VirtualMV/Research in IT/Methodologies/Case Study

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VmvIcon Objectives.png

By the end of this section you will be able to:

  • Describe the case study research methodolgies in an IT Context

A case study takes existing theory, methodology and practice and applies it within a specific context. Such a paper is judged by the insights elicited from the case study and the extent to which they may be generalised to other contexts.

Yin (1994)[1] a case study is an empirical research that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context. Evidence of multiple case studies is more convincing and therefore the study will be regarded as more robust. Yin (2009)[2]

From Nesbit & Martin (2011) [3]

The methodology adopted in the paper is a combination of Case Study Research (Yin, 2009); Action Research (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2007)[4] in which changes are made on an ongoing basis; and Design Based Research as described in Barab & Squire (2004)[5], Bell (2004)[6] and Wang & Hannafin (2005)[7] where the emphasis is on conducting experiments in changing contexts where it is not always possible to replicate the context.

Parts of the following discussion taken from Albertyn (2010)[8].

Case studies present stories of real life situations. There are a number of researchers that have used case study research successfully. Three important methodological articles on using the case study method in the IS field are those by Benbasat et al. (1987)[9], Dubé and Paré (2003)[10] and Lee (1989)[11]. An article by Markus (1983) is one of the most cited empirical examples of case study research in Information Systems (Myers, 1997)[12](Needs updating -MV).

Case study methodology is often used in the IS environment to accommodate the applied nature of research in this field. A case study methodology allows for the numerical focus in building the theory - which is required here. Using case study research allows the testing of the theory and has empirical validity. The author of the thesis developed a theory which is new and not previously developed. According to Eisenhardt (1989)[13], case study research is well suited for this scenario (Needs a more current ref -MV).

Bill Gillham, B. (2000) Case study research methods

VmvIcon References.png References

  1. Yin, R.K. (1994) Case study research Design and Methods. 2nd edition, Sage publication. Thousand Oaks.
  2. Yin, R.K. (2009). Case Study Research: Design and Methods: Sage Publications
  3. Nesbit, T. & Martin, A. (2011) eLearning: A Solution in a Crisis: Don’t Forget the Pedagogy. The 2nd annual conference of Computing and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand (CITRENZ2011) incorporating the 23rd Annual Conference of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications, Rotorua, New Zealand, July 5-8. Samuel Mann and Michael Verhaart (Eds).
  4. Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education. Psychology Press
  5. Barab, S. & Squire, K. (2004). Design-based research: Putting a stake in the ground. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 1-14
  6. Bell, P. (2004). On the theoretical breadth of designbased research in education. Educational Psychologist
  7. Wang, F. and Hannafin, M.J. (2005). Design-based research and technology-enhanced learning environments. Journal of Educational Technology Research and Development Vol 53(4) 5-23
  8. Albertyn, F.A. (2010) thesis
  9. Benbasat, I., Goldstein, D.K. and Mead, K. (1987), The case research strategy in studies of information systems, MIS Quarterly, September 1987, 369-386.
  10. Dubé, L., and Paré, G. (2003). Rigor in Information Systems Positivist Case Research: Current Practices, Trends, and Recommendations, MIS Quarterly (27:4) 2003, pp 597-636.
  11. Lee, A.S. (1989). A Scientific Methodology for MIS Case Studies. MIS Quarterly (13:1), 1989, pp. 33-52.
  12. Myers, M.D. (ed) (1997) Qualitative Research in Information Systems: References on Case Study Research. MSIQ discovery. Retrieved on 20 January 2010 from,%20A.S.%20A%20Scientific
  13. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building Theories from Case Study Research. Academy of Management. The Academy of Management Review 14(4): 532-550.