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Abstract

Although widely used, the qualitative case study method is not well understood. Due to conflicting epistemological presuppositions and the complexity inherent in qualitative case-based studies, scientific rigor can be difficult to demonstrate, and any resulting findings can be difficult tojustify. For that reason, this paper discusses methodological problems associated with qualitative case-based research and offers guidelines for overcoming them. Due to its nearly universal acceptance, Yin’s six-stage case study process is adopted and elaborated on. Moreover, additional principles from the wider methodological literature are integrated and explained. Finally, some modifications to the dependencies between the six case study stages are suggested. It is expected that following the guidelines presented in this paper may facilitate the collection of the most relevant data in the most efficient and effective manner, simplify the subsequent analysis, as well as enhance the validity of the resulting findings. The paper should be of interest to students (honour, masters, doctoral), academics, and practitioners involved with conducting and reviewing qualitative case-based studies.

Keywords

Qualitative Research, Case Study, Guidelines, Validity

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank The Qualitative Report Co-Editor, Dan Wulff, for his invaluable assistance with manuscript preparation

Publication Date

10-6-2014

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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