Published on August 20, 2007
Case study research: Case study research Jennie Carroll OASIS Aug 2003 The research process: The research process Research paradigm Positivist Interpretivist critical Research purpose Theory building Theory testing Theory refinement ‘Paradigm wars’: ‘Paradigm wars’ Paradigms reflect assumptions about knowledge and how it can be obtained what is valid research? which research methods are appropriate? Positivist: reality is objectively given and can be described by measurable properties independent of the researcher Formal propositions, hypothesis testing, generalising Interpretivist: we can access reality through social constructions such as language, shared meanings Rich descriptions of IS in context Critical: social reality is historically constructed, thus the aim of research is emancipation 3 levels of understanding of social reality (Lee 1991): 3 levels of understanding of social reality (Lee 1991) That of human actors in their natural environments That of the researcher trying to interpret what is happening Researcher’s conceptualisation – the general theoretical significance of the observations Case studies: Case studies A research approach? (Yin) 'investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context,especially when the boundaries between the phenomenon and context are not clearly evident' (Yin 1994:13) A method for data collection? (Galliers) A unit of study andamp; analysis? (Stake) Case studies: Case studies An in-depth study of a few people, events or organisations According to Yin (1994:14) 'need not always include direct, detailed observations as a source of evidence' Qualitative data, analysed qualitatively Fieldwork notes, videos, interviews, documents, researcher’s notes Different degrees of engagement in research context Role of the researcher Tendency to rely solely on interviews has been noted andamp; criticised (Silverman 1998) Slide7: Analyse Reflect Plan Knowledge Research themes Literature Insights Theoretical foundations Collect data Theory Series of Conceptual frameworks Literature-based scrutiny Plan: Plan Plan the data collection: What cases? In what organisations? Access? Standard forms, interview protocol, equipment, recording data Plan the analysis What method of analysis Forms, structure, software to help Access: Access To the case (organisation) Case selection Observation andamp; document analysis To the people Participant selection Access to their views andamp; actions (interview andamp; observation techniques) 'what it is to be rather than see a member of the organisation' Participant’s opinions and stories, not analysis Verify your understanding Collect data: Collect data Use the plan as a guide Things will change in the field Close interrelationship between collecting data and analysing it Analyse Coding: concepts in the conceptual framework provide initial codes ‘any other’ code to include unexpected outcomes Ties the data analysis to the research themes Reflect: Reflect Deliberate and conscious thought about your research What do these findings mean? Implications for the conceptual framework? Reflection either validates or revises and extends the conceptual framework Keeps the researcher honest: Look for disconfirming evidence Look for alternative explanations Review your research methods References: References IS World at http://www.qual.auckland.ac.nz/ D. Silverman, 'Qualitative research: meanings or practice?,' Information Systems Journal, vol. 8, pp. 3-20, 1998. W. J. Orlikowsky and J. J. Baroudi, 'Studying information technology in organizations: research approaches and assumptions,' Information Systems Research, vol. 2, pp. 1-28, 1991. K. M. Eisenhardt, 'Building theories from case study research,' Academy of Management Review, vol. 14, pp. 532-550, 1989. A. S. Lee, 'Integrating positivist and interpretive approaches to organizational research,' Organization Science, vol. 2, pp. 342-365, 1991. R. E. Stake, 'Case studies,' in Handbook of Qualitative Research, N. K. Denzin and Y. S. Lincoln, Eds. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1994, pp. 236-247. A. S. Lee, 'A scientific methodology for MIS case studies,' MIS Quarterly, vol. 13, pp. 32-50, 1989. H. K. Klein and M. D. Myers, 'A set of principles for conducting and evaluating interpretive field studies in information systems,' MIS Quarterly Special Issue on Intensive Research,, 1998. G. Walsham, 'Interpretive case studies in IS research: nature and method,' European Journal of Information Systems, vol. 4, pp. 74-81, 1995. R. K. Yin, Case study research: Design and methods. Beverly Hills, CA.: Sage, 1984. E. G. Guba and Y. S. Lincoln, 'Competing paradigms in qualitative research,' in Handbook of qualitative research, N. K. Denzin and Y. S. Lincoln, Eds. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1994.