Case Study Methodology & Design: A Scholar-Practitioner Perspective

Case Study Methodology & Design: A Scholar-Practitioner Perspective has been developed to inform researchers and students who may be interested in pursuing case study design for future research projects. As a management consultant, Dr. Mather uses the case study approach when working with new large, organizational clients who are attempting to implement a large-scale organizational change project. She discusses these parallels with academic research to provide a preliminary overview as to when to use, the strategy for planning the design, several other important design considerations, an example of a "made-up" study for illustration purposes, titles of several past University of Phoenix dissertations using case studies. 

University of Phoenix
Barbara A. Mather
Presentation Date: 
Monday, August 13, 2018
Event or Conference: 
Knowledge Without Boundaries Research Summit
Presentation Type: 
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Location: 
United States
Qualitative case study methodology provides the opportunity to conduct an intensive exploration or description and analysis of a situation or social unit, such as an individual, group, institution, or community (Yin, 2009). The benefit of this qualitative approach for the scholar-practitioner is the ability to study contemporary phenomenon in current, applicable real-life context to the researcher (Noor, 2008). A case study method may be used when the type of research question asks a “why” or “how” question. As compared to surveying a few variables across a large number of units, a case study focuses on investigating many, if not all, the interplay of significant factors characteristic of a situation. The approach for using a qualitative case study design--descriptive, explanatory, exploratory, or embedded—provides novice (Baxter & Jack, 2008) or experienced researchers the opportunity to example complex phenomena within the context of a particular bounded system. The researcher defines this bounded system by identifying the boundaries from which to analyze in depth the complexities or behavioral patterns within the case. Cases may encompass a range of environments or settings including: educational systems, government practices, healthcare systems, private enterprise, nonprofit institutions, or other social settings.