Case study is a popular research design within the social sciences despite concerns of its credibility. Case studies provide an in-depth exploration of the unit of analysis (case). Hence, data triangulation is a key characteristic of the design whose purpose is to provide a thick, rich, and contextual description. Data for varied sources enhances credibility of the study. However, studies involving only one source of evidence exist in peer reviewed publications. This paper reviews the nature of case studies and discusses the importance of data triangulation. Further, three published case studies involving a single source of data are reviewed and suggestions of more appropriate designs are provided.


Case Study, Sources of Evidence, Interviews

Author Bio(s)

Pearl R. Smith, PhD is an adjunct professor and operates an independent training and development practice specializing in leadership development. She currently teaches in the organizational leadership program and University of Phoenix and Mercer University. Her clients include many state and federal government agencies. She is a federal government retiree who served in numerous staff and management positions prior to establishing her private practices. Dr. Smith holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: pearl@pearlofwisdom.org.

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