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single case studies

phenomenon can opulently be described by single case studies. For creating high-quality theory, Dyer & Wilkins () argue that single case studies are better than multiple cases because a single case study produce extra and better theory. Also, the more case studies a scientific article has, the less. A difference between a single case study and a multiple case study is that in the last mentioned, the researcher are studying multiple cases to understand the differences and the similarities. Mar 05,  · Or this cannot be counted as a multiple-case study, instead, it should be a "Single-case embedded design" with multiple units of analysis (Type 2 design described by Yin)? However, if it is this kind of Type 2 design, the case become "the whole iPad initiative" of a school, which seems not match to my research questions.


Single Subject Research | Educational Research Basics by Del Siegle


Using selected examples from within the International Relations literature[1], this paper aims to provide a brief overview of the main principles and distinctive advantages and single case studies of single case study analysis. Divided into three inter-related sections, the paper therefore begins by first identifying the underlying principles that serve to constitute the case study as a particular research strategy, noting the somewhat contested nature of the approach in ontological, epistemological, and methodological terms, single case studies.

The final section of the paper then discusses the most commonly articulated limitations of single case studies; while accepting their susceptibility to criticism, it is however suggested that such weaknesses are somewhat exaggerated. The paper concludes that single case study analysis has a great deal to offer as a means of both understanding and explaining contemporary international relations.

It is possible, however, to distil some of the more commonly-agreed principles. As such, three key points can be derived from this — respectively concerning issues of ontology, epistemology, and single case studies — that are central to the principles of single case study research.

It is important to note, however, that — single case studies Gerring refers to a single unit of analysis — it may be that attention also necessarily be given to particular sub-units.

The former, for example, would examine only the overall nature of an international organization, whereas the latter would also look to specific departments, programmes, or policies etc. One of the principal reasons for this, he argues, is the relationship between the use of case studies in social research and the differing epistemological traditions — positivist, interpretivist, and others — within which it has been utilised.

Philosophy of science concerns are obviously a complex issue, and beyond the scope of much of this paper. That said, single case studies, the issue of how it is that we know what we know — of whether or not a single independent reality exists of which we as researchers can seek to provide explanation — does lead us to an important distinction to be made between so-called idiographic and nomothetic case studies Gerring, single case studies, b.

The former refers to those which purport to explain only a single case, are concerned with particularisation, and hence are typically although not exclusively associated with more interpretivist approaches. The latter are those focused studies that reflect upon a larger population and are more concerned with generalisation, as is often so with more positivist approaches[2], single case studies.

The importance of this distinction, and its relation to the advantages and limitations of single case study analysis, is returned to below.

Thirdly, in methodological terms, given that the case study has often been seen as more of an interpretivist and idiographic tool, it has also been associated with a distinctly qualitative approach Bryman, If case studies can reliably perform any or all three of these roles — and given that their in-depth approach may also require single case studies sources of data and the within-case triangulation of methods — then it becomes readily apparent that they should not be limited to only one research paradigm.

Exploratory and descriptive studies usually tend toward the qualitative and inductive, whereas explanatory studies are more often quantitative and deductive David and Sutton, It is perhaps better to think of case studies as transparadigmatic; it is mistaken to assume single case study analysis to adhere exclusively to a qualitative methodology or an interpretivist epistemology even if it — or rather, practitioners of it — may be so inclined.

Having elucidated the defining principles of the single case study approach, the paper now turns to an overview of its main benefits. As noted above, a lack of consensus still exists within the wider social science literature on the principles and purposes — and by extension the advantages and limitations — of case study research. Eckstein proposed a taxonomy which usefully identified what he considered to be the five most relevant types of case study.

As opposed to the opportunity this presented primarily for theory application, Eckstein identified heuristic case studies as explicit theoretical stimulants — thus having instead the intended advantage of theory-building, single case studies. So-called p lausibility probes entailed preliminary attempts to determine whether initial hypotheses should be considered sound enough to warrant more rigorous and extensive testing. As a subset of the latter, however, Jack Levy notes that the advantages of idiographic cases are actually twofold.

Secondly, they can operate as theory-guided case studies, but ones that seek only to explain or interpret a single historical episode rather than generalise beyond the case. Harnessing various methods, process tracing may entail the inductive use of evidence from within a case to develop explanatory hypotheses, single case studies, and deductive examination of the single case studies implications of hypothesised causal mechanisms to test their explanatory capability[4].

It involves providing not only a coherent explanation of the key sequential steps in a hypothesised process, but also sensitivity to alternative explanations as well as potential biases in the available evidence Bennett and Elman John Owenfor example, demonstrates the advantages of process tracing in analysing whether the causal factors underpinning democratic peace theory are — as liberalism suggests — not epiphenomenal, but variously normative, institutional, or some given combination of the two or other unexplained mechanism inherent to liberal states.

Within-case process tracing has also been identified as advantageous in addressing the complexity of path-dependent explanations and critical junctures — as for example with the development of political regime types — and their constituent elements of causal possibility, contingency, single case studies, closure, and constraint Bennett and Elman, b.

Bennett and Elman also identify the advantages of single case studies that single case studies implicitly comparative: deviant, most-likely, least-likely, and crucial cases.

Of these, so-called deviant cases are those whose outcome does not fit with prior theoretical expectations or wider empirical patterns — again, the use of inductive process tracing has the advantage of potentially generating new hypotheses from these, single case studies, either particular to that individual case or potentially generalisable to a broader population. A classic example here is that of post-independence Single case studies as an outlier to the standard modernisation theory of democratisation, which holds that higher levels of socio-economic development are typically required for the transition to, and consolidation of, democratic rule Lipset, ; Diamond, Conversely, if a theory cannot pass a most-likely case, it is seriously impugned.

Single case analysis can therefore be valuable for the testing of theoretical propositions, provided that predictions are relatively precise and measurement error is low Levy, As Gerring rightly observes of this potential for falsification:. From various epistemological and analytical standpoints, single case study analysis can incorporate both idiographic sui generis cases and, where the potential single case studies generalisation may exist, nomothetic case studies suitable for the testing and building of causal hypotheses.

Finally, it should not be ignored that a signal advantage of the case study — with particular relevance to international relations — also exists at a more practical rather than theoretical level. Single case study analysis has, however, been subject to a number of criticisms, the most common of which concern the inter-related issues of methodological rigour, researcher subjectivity, and external validity. The absence of systematic procedures for case study research is something that Yin sees as traditionally the greatest concern due to a relative absence of methodological guidelines.

As the previous section suggests, this critique seems somewhat unfair; many contemporary case study practitioners — and representing various strands of IR theory — have increasingly sought to clarify and develop their methodological techniques and epistemological grounding Bennett and Elman, A second issue, again also incorporating issues of construct validity, concerns that of the reliability and replicability of various forms of single case study analysis.

This is usually tied to a broader critique of qualitative research methods as a whole. However, whereas the latter obviously tend toward an explicitly-acknowledged interpretive basis for meanings, single case studies, and understandings:.

The question of researcher subjectivity is a valid one, and it may be intended only as a methodological critique of what are obviously less formalised and researcher-independent methods Verschuren, However, it does also rest on certain assumptions that can raise deeper and potentially irreconcilable ontological and epistemological issues. The third and arguably most prominent critique of single case study analysis is the issue of external validity or generalisability.

How is it that one case can reliably offer anything beyond the particular? This is an unavoidably valid criticism. It may be that theories which pass a single crucial case study test, for example, require rare antecedent conditions and therefore actually have little explanatory range.

There are, however, three important qualifiers to the argument about generalisation that deserve particular mention here.

Criticism of generalisability is of little relevance when the intention is one of particularisation. A second qualifier single case studies to the difference between statistical and analytical generalisation; single single case studies studies are clearly less appropriate for the former but arguably retain significant utility for the latter — the difference also between single case studies and exploratory, or theory-testing and theory-building, as discussed above.

A third qualification relates to the issue of case selection. As Seawright and Gerring note, the generalisability of case studies can be increased by the strategic selection of cases. Representative or random samples may not be the most appropriate, given that they may not provide the richest insight or indeed, that a random and unknown deviant case may appear. Research aims should drive methodological choices, rather than narrow and dogmatic preconceived approaches. As demonstrated above, there are various advantages to both idiographic and nomothetic single case study analyses — notably the empirically-rich, context-specific, holistic accounts that they have to offer, and their contribution to theory-building and, to a lesser extent, that of theory-testing.

Furthermore, while they do possess clear limitations, single case studies, any research method involves necessary trade-offs; the inherent weaknesses of any one method, however, can potentially be offset by situating them within a broader, pluralistic mixed-method research strategy. Whether or not single case studies are used in this fashion, they clearly have a great deal to offer. Bennett, A. Reus-Smit and D. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Berg, B. Pearson: London. Bryman, A, single case studies.

David, M. Diamond, J. Eckstein, H. Gomm, single case studies, M. Hammersley, and P. Foster eds Case Study Method. Flyvbjerg, B. Geertz, C. Basic Books Inc: New York, single case studies. Gerring, J. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. King, G. Princeton University Press: Chichester. Layne, C. Levy, J. Lipset, S. Lyotard, J-F, single case studies.

University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis. MacMillan, A. Maoz, Z. Harvey and M. Brecher eds Evaluating Methodology in International Studies. University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor. May, T. Open University Press: Maidenhead.

Owen, J. Seawright, J. Stake, R. Denzin and Y. Lincoln eds Strategies of Qualitative Inquiry. Sage Publications: Los Angeles. Van Evera, S. Cornell University Press: Ithaca. Verschuren, P.

 

The difference between a case study and single case designs. | ira06

 

single case studies

 

Mar 05,  · Or this cannot be counted as a multiple-case study, instead, it should be a "Single-case embedded design" with multiple units of analysis (Type 2 design described by Yin)? However, if it is this kind of Type 2 design, the case become "the whole iPad initiative" of a school, which seems not match to my research questions. A difference between a single case study and a multiple case study is that in the last mentioned, the researcher are studying multiple cases to understand the differences and the similarities. “Single subject research (also known as single case experiments) is popular in the fields of special education and counseling. This research design is useful when the researcher is attempting to change the behavior of an individual or a small group of individuals and wishes to document that asojtinsa.gq: Del Siegle.