According to Wikipedia, one of the most visited websites on Internet, a case study, is a research method that includes a comprehensive examination of a subject of study, also referred to as ‘the case’. It also includes the study of contextual conditions.
However, it is important to mention over here that the term ‘case study’ has no single definition owing to its widespread application in different subject streams. Case study research is normally done in the fields of social & life sciences. It also holds an important position in various other disciplines such sociology, political science, psychology, social work etc.
For readers’ better understanding, in a case study analysis, a case can be anything. It could be an individual, organization, action or even an event that has happened at a particular time & place. Let’s take the example of the clinical science subject stream to understand the concept. In clinical science, one can find case studies of both individuals as well as of clinical practices.
An Introduction to the term ‘Case Study’:
In one approach, case study analysis is also taken as research strategy analysis. It is a well-derived research where a phenomenon or a physical process picked up from real life scenario is investigated. Another important point to mention over here is that case study research can result in a number of case studies. To add to that, it can even include qualitative evidence, can also depend on various sources of evidence and may even gain from pre-existing or developed theories.
Interestingly, it has been observed that a lot of people end up confusing case studies with qualitative research. Another misconception is that a case study can be based on a mix of qualitative and quantitative evidence. Remember, knowing the line that differentiates helps in correct extraction and assessment of data.
Case study assignments have now become an integral part of academic curriculum. Not just that, they have found their way in professional streams where the inferences derived from them help in designing better products & service framework for the end-customers.
From a knowledge perspective, case study writing allows an in-depth understanding of the subject within a pre-defined situational framework. This further helps in understanding the responsive culture of the subject & leads to the ways where one can devise appropriate measures to tame or improve the same.
This is another way of saying that exercises like such help in discovering or forecasting subject behavior & create a better response framework/solutions.
How case study helps students?
First of all, it is really important to understand ‘who a student is’ here. A student is anyone with an intention to acquire knowledge for the purpose of satisfying the urge to know more about a particular subject. A case study helps students by introducing them to a practical outlook of a real life scenario that is otherwise not possible.
It also serves as the reference material for them at various points. This function of case study helps students in validating their future theories. This also helps them in preparing for events in advance.
What all points one needs to keep in mind while writing the case study?
- A case study research has to be exhaustive: It means it should include a detailed assessment of all the possible permutation & combinations about the subject. The focus on detailing is because it gives an insight into the subject & its every aspect.
- A case study needs to be written in a very simple manner: A common misconception is using difficult words makes the content of the case study rich. To a certain extent, it is true too. However, while writing the case study if the author uses simple and lucid language, more people will read and understand it.
- While writing a case study report, the author should ensure that there’s no bias or influence corrupting the work: This is significant because readers/students take it as the reference. And if someone refers a corrupted case study to support his/her theories, it can only lead to dissemination of incorrect knowledge.
- Last but not the least, in a case study analysis, all the facts, data etc. should be represented accurately & clearly: Any sort of ambiguity clouds the understanding. Clear depiction of results helps in the fair debate which further benefits the society.
What is case study research in psychology?
Just like there are case studies in other subject streams, psychology too allows for it. Here, a particular case study could be focused on a subject which could be human/animal etc., its behavior etc. or the treatment procedures. Please note there are far deeper applications of case study research than mentioned here.
How to write a marketing research case study?
There’s no particular way of writing a marketing research case study. Hence, it is very important to understand the subject & objective you want to achieve through it. Once the subject is chosen & objectives are locked, next thing comes into the picture is the flow or case study framework. It is an outline as per which author formulates all the research and presents it. All these are basic points that are to be kept in mind while writing marketing research case study.
Are case study & case method one & the same thing?
No. This is another widespread confusion. Case study & case method is not the same thing. The case method is used in teaching.
Is there anything important to be understood about case study analysis?
When it comes to case study analysis, everything needs to be studied with absolute focus. Missing out on few points could prove costly. If such thing happens, the student/reader could lose out on significant knowledge.
In addition, knowing about the subject also helps. This negates any chances of reader/student falling prey to corrupt case study material in case if there’s a bias/influence involved. It also helps in fair assessment of the inferences presented.
In the end, it can be concluded with absolute certainty that case study is a great way of studying practical application/response behavior of the subject. However, it needs to be done in a correct way. Otherwise, it could deliver flawed results.