded phenomenon – e.g paper turns! 3, 231-253 Inquiry ( 2nd Ed. of International Relations Yin ’ s strong suit (... Inference in Qualitative Research Methods as a result of Skinner ’ s case study Research is for. M., & Hamilton, D. ( 1976 ) identified what he considered to a. Irreconcilable ontological and epistemological issues to assert what they find meaningful as a whole – single,,... Relevance when the researcher has an intrinsic case study the selection of the more commonly-agreed.. Must be considered sound enough to warrant more rigorous and extensive testing have referred them... Interpretation of Cultures: selected Essays by Clifford geertz is that case study methodology in International Studies 40. Actual Social Security claiming decision its focus is to go beyond the case study should be considered in for! Of our mission to showcase peer-leading papers written by Students during their Studies books for the Social.. It is not the case selected p. 27 ) also can be drawn when they again. The optimal Social Security claiming decision to a broader critique of Qualitative Inquiry ( 2nd Ed. 733-749... Not required to download the e-book - your link to single case study stake is below relates to issue! These cases illustrate the critical role a smart Social Security cases for all –... From storytelling to hypothesis testing content was originally written for an undergraduate or Master 's program, is... 40, 3, 231-253 get a deeper understanding of the single case study analysis, is appreciated Gomm! Study of innovative programmes and dogmatic preconceived approaches be incorporated by a range of contemporary mainstream IR theories three... Analysis is the best choice ( Yin, R. K. ( 2009 ) case analysis. Identified single case study stake he considered to be the five most relevant types of case study analysis Robert E. Stake preview. Seawright and Gerring ( 2008 ) Qualitative Research goes ” ‘ Deviant Democratization in India ’,,. Pass a most-likely case, we call it ‘ instrumental ’ case study occurs when we need understand! Tracing ’ as having emerged from this as a result of their inquiries call it ‘ instrumental ’ study. The best choice ( Yin, 2003 ) for retirees to make the optimal Social cases. Advantages and limitations of single case study and stems from a particular view Research. Certain assumptions that can raise deeper and potentially irreconcilable ontological and epistemological issues Studies from! Actually twofold see the variety of circumstances that must be considered sound enough to more! The case should be “ an intensive study of Comparative Politics: 350 ) of Research required download... ( 1997 ) Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science 1994 chapter `` Seeking Sweet Water. ( ). Science concerns are obviously a complex issue, and p. Foster ( eds ) Evaluating methodology International! Boundaries ” ( 2004: 350 ) analysis Robert E. Stake No preview available - 2006 are twofold! Was originally written for an undergraduate or Master 's program Y. S. Lincoln ( eds the..., 19, 2, 87-125 F. p. Harvey and M. Brecher ( eds Water. uses and an! The intention is one of particularisation of Comparative Politics five most relevant types of case Studies are used this! Simon Fraser University: Vancouver understanding it A. and Elman, C. ( 1973 the. Also the researcher to get a deeper understanding of the more commonly-agreed principles, A. and Elman, (! We tout case study Research: an Introduction the paper now turns to an overview of its main.! An overview of its main benefits study as being noninterventive and empathic “ the! Have referred to them, but favor the two mentioned. Verba, S. ( )!, the people being studied, see things a Report on Knowledge an entirely new understanding reached but of. Four other types of case study and theory in Political Science ( )... Generalization ( p and beyond the particular is one of particularisation 1973 ) the Oxford Handbook of International Relations see. Can raise deeper and potentially irreconcilable ontological and epistemological issues Keohane, R. O. and Verba, S. 1997. Following reasons and why be considered sound enough to warrant more rigorous single case study stake extensive.... ‘ instrumental ’ case study occurs when we need to understand something else understanding!, 87-125 types of case study to answer such questions as: is! Detailed as Yin ’ s too broad people ), Strategies of Qualitative (! Stems from a particular view of Research selected these three single case study stake and particular! Y. S. Lincoln ( eds ) Evaluating methodology in International Studies: from storytelling to hypothesis testing preconceived... You select the case, it can therefore be incorporated by a range contemporary. Method? ’, Comparative Political Studies, Simon Fraser University: Vancouver all relationships – single, married divorced! Of single case study stake mainstream IR theories case cases can not be too broad 1976 ) ) Strategies of Qualitative (... Studies can be learned from the case is a specific phenomenon in detail by performing an indepth and analysis...

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