Case Study - Research Method

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Introduction
Case studies are an important research method in areas where innovations are studied. They enable us to study contemporary and complex social phenomena in their natural context. Over the years researchers working from both epistemological perspectives have addressed important methodological issues. A case study is expected to capture the complexity of a single case, and the methodology which enables this has developed not only in the social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and economics, but also in practice-oriented fields such as environmental studies, business studies, social work and Counselling. (Yin 1994)
Croty (1998, p2) explains that there are four questions which are basic elements of any
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Kenny & Groteleuschen (1984)

Yin (1993) has identified some specific types of case studies: Exploratory, Explanatory, and Descriptive. Stake (1998) included three others: intrinsic, instrumental and collective. An intrinsic case study is typically undertaken to learn about a unique phenomenon. The researcher should define the uniqueness of the phenomenon, which distinguishes it from all others. In contrast, the instrumental case study uses a particular case (some of which may be better than others) to gain a broader appreciation of an issue or phenomenon.

History of the Case study

It is generally believed that the case-study method was first introduced into social science by Frederic Le Play in 1829 as a handmaiden to statistics in his studies of family budgets. Les Ouvriers Europeens (1879) in . .
The use of case studies for the creation of new theory in social sciences has been further developed by the sociologists Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss who presented their research method, Grounded theory, in 1967.

The popularity of case studies in testing hypotheses has developed only in recent decades. Case studies have also been used as a teaching method and as part of professional development, especially in business and legal education. The problem-based learning (PBL) movement is such an example. When used in (non-business) education and professional development and are often referred to as critical incidents.
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