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Log In Sign Up. Case Study Research Methods. The Research Interview Ken Goddard: Making Sense of Research Roy Preece: No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Underlying Principles 1 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Underlying Principles The bookS in this series are intended for those doing small- What is a case study? No previous knowledge of research methods is assumed and the series is particularly Perhaps we should first ask: The word ‘case’ suited to practitioners studying for a higher degree or who like ‘intelligence’ and ‘neurosis’ is one we all use, and feel want to research some aspect of their practice.

The thinking we understand, but is rather challenging to define. Here is an underlying the series reflects a major shift in social science attempt: This is not a defect, because the traditionally ‘scientific’ A case can be an individual: This does not mean that one institution – such as a school or a children’s home, or a factory; should give up an empirical, evidence-based research tradi- it can be a large-scale community – a town, an industry, a tion but adapt to what is possible and, more importantly, profession.

All of these are single cases; but you can also study what is likely to yield a truer picture. It all depends what you want to find Bill Gillham out – which leads us on. No one kind or source of evidence experiments or other carefully controlled investigations is likely to be sufficient or sufficiently valid on its own. Note that ‘research evidence’ for most strengths and weaknesses, is a key characteristic of case people equates ‘scientific’ evidence.

Second, the word study research. Much of the process from the literature or not – because until you get in there of criminal and civil law is concerned with defining and and get hold of your data, get to understand the context, you testing evidence. It is an outcome of the investigative methods used: Judicial evidence is there in the case being investigated and has to be uncovered and tested, FundaD1entals of research usually by reasonable argument. Evidence that is a result of the techniques of investigation for example, asking the At this point we need to step back and consider some of the wrong kind of questions, or aggressive interviewing would underlying principles of research investigation in general, be disallowed.

It should be noted here The first kind of evidence is natural-sciences style. The that case study research has only recently come into its own, natural sciences are those mainly concerned with the ma- not being part of the natural-sciences style positivist philoso- terial aspects of our world, and the core disciplines are phy which in dilute form has dominated the human sciences physics and chemistry.

Case Study Research Methods – Bill Gillham – Google Books

Physics is the study of motion and for so long. In its extreme, original form, positivist philoso- the interactions of matter.

Chemistry is the discipline which phers asserted that only observable, and verifiable, phenom- investigates the properties of natural and artificial sub- ena could be the subject matter of science; this excluded stances. Both disciplines are concerned with the development subjective phenomena or ‘unverifiable’ theories. It will be of evidence and of generalizable theory or laws as to how these argued below that the naturalistic style of case study research natural phenomena work.

With inanimate substances and makes it particularly appropriate to study human phenom- their ‘activities’ scientists can do what they like. Holding ena, and what it means to be human in the real world ‘as it some conditions called ‘variables’ constant, they manip- happens’. They may study, Research is about creating new knowledge, whatever the for example, the effects of very low temperatures on the disciplines – history, medicine, physics, social work.

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Case Study Research Methods

The raw molecular structure of steel subjected to different levels of material of research is evidence, which then has to be made vibration. Provided there are no dangerous effects, scientists can do In everyday understanding the word ‘evidence’ is used as they will with their ‘natural’ materials. There are no in two main ways. The recall of isolated words, or groups of digits, has do in manipulating conditions that might affect human been tested under various conditions to see how the memory.

But even if there were no ethical barriers there works.

One apparently durable finding was that the human are other problems in being objectively ‘scientific’. However, this is in the trials of a new drug have to deal with the placebo effect: Human beings are inextricably part of their the fact that if people believe they are being given a new environment: For example, do with what they have been given.

Medical scientists fase an American researcher investigated the phenomenon of to great pains to get round this, at least using double-blind short-term memory in cocktail waitresses. He found that trials, i. This is memory working rseearch context with other one gillhaj are giving so that they can’t unwittingly com- elements to help recall. Bennett municate which is which. In a triple-blind study, those ‘Remembering drinks orders: But the point is that all subjects research.

Ecological psychology embodies many of the prin-‘- in experiments are going to have some kind of understanding ciples expounded here. Experiments work best where the experimental research, but rather an attempt to redress the activity is not seen as intrinsically important biol the subjects, balance.

Novice researchers are often obsessed with being or where subjects can be treated as partners in the investiga- ‘scientific’; insofar as this means getting good quality evi- tion. For example, if as a designer you wanted to develop dence gullham interpreting and checking it in legitimate ways safety bottle caps which young children couldn’t operate but this is laudable.

But it is often taken to mean ‘hard science’ weren’t too difficult for older people with weak wrists or methods – which are often misunderstood and used inappro- arthritic hands, you could ‘share’ your purposes without priately.

But there is a second problem with experiments: Both ‘natural-sciences style’ and ‘naturalistic’ research are Research on memory, until quite recently, has been of this legi tima te methods of enquiry. In other words does the method used mean naturalistic, case study research with subjectivity: This doesn’t mean that you ignore Our argument here is that ‘experimental science’ type the objective what people do, what records show, and so on approaches are ill-suited to the complexity, embedded but that you are after the qualitative element: Natural sciences more objective evidence.

Nor does it gilljam that you ignore research is aimed at generalizable findings which may have ‘results’ reading standards in a school, staff turnover in a general implications for theory. But in human behaviour, children’s home, after-care of hospital patients but that you generalization from one group of people to others, or one seek to find the underlying reasons – in reesearch feelings or institution to another, is often suspect – because there are too perceptions, or their experiences of what is going on.

This many elements that are specific to that group or institution. All of this means that the naturalistic researcher is not a Because of this unknown degree of specificity, and the detached ‘scientist’ but a participant observer who acknowl- uniqueness of what are likely to be the facts and how they edges and looks out for their role in tesearch they discover. A are to be explainedthe naturalistic researcher differs from research investigation is not neutral; it has its own dynamic the experimental investigator in another important way.

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In and there will be effects on individuals, on institutions the natural-sciences style you study the literature and work precisely because there is someone there asking questions, out whether existing findings and theories resezrch adequate. If clarifying procedures, collecting data. Recognizing this is you feel that certain data are not there or that existing part of doing good research. Ignoring it is bad ‘science’.

Case study research methods / Bill Gillham | National Library of Australia

The following table summarizes in Methds is the deductive model, using a predetermined procedure what has to be acknowledged as rather artificial opposition of investigation. The naturalistic researcher cannot work like this: The researcher needs to know what others have done and their explanations but cannot be sure they’re relevant.

The first stage is to review the context from which the research questions, the means of investigat- ing them, and likely explanations will emerge. Statistics are of two kinds: Descriptive statistics are Like all oppositional comparisons the contrasts here are too bil like averages usually called ‘means’ which simple and too strong, but the dimensions of comparison are ‘describe’ data in a summary fashion.

Inferential statistics essentially correct. However, in the chapter that follows the are those which enable you to draw potentially meaningful merging or breakdown of the hypothetical barriers will be and significant inferences from quantitative data. That is all we need to say here about quantitative What sgudy tnethods enable you to do methods. Q,ualitative methods are acse descriptive and inferen- 1.

To carry out an investigation where other methods – such tial in character and, for this reason, are often seen as ‘soft’. You may have significant statistical results, i. To investigate situations where little is known about what gillhma have to be described and interpreted: More formal research may for themselves – someone has to speak for them.

And it is here come later. To explore complexities that are beyond the scope of down. Their only be perceived from the inside. To view the case from the inside out: To carry out research into the processes leading to results 1 experiments, will often engage in qualitative-style investiga- for example how reading studg were improved in a. But we need to be clear about the be emphasized that case study research is not exclusively philosophical base.

There are three main points: Human behaviour, thoughts and feelings are partly qualitative methods and what they enable you to do are determined by their context. If you want to understand. Reality and the truth is not tidy.

A judge – can produce results that are artifacts of the methods presiding over a judicial inquiry as distinct from a court of used. An artefact is something that only arises because of law turns no evidence methkds but assesses what faith can be the method that has been used like controlled memory placed in it, and relates it to other metnods to hand.

Broadly experiments in a laboratory or ‘opinions’ given in a speaking, this is the approach of the case study researcher. You get results, but are they ‘true’ for the people concerned in the practice of real life? One must researdh one’s time; other evidence may qualify, do in it. Very broadly, the case study researcher must strive to keep an open mind, to go on looking for data, deferring analysis until the array is comprehensive and you don’t stop com- What you are looking for in qualitative research pletely, even then.

What you are looking for is what ,all reseafch in all disciplines are concerned with: Data accumulated by different methods but bearing on sthdy is commonly assumed to be something there and the same issue are part of what is called the multi-method established Freudian theory, etc.