Case Study Method and Research Design: Flexibility or Availability for the Novice Researcher?

Case Study Method and Research Design: Flexibility or Availability for the Novice Researcher?

Susan Carter (University of Southern Queensland, Australia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2901-0.ch015

Abstract

Case study is prominent in qualitative research literature, yet the methodologists do not have a full consensus on whether it is an approach, a method, a methodology, or a design. Perhaps this flexibility contributes to ambiguity for the burgeoning researcher. The works of prominent methodologists, namely Robert Yin, Sharan Merriam, and Robert Stake, are explored as an attempt to define case study and then explain how it can be utilized as a ‘road map' for engaging case study to investigate current practices in inclusivity and wellbeing. The author serves as a provocateur and explores the question: “How do you surface deep knowledge in your interview participants?” This chapter contributes knowledge to the field of research, specifically methodological information for the novice researcher considering using case study as a research method. Dually, this chapter brings into focus examples of case study method applied to explore inclusion and wellbeing.
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What Is Case Study

The literature on case study at times appears confusing. The first step in utilising case study was a journey into knowing and understanding that there are different trains of thought about case study. In exploring these different trains of thought there was a need to consider which one best linked to my educational field of study and my philosophical orientation. Baxter and Jack (2008) suggest there are only two forms of case study: one put forward by Stake (1995) and the other by Yin (2003, 2006). Further to this Yazan (2015) suggests an additional approach used by Merriam (1998). The approach that each theorist takes in outlining case study is underpinned by a particular philosophical stance and the novice researcher needs to firstly understand which philosophical orientation best suits their own study.

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