Limitations of case study research

Using selected examples from within the International Relations literature[1], this paper aims to provide a brief overview of the main principles and distinctive advantages and limitations of single case study analysis. Divided into three inter-related sections, the paper therefore begins by first identifying the underlying principles that serve to constitute the case study as a particular research strategy, noting the somewhat contested nature of the approach in ontological, epistemological, and methodological terms. The final section of the paper then discusses the most commonly articulated limitations of single case studies; while accepting their susceptibility to criticism, it is however suggested that such weaknesses are somewhat exaggerated.

Limitations of case study research

This module describes the case study method of descriptive research and its uses. List reasons researchers use the case study method Explain the how data is recorded when using the case study method.

Describe the benefits and limitations of using the case study method. Case study research refers to an in-depth, Limitations of case study research study of an individual or a small group of individuals. Such studies are typically qualitative in nature, resulting in a narrative description of behavior or experience.

Case study research is not used to determine cause and effect, nor is it used to discover generalizable truths or make predictions. Rather, the emphasis in case study research is placed on exploration and description of a phenomenon.

The main characteristics of case study research are that it is narrowly focused, provides a high level of detail, and is able to combine both objective and subjective data to achieve an in-depth understanding. Quantitative studies commonly ask questions of who, what, where, how much and how many.

Case studies, on the other hand, are used to answer questions of how or why.

Limitations of case study research

They are commonly used to collect in-depth data in a natural setting where the researcher has little or no control over the events and there is a real life context. Often times, the goal of a case study is provide information that may research in the formation of a hypothesis for future research.

Case studies are commonly used in social science research and educational settings. For example, case studies may be used to study psychological problems such as the development of a child raised by a single, deaf parent or the effects on a child who had been isolated, abused and neglected until the age of 12 years old.

Case studies could also be used in an educational setting to explore the development of writing skills in a small group of high school freshmen taking a creative writing class.

There are several types of case study methods. The method selected depends upon the nature of the question being asked and the goals of the researcher. Following is a list of the different types of case studies: Exploratory — This method is a condensed case study and the purpose is to gather basic, initial data that could be used to identify a particular question for a larger study.

Limitations of case study research

This study is not designed to produce detailed data from which any conclusions could be drawn. It is simply exploratory in nature. It has the advantage of saving time and money by not creating new and repetitive studies. Critical Instance — These studies are used to examine situations of unique interest or to challenge a universal or generalized belief.

Such studies are not to create new generalizations. Rather, several situations or events may be examined to raise questions or challenge previously held assertions. Once the question has been identified and the basic type of case study method has been selected, the researcher will need to begin designing their case study approach.

In order to obtain a full and detailed picture of the participant or small group, the researcher can use a variety of approaches and methods to collect data. These methods may include interviews, field studies, protocol or transcript analyses, direct participant observations, a review of documents and archived records, and an exploration of artifacts.

Researchers may choose to use one of these methods to collect data single method approach or they may use several methods multi-modal approach. After the researcher has determined the data collection methods and what type of data will be used and recorded in the study, he or she will need to decide upon a strategy for analyzing the data.

Case study researchers typically interpret their data either holistically or through coding procedures. A holistic approach reviews all of the data as a whole and attempts to draw conclusions based on the data in its entirety. This is an appropriate approach when the question being studied is more general in nature and the data provides an overview.

Sometimes, it may be more useful to break the data into smaller pieces. This usually involves searching the data to identify and categorize specific actions or characteristics. These categories can be assigned a numeric code that allows the data to be analyzed using statistical, quantitative methods.

Regardless of the type of case study, data collection method or data analysis method, all case studies have advantages and disadvantages. The following list discusses the potential benefits and limitations associated with using case study research methods: Case studies are more flexible than many other types of research and allow the researcher to discover and explore as the research develops.

Case studies emphasize in-depth content. The researcher is able to delve deep and use a variety of data sources to get a complete picture. The data is collected in a natural setting and context.A limitation associated with qualitative study is related to validity and reliability.

“Because qualitative research occurs in the natural setting it is extremely difficult to replicate studies” (Wiersma, , p. ). Like STAKE, MERRIAM emphasizes the defining feature of case study research as being the object of the study (the bounded system; i.e., the case) adding that case study research focuses on a particular thing and that the product of an investigation should be descriptive and heuristic in nature.

The case study is not itself a research method, but researchers select methods of data collection and analysis that will generate material suitable for case Saul Mcleod. Limitations research paper case study analysis Posted on September 19, by Ai que deus e todos os anjos me ajudem a estudar para a .

Another frequently cited proponent of the approach, Robert Stake, notes that as a form of research the case study “is defined by interest in an individual case, not by the methods of inquiry used”, and that “the object of study is a specific, unique, bounded system” ( , ).

Clinical research often takes the form of case studies to research clinical disorders. A case study is an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in .

Case Study Method in Psychology | Simply Psychology