Thinking ‘Qualitative’ Through a Case Study: Homework for a Researcher

Anup Chowdhury 1, Nikhil Chandra Shil 1

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 5, Issue 2 (In Progress), pp. 190-210

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This study portrays the necessary preparation of a qualitative researcher who intends to undertake case study research. Here, it is argued that the case study method identifies the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real-life events. This study has policy implications for the potential case study researchers. This present study raises the awareness of a case study researcher and highlights that a case researcher should be familiar with and follow a rational and effective process before designing the research. At the initial stage, a case study researcher should plan for an appropriate entry through formal and informal gatekeepers at the research site. The case researcher also needs to plan the periods in the fieldwork well in advance. This study also illustrates that the case researcher should know data generation and collection procedures and the techniques to analyzing case study data. As the case study data cannot be generalized the researcher needs to adopt a prior theoretical stance for validity, reliability, and generalizability of the case study data. In this study, it is argued that the case study is based on replication, not sampling logic. Therefore, in the case study, theoretical generalization is possible but not statistical generalization.

Keywords: Qualitative Research, Case Study, Case Study Data, Theoretical Framework, Generalization.