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Case Study Homework Help
Case study is a research approach that uses a specific example or phenomenon in data analysis and presentation. Case studies provide a description for the specific problem and additional information that supports the analysis and proposition of possible solutions. Mostly, they are developed from actual scenarios. However, sometimes the element of fiction is used during presentation for confidentiality purposes. Overall, case studies are very effective in exploring complex issues in real life settings. The case study approach is used in almost all academic disciplines but it is more common in social sciences.
Case studies are used in teaching because they allow students to interact with scenarios that share similarities with incidences they are likely to encounter in future work. Accordingly, they develop the experience and capabilities required to figure out critical and executable solutions. The teaching approach of case studies raises questions rather than providing answers. This creates room for critical thinking and effective decision-making. Students are required to take the initiatives of problems identification, differentiation of facts from assumptions, data interpretation, critical and analytical thinking, assessment of related issues, exercising judgement and presentation of real ideas.
Conducting a Case Study
There are stages and activities involved when conducting a case study. All the stages ensure that the necessary quality standards are maintained. The first stage is defining the subject, case, or theoretical structure. This is where existing literature is used as the basis for identified theoretical issues to structure the case. Some of the matters mainly addressed in these stage include literature mapping, defining case boundary, and outlining the proposal. Literature mapping involves the analysis of interrelated ideas to establish relationships. This allows researcher to identify gaps in research so that they can propose objectives and propositions for a case study. Defining case boundaries focuses on basics such as structure and the period required to cover the scope of the study from the beginning to the end. The structure of a case study revolves around issues such as the target geographical area, the social group to be involved in the study, and relevant evidence.
The second phase of conducting a case study is planning. It focuses on issues such as selection of a unit for analysis, selection of methods for data analysis, and establishment of survey control measures. Unit selection is the process of determining whether one or multiple cases will be used in the study. It is important to look at the weaknesses and strengths of each approach before making a final decision. For example, multiple cases provide a larger study scope thereby increasing the validity of the results and conclusions. However, the process of collecting and analyzing data for multiple cases can be quite hectic and time consuming. On the other hand, it is easier to collect and analyze data from a single case but the levels of accuracy, reliability, and validity of the results are quite low. Generally, conducting a study with four or five cases onwards improves the quality of the overall research. Multiple cases provide room for comparison thereby preventing the likelihood of obtaining generalized results.
After selecting cases, the processes of data collection and analysis should be carefully selected. Collecting data (evidence) using multiple sources is fundamental. Quantitative and qualitative approaches such as questionnaires, focus groups, and interviews are used in a process known as data triangulation. Data triangulation enhances the validity of a study. Despite the method of data collection, the general assumption in research is that similar conclusions should be derived at the end of the study. Therefore, the use of multiple data collection methods should leads to a holistic understanding of the subject or phenomenon under investigation. Proper estimates for time and other resources required for data collection should be clearly outlined before the process of data collection begins. The process of data collection should be executed in accordance to these estimates and plans for improved accuracy. For example, if the plan is to use voice recording machines, this is the procedure that should be followed during the actual process.
Data analysis is the fourth phase of conducting a case study. One of the most important stages of data analysis is data reduction. This ensures that the most relevant information as required by the goals and objectives of the study is identified for analysis. Generally, data analysis seeks to make sense of the data collected. Data is sorted to establish coherence and remove redundant information. If the study involves multiple cases, data should be grouped in such a way that all the information associated with individual components is given first priority. This means that individual cases are attended first before data across cases is compared. Variations within a specific case require special attention. Emphasizing on relationships between causes and effects is equally important. During analysis, data should be organized effectively for use in later stages. The framework approach is the most commonly used technique for data analysis and management particularly in studies that involve large datasets. It saves time by looking at data sources and identifying important concepts.
Building a report is the last phase in conducting a case study. The researcher provides findings from the collected and analyzed data. Reporting goes beyond presenting findings to indicating the processes and resources that were used during the entire study. In instances that involve multiple cases, researchers report finding for individual cases before outlining merged and consolidated data.
Conducting a case study is not always easy. Researchers encounter numerous challenges that can limit the validity and accuracy of the findings. Sometimes, data collected through a case study can be limited by generalization. There are several ways in which the quality of a case study can be improved. They include; validating respondents, emphasizing on transparency, using multiple methods of data collection, and using theoretical sampling. Case studies are excellent for conducting research in areas and subjects where there is limited theory. They allow researchers to build theory that can be used when conducting other forms of research.