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Case Study Research

The Quick Guide Series

Case Study Research by Dan Remenyi
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Using case study research for an academic degree or for re-search to be published in a peer reviewed journal is challeng-ing and thus requires careful study and attention to much de-tail. It is not the intention of this book to provide that detail but rather to orientate readers toward what is required for this type of research. Further study will be necessary to ac-quire the necessary skill to become an accomplished case study researcher.

Although case study based research has been increasing in popularity over the past 20 years there is still a considerable amount of misunderstanding concerning what it can actually do and how it should be used in business and management studies.

There are a number of misconceptions that regularly arise and which cause confusion. One of the most commonly encountered is the suggestion that if a research project uses multiple sources of data or evidence it is then by default a case study. The second is that case study research is only valid in a qualitative environment. The third is that case study research is only of value at the early stages of research when the researcher is looking for an interesting research question. Those who espouse these opinions regarding the proper place of case study research generally refer to case studies as descriptive or exploratory.

There is also confusion about how many case studies are re-quired for a creditable research project. I am reminded of my own experience in 1988 when I started to work with case studies and I was told by a senior academic that for a doctor-ate I would need to complete 50 case studies. Few academics would hold this view today although more than a few would be uncomfortable about one case study or being able to comment on generalisability from case study research.

This Quick Guide does not attempt to be a definitive account of all the matters related to case study research. Such a task would require a large tome. This book addresses issues related to the definition of case study research; concepts related to the nature of data; the mixed data issues; the importance of clarifying what is to be done through the research proposal and protocol; the selection of case study locations; some concepts pertaining to case study analysis and writing up. Finally the book addresses how to evaluate a case study research project.

The book will help those who are considering using a case study approach decide whether this is for them and it will pro-vide those who have already decided to take this route with a framework for understanding what is really involved. Case study research is too important in the field of business and management studies to be left to the haphazard approaches that are now sometimes used.

Dan Remenyi PhD

May 2012

Academic Conferences Publishing International; January 2012
170 pages; ISBN 9781908272515
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Title: Case Study Research
Author: Dan Remenyi