Case Studies by F1CN40


									Case Studies
Pat McGee
                 Why Research?
●   To distinguish between rival plausible
    hypotheses. [Campbell 1994]
●   To attack proposed scientific theories. [Popper
                 Research Tools
●   Controlled experiments on population samples.
●   Survey
●   Archival Analysis
●   History
●   Case Study
             Applicability of Tools
               [after Yin 1994]
                          Requires Present/
Tool           Question   Control? Past
Experiment     How, Why   Yes      Present
               Who, What,
Survey         Where, How No       Present
Archival       (same)     No       Both
History        How, Why No         Past
Case Study     How, Why   No       Present
               vs. Rival Theories
●   Controlled experiments: requires theory to know
    what to control.
●   Randomized experiment: Renders unstated rival
    theories implausible by statistics.
●   Case study: Requires explicit theories in order to
    define models.
              What is a Case Study?
●   'Case Study' is ambiguous.
    –   Teaching case study: B-school.
    –   Record keeping case study: medicine, law.
    –   Research case study: many social sciences.
               Research Case Study
●   Purpose: distinguish between rival plausible
●   Evidence:
    –   Documents
    –   Artifacts
    –   Direct observation
    –   Interviewing
    –   Participant observation
                 Yin's Definition
●   “1. A case study is an empirical inquiry that
●   “investigates a contemporary phenomenon within
    its real-life context, especially when
●   “the boundaries between phenomenon and
    context are not clearly evident.”
                 Yin's Definition
●   “2. The case study inquiry
●   “copes with the technically distinctive situation in
    which there will be many more variables of
    interest than data points, and as one results
●   “relies on multiple sources of evidence, with data
    needing to converge in a triangulating fashion,
    and as another results
●   “benefits from the prior development of
    theoretical propositions to guide data collection
    and analysis.”
      Parts of good case study – Yin
●   Question: Why did X happen?
●   Propositions: X happened because of A, B, and C.
●   Unit of analysis: person, team, company, etc.
●   Logic linking data to propositions: What effects
    do data points D, E, and F have on X?
●   Criteria for interpreting findings: How do you
    Parts of a good case study – McGee
●   Data
●   [Copy Yin fig 2.3]
                External Validity
●   A case study is not a data point. Saying “you can't
    generalize from a single case” misses the point.
●   A single case study is analogous to a single
    experiment. Each either supports or refutes a
              Types of case studies
               Single-case   Multiple-case
Single unit
(holistic)     Type 1        Type 3
(embedded) Type 2            Type 4

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