Qualitative case study unit of analysis

Open in a separate window In Table IIIthe number of studies located, and final numbers selected for review have been reported. In the health category, there were 12 case studies of health conditions, health services, and health policy issues, all published in Qualitative Health Research. Seven case studies were categorized as social sciences and anthropology research, which combined case study with biography and ethnography methodologies.

Qualitative case study unit of analysis

Introduction Case study research has grown in reputation as an effective methodology to investigate and understand complex issues in real world settings. Case study designs have been used across a number of disciplines, particularly the social sciences, education, business, law, and health, to address a wide range of research questions.

Qualitative case study unit of analysis

Consequently, over the last 40 years, through the application of a variety of methodological approaches, case study research has undergone substantial development. Change and progress have stemmed from parallel influences from historical approaches to research and individual researcher's preferences, perspectives on, and interpretations of case study research.

Central to these variations is the underpinning ontological and epistemological orientations of those involved in the evolution of case study research. Researchers who have contributed to the development of case study research come from diverse disciplines and their philosophical underpinnings have created variety and diversity in approaches used.

Consequently, various designs have been proposed for preparing, planning, and conducting case study research with advice on key considerations for achieving success.

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As a result, while case study research has evolved to be a pragmatic, flexible research approach, the variation in definition, application, validity, and purposefulness can create a confusing platform for its use.

We begin with an overview of the history and evolution of case study research, followed by a discussion of the methodological and philosophical variations found within case study designs. We end with a summary of the common characteristics of case study research and a table that brings together the fundamental elements that we found common in all case study approaches to research.

Sociologists and anthropologists investigated people's lives, experiences, and how they understood the social and cultural context of their world, with the aim of gaining insight into how individuals interpreted and attributed meaning to their experiences and constructed their worlds JOHANSSON, ; SIMONS, Such investigations were conducted in the natural setting of those experiences with results presented descriptively or as a narrative MERRIAM, As a result, surveys, experiments, and statistical methods anchored in quantitative approaches were favored and considered more rigorous than qualitative designs JOHANSSON, The dominance of research using experimental designs continued through the s and s with quantitative empirical results considered to be gold standard evidence.

Case studies continued to be used during this time, however usually as a method within quantitative studies or referred to as descriptive research to study a specific phenomenon MERRIAM, This context led to a philosophical division in research approaches: Here, anthropologists practiced their methods on university cultures or by conducting lengthy case studies involving field-based observations of groups with the aim of understanding their social and cultural lives CRESWELL et al.

According to JOHANSSONRobert YIN followed this progress, and drawing on scientific approaches to research gained from his background in the social sciences, applied experimental logic to naturalistic inquiry, and blended this with qualitative methods, further bridging the methodological gap and strengthening the methodological quality of case study research.

He presented a structured process for undertaking case study research where formal propositions or theories guide the research process and are tested as part of the outcome, highlighting his realist approach to qualitative case study research.

While still qualitative and inductive, it was deterministic in nature with an emphasis on cause and effect, testing theories, and an apprehension of the truth BROWN, ; YIN, The integration of formal, statistical, and narrative methods in a single study, combined with the use of empirical methods for case selection and causal inference, demonstrated the versatility of case study design and made a significant contribution to its methodological evolution ibid.

The continued use of case study to understand the complexities of institutions, practices, processes, and relations in politics, has demonstrated the utility of case study for researching complex issues, and testing causal mechanisms that can be applied across varied disciplines.

Methods were required that could be used to explore factors such as participants' perspectives and the influence of socio-political contexts on curriculum successes and failures SIMONS, Development of case study research in education, focused on the need to determine the impact of educational programs and provide relevant evidence for policy and practice decisions that supported social and educational change in the United Kingdom and the United States ibid.

An embedded case study is a case study containing more than one sub-unit of analysis (Yin, ). Similar to a case study, an embedded case study methodology provides a means of integrating quantitative and qualitative methods into a single research study (Scholz & Tietje, ; Yin ). A unit of analysis is the most basic element of a scientific research project. That is, it is the subject (the who or what) of study about which an analyst may generalize. Case study research involves “intensive study of a single unit for the purpose of understanding a larger class of (similar) units observed at a single point in time or over some delimited period of time” (Gerring, , p. ).

STAKEan educational psychologist with an interest in developing program evaluation methods, used a constructivist orientation to case study. This resulted in placing more emphasis on inductive exploration, discovery, and holistic analysis that was presented in thick descriptions of the case.A Qualitative Case Study approach to understanding Third Sector Managers’ Career Orientations analysis.

Keywords: careers, case study, interpretative, managers, Third sector, qualitative research constituting a unit of analysis. This is where no logical subunits can be identified or the.

qualitative case study research components and structure of a curriculum-based mentoring program at the middle school level by colleen marie golightly. An embedded case study is a case study containing more than one sub-unit of analysis (Yin, ).

Similar to a case study, an embedded case study methodology provides a means of integrating quantitative and qualitative methods into a single research study (Scholz & Tietje, ; Yin ). Case study research involves “intensive study of a single unit for the purpose of understanding a larger class of (similar) units observed at a single point in time or over some delimited period of time” (Gerring, , p.

). A Qualitative Case Study approach to understanding Third Sector Managers’ Career Orientations analysis.

Qualitative case study unit of analysis

Keywords: careers, case study, interpretative, managers, Third sector, qualitative research constituting a unit of analysis. This is where no logical subunits can be identified or the.

Example: a unit of analysis (case) may be an individual, and the case study may be the life history of that person Other units of analysis include decisions, social programs.

Unit Of Analysis - SAGE Research Methods