Posted on: 9th Apr 2020 536 Views

A case study in Research

A case study in research is basically a strategy and empirical investigation which includes analysis of the real phenomenon. Many students pursuing masters or PhD. have certain questions such as how and when to do a case study. In this article, our professional by providing the guideline about a case study is resolving the queries of students

Before gaining knowledge about How to do case studies, you should first develop an understanding of what is a case study?

A case study in Research

Case study

A  Research case study is basically a detailed survey on a specific topic or subject. It can also refer to as in-depth investigation perform for analyzing a particular situation. The researcher mainly uses case study design for conducting research in the field of education, science clinical field, etc. It mainly includes the Qualitative method, but sometimes also includes quantitative methods. You can utilize case study design in such a situation where you intend to describe, compare different aspects of the research problem.

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How to do case studies in Research?

The 4 steps of doing a case study in research are:

Step 1: Selection of a case

After writing a problem statement and designing research questions, you need to select a particular case. A characteristic of good case study is that

  • It provide new insight about subject
  • A good case study challenges assumptions and existing theories.
  • An effective case provides practical courses of actions for resolving issues.
  • It provides new direction for future researches.

One important characteristic of the case study design is that it does not need any representative sample.  In the context of the case study research design, the researcher mainly emphasizes on unusual and neglected research problems.

Step 2: Developing a theoretical Framework

Research Case studies mainly emphasize on providing great detail. While making a selection of cases you should ensure that it has some link with existing theory related to the field. The case study research design will help you in increasing the knowledge about a specific topic. The main aim of the case study design is to:

  • Represent a theory by demonstrating the way it provides an explanation of the case under investigation.
  • Expansion of a theory by introducing new theories and implementation of ideas.
  • Challenging a theory by exploring an outlier case which does not fit with established believes.

Tip: You should conduct a literature review of sources relevant to topics and create a theoretical framework. It is a tactic that will help you in making sure that the case which you have selected has strong academic relevancy.  You should address key concepts and hypotheses for guiding analysis and interpretation.

Step 3: Collection of information

You can use a number of techniques for the collection of information about the topic. The different techniques which you can utilize for gathering information about the specific case are survey, interview, observation, etc.  These are basically a technique which you can utilize for accumulating primary information about the case. You can gather secondary data about the case by reading books, newspapers, articles, etc.

Mixed method case study example

In the context of the case study on the establishment of wind farms in rural areas, the researcher needs to collect qualitative data about employment rates and revenue earned by companies. An investigator by conducting a survey could accumulate information about local people’s views about the establishment of farms in their region.  After that you can analyze the facts. The main objective of the case study to analyze the different aspects of case.

Step 3: Analysation of the case

At the time of writing a case, you need to integrate different aspects which are essential in order to complete a picture. After that on the basis of type of research performed you need to report your finding.  In the case study you need to write a separate section for methodology, discussion and results.

You should write a case study in a narrative style. While writing a case study your aim should be to analyze the case from different aspects. Before start writing a case study you should understand it meaning and importance. The different techniques which you can utilize for analyzing the case include textual analysis, discourse analysis, etc.

While writing all types of cases you need to provide background detail of the case. After that you need to link the same with existing literature and theory.

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When to do a case study?

A case study research design is considered as more suitable when you intend to gain an in-depth understanding of a particular subject. It is a case study research design which allows researchers to identify the important characteristics, implications, and meaning of the different case. Making a selection of case study for writing thesis  or dissertation is considering as the best decision.

By utilizing the case study design you will be able to maintain the relevancy of the research project.  It will also help you in managing the research project especially at that time when you have insufficient time and resources for performing study on a large scale.

The researcher can use a complex case study design for an in-depth analysis of one subject. You can utilize multiple cases for making comparisons and providing illustrations of the specific research problems.

Example of case study

Research questionsCase study
What are the benefit and drawback of wind farms for people belonging to rural communities?Case study of wind farm located in rural region.
How digital marketing strategies influencing the relationship between customers and company?Case study of marketing campaign which I phone company has performed.
How experiences of work differ in terms of gender, age and race?Case study of Uber and deliveroo in London.
How professors in college execute active learning strategies in classrooms?Case study of regional schools which promotes active learning.


It has been summarized from the above that a case study can be helpful in relation to developing an in-depth understanding of the subject. Another fact which has been found is that number of techniques can be utilized for gathering information about specific cases.

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