Case Study

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A case study is a retrospective study that attempts to expose anecdotal system patterns.



  • (Wikipedia, 2011) ⇒
    • QUOTE: A case study is a research method common in social science. It is based on an in-depth investigation of a single individual, group, or event. Case studies may be descriptive or explanatory. The latter type is used to explore causation in order to find underlying principles. They may be prospective, in which criteria are established and cases fitting the criteria are included as they become available, or retrospective, in which criteria are established for selecting cases from historical records for inclusion in the study.

      Rather than using samples and following a rigid protocol (strict set of rules) to examine limited number of variables, case study methods involve an in-depth, longitudinal (over a long period of time) examination of a single instance or event: a case. They provide a systematic way of looking at events, collecting data, analyzing information, and reporting the results. As a result the researcher may gain a sharpened understanding of why the instance happened as it did, and what might become important to look at more extensively in future research. Case studies lend themselves to both generating and testing hypotheses.

      Another suggestion is that case study should be defined as a research strategy, an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context. Case study research means single and multiple case studies, can include quantitative evidence, relies on multiple sources of evidence and benefits from the prior development of theoretical propositions. Case studies should not be confused with qualitative research and they can be based on any mix of quantitative and qualitative evidence. Single-subject research provides the statistical framework for making inferences from quantitative case-study data. This is also supported and well-formulated in (Lamnek, 2005): "The case study is a research approach, situated between concrete data taking techniques and methodologic paradigms."


  • (AMTA, 2010) ⇒ American Massage Theory Association. (2010). “Glossary of Research Terminology."
    • QUOTE: Case Study Research Method: One of four research methods included under the contextual/interpretive-oriented research strategy. It is operationally defined as a research method characterized by several principal research procedures/themes: (a) the identification of a case entity as a single individual, organization, issue, activity, event, or program of interest that is bounded by certain time and space delimitations; (b) an intensive description and analysis of the case entity reflecting its context and multiple data sources; and (c) the availability of three case study options, namely, an intrinsic case study to acquire more insight on the uniqueness of a particular case, an instrumental case study to refine or alter a theoretical explanation of an issue or event, and a collective case study of several case entities to gain insight on the phenomenon represented across the several cases. Compare with Single-Case Experimental Research Method, Single-Case Quantitative Analysis Research Method, and Case Report Research Method.


  • (WordNet, 2009) ⇒
    • S: (n) case study (a careful study of some social unit (as a corporation or division within a corporation) that attempts to determine what factors led to its success or failure)
    • S: (n) case study (a detailed analysis of a person or group from a social or psychological or medical point of view)


  • (Yin, 2008) ⇒ Robert K. Yin. (2008). “Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Fourth Edition." SAGE. ISBN:1412960991
  • (Park et al., 2008) ⇒ Barry Park, Kenneth Donaldson, Rodger Duffin, Lang Tran, Frank Kelly, Ian Mudway, Jean-Paul Morin, Robert Guest, Peter Jenkinson, Zissis Samaras, Myrsini Giannouli, Haris Kouridis and Patricia Martin. (2008). “Hazard and Risk Assessment of a Nanoparticulate Cerium Oxide-based Diesel Fuel Additive — A Case Study.” In: Inhalation Toxicology, 20(6). [doi>10.1080/08958370801915309]


  • (Lamnek, 2005) ⇒ Siegfried Lamnek. (2005). “Qualitative Sozialforschung”. Lehrbuch. 4. Auflage. Beltz Verlag.
    • QUOTE: The case study is a research approach, situated between concrete data taking techniques and methodologic paradigms.



  • (Minton, 1993) ⇒ S. Minton. (1993). “Integrating Heuristics for Constraint Satisfaction Problems: A case study.” In: Proceedings of the AAAI Confernece (AAAI 1993).