05-Unit5 - Research Methodology Unit 5 Unit 5 Structure 5....

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Unformatted text preview: Research Methodology Unit 5 Unit 5 Structure 5. 1 Meaning of Case Study Objectives 5. 2 Assumptions of Case Study Method 5. 3 Advantages of Case Study Method 5. 4 Disadvantages of Case Study Method 5. 5 Making Case Study Effective Case Study Method 5. 6 Case Study as a Method of Business Research Self Assessment Questions 5.7 5.8 5.9 Summary Terminal Questions Answers to SAQs and TQs 5.1 Meaning of Case Study Case study is a method of exploring and analyzing the life of a social unit or entity, be it a person, a family, an institution or a community. The aim of case study method is to locate or identify the factors that account for the behaviour patterns of a given unit, and its relationship with the environment. The case data are always gathered with a view to attracting the natural history of the social unit, and its relationship with the social factors and forces operative and involved in this surrounding milieu. In short, the social researcher tries, by means of the case study method, to understand the complex of factors that are working within a social unit as an integrated totality. Looked at from another angle, the case study serves the purpose similar to the clue-providing function of expert opinion. It is most appropriate when one is trying to find clues and ideas for further research. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 62 Research Methodology Unit 5 The major credit for introducing case study method into social investigation goes to Frederick Leplay. Herbert Spencer was the first social philosopher who used case study in comparative studies of different cultures. William Healey used case study in his study of juvenile delinquency. Anthropologists and ethnologists have liberally utilized cast study in the systematic description of primitive cultures. Historians have used this method for portraying some historical character or particular historical period and describing the developments within a national community. Objectives: After studying this lesson you should be able to understand: Assumptions of Case Study Method Advantages of Case Study Method Disadvantages of Case Study Method Making Case Study Effective Case Study as a Method of Business Research 5.2 Assumptions of Case Study Method Case study would depend upon wit, commonsense and imagination of the person doing the case study. The investigator makes up his procedure as he goes along. If the life history has been written in the first person, it must be as complete and coherent as possible. Life histories should have been written for knowledgeable persons. It is advisable to supplement case data by observational, statistical and historical data since these provide standards for assessing the reliability and consistency of the case material. Efforts should be made to ascertain the reliability of life history data through examining the internal consistency of the material. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 63 Research Methodology Unit 5 A judicious combination of techniques of data collection is a prerequisite for securing data that are culturally meaningful and scientifically significant. 5.3 Advantages of Case Study Method Case study of particular value when a complex set of variables may be at work in generating observed results and intensive study is needed to unravel the complexities. For example, an in-depth study of a firm’s top sales people and comparison with worst salespeople might reveal characteristics common to stellar performers. Here again, the exploratory investigation is best served by an active curiosity and willingness to deviate from the initial plan when findings suggest new courses of inquiry might prove more productive. It is easy to see how the exploratory research objectives of generating insights and hypothesis would be well served by use of this technique 5.4 Disadvantages of Case Study Method Blummer points out that independently, the case documents hardly fulfil the criteria of reliability, adequacy and representativeness, but to exclude them form any scientific study of human life will be blunder in as much as these documents are necessary and significant both for theory building and practice. 5.5 Making Case Study Effective Let us discuss the criteria for evaluating the adequacy of the case history or life history which is of central importance for case study. John Dollard has proposed seven criteria for evaluating such adequacy as follows: i) The subject must be viewed as a specimen in a cultural series. That is, the case drawn out from its total context for the purposes of study Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 64 Research Methodology Unit 5 must be considered a member of the particular cultural group or community. The scrutiny of the life histories of persons must be done with a view to identify thee community values, standards and their shared way of life. ii) The organic motto of action must be socially relevant. That is, the action of the individual cases must be viewed as a series of reactions to social stimuli or situation. In other words, the social meaning of behaviour must be taken into consideration. iii) The strategic role of the family group in transmitting the culture must be recognized. That is, in case of an individual being the member of a family, the role of family in shaping his behaviour must never be overlooked. iv) The specific method of elaboration of organic material onto social behaviour must be clearly shown. That is case histories that portray in detail how basically a biological organism, the man, gradually blossoms forth into a social person, are especially fruitful. v) The continuous related character of experience for childhood through adulthood must be stressed. In other words, the life history must be a configuration depicting the inter-relationships between thee person’s various experiences. vi) Social situation must be carefully and continuously specified as a factor. One of the important criteria for the life history is that a person’s life must be shown as unfolding itself in the context of and partly owing to specific social situations. vii) The life history material itself must be organised according to some conceptual framework, this in turn would facilitate generalizations at a higher level. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 65 Research Methodology Unit 5 5.6 Case Study as a Method of Business Research In-depth analysis of selected cases is of particular value to business research when a complex set of variables may be at work in generating observed results and intensive study is needed to unravel the complexities. For instance, an in-depth study of a firm’s top sales people and comparison with the worst sales people might reveal characteristics common to stellar performers. The exploratory investigator is best served by the active curiosity and willingness to deviate from the initial plan, when the finding suggests new courses of enquiry, might prove more productive Self Assessment Questions State whether the following statements are true or false. 1. Case study is a method of exploring and analyzing the life of a social unit. 2. Case study of not particular value when a complex set of variables may be at work. 3. In-depth analysis of selected cases is not of particular value to business research 5.7 Summary Case study is a method of exploring and analyzing the life of a social unit or entity, be it a person, a family, an institution or a community. Case study would depend upon wit, commonsense and imagination of the person doing the case study. The investigator makes up his procedure as he goes along. Efforts should be made to ascertain the reliability of life history data through examining the internal consistency of the material.. A judicious combination of techniques of data collection is a prerequisite for securing data that are culturally meaningful and scientifically significant. Case study of particular value when a complex set of variables may be at work in generating Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 66 Research Methodology Unit 5 observed results and intensive study is needed to unravel the complexities. The case documents hardly fulfil the criteria of reliability, adequacy and representativeness, but to exclude them form any scientific study of human life will be blunder in as much as these documents are necessary and significant both for theory building and practice. In-depth analysis of selected cases is of particular value to business research when a complex set of variables may be at work in generating observed results and intensive study is needed to unravel the complexities. 5.8 Terminal Questions 1. What is the Meaning of case study? 2. What are the assumptions of Case Study Method? 3. What are the advantages of Case Study Method? 4. What are the disadvantages of Case Study Method? 5. How can a case study be made effective? 6. How case study method is useful to Business Research? 5.9 Answers to SAQs and TQs SQs 1. True 2. False 3. False TQs 1. Section 5.1 2. Section 5.2 3. Section 5.3 4. Section 5.4 5. Section 5.5 6. Section 5.6 Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 67 ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2010 for the course MBA mba taught by Professor Smu during the Spring '10 term at Manipal University.

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