However, it remains true that sample sizes that are too small cannot adequately support claims of having achieved valid conclusions and sample sizes that are too large do not permit the deep, naturalistic, and inductive analysis that defines qualitative inquiry. Many authors often experience difficulty writing about the limitations of their work or are reluctant to include them at all. Having written professionally since 2001, he has been featured in financial publications such as SafeHaven and the McMillian Portfolio. Case studies, on the other hand, are used to answer questions of how or why. Case study research has often been criticized on the grounds that its findings are not generalizable, especially by comparison with those of survey research. Do not worry about limitations because limitations affect virtually all research projects, as well as most things in life. Although case studies offer detailed and in-depth information about a particular phenomenon, it is difficult to use this information to form generalization since they only focus on a single phenomenon.
Of these, so-called deviant cases are those whose outcome does not fit with prior theoretical expectations or wider empirical patterns — again, the use of inductive process tracing has the advantage of potentially generating new hypotheses from these, either particular to that individual case or potentially generalisable to a broader population. However, being able to recognize and accurately describe these problems is the difference between a true researcher and a grade-school kid with a science-fair project. Such studies are typically qualitative in nature, resulting in a narrative description of behavior or experience. For example: Your study looked at the efficacy of a new diabetes treatment in Japanese patients. Quantitative studies commonly ask questions of who, what, where, how much and how many.
Such studies are not to create new generalizations. In an attempt to contribute to the latter debate, this paper introduces an analytical framework for the assessment of Fairtrade built on the basis of the French Regulation Approach. What is a Case Study — Definition, Use, Data Collection, Limitations 2. You might have avoided these options for reasons of practicality, interest, or relativity to the study at hand. For example, in medicinal studies, doctors might give one of two chosen drugs to two groups of people. A holistic approach reviews all of the data as a whole and attempts to draw conclusions based on the data in its entirety.
Because of the tightly controlled conditions, random sampling, and use of statistical probabilities, it is theoretically possible to predict behavior in similar settings without actually observing that behavior. Qualitative case studies are limited, too, by the sensitivity and integrity of the investigator. Certain kinds of limitations are often associated with the analytical approach you take in your research, too. The researcher is able to delve deep and use a variety of data sources to get a complete picture. The question of researcher subjectivity is a valid one, and it may be intended only as a methodological critique of what are obviously less formalised and researcher-independent methods Verschuren, 2003.
Methods, 29 2 , pp. These misunderstandings and their restatements are displayed in Table 3. This is especially so in areas of work not traditionally understood in pedagogic terms, such as services for vulnerable families with young children. For example, if a meta-analysis of existing literature is not a stated purpose of your research, it should not be discussed as a limitation. Analysis of patterns across interactions, professionals and services is beyond the scope of the present paper. Foster eds Case Study Method.
A second qualifier relates to the difference between statistical and analytical generalisation; single case studies are clearly less appropriate for the former but arguably retain significant utility for the latter — the difference also between explanatory and exploratory, or theory-testing and theory-building, as discussed above. Abstract The Xanterra houses are situated against the backdrop of one of America's most spectacular natural landscapes, just a few hundred yards from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. For instance, if you state that generalizability is a limitation of your study given that your sample was limited to one city in the United States, then you should not claim generalizability to the United States population as an assumption of your study. Phenomenology:Interviews are the main method of data collection. At the same time, we emphasize that the necessary precautions have not always been taken, and that the danger of error in dtawing general conclusions from a small number of cases must not be underestimated. But at the end of the experiment, she might notice that the lab rats in room A are significantly fatter than those in room B.
Delimitations Delimitations are the definitions you set as the boundaries of your own thesis or dissertation, so delimitations are in your control. In addition, because scientists across the globe have different sources and amounts of funding, not all scientists can use large groups of subjects. Basic Books Inc: New York. The absence of systematic procedures for case study research is something that Yin 2009: 14-15 sees as traditionally the greatest concern due to a relative absence of methodological guidelines. Though science has a clear methodology that researchers have virtually perfected over centuries, rarely is an individual study perfect.
This methodological exposition is illustrated with examples from the case of Fairtrade wine produced in Argentina and consumed in the United Kingdom. The results were very positive; however, because you only looked at Japanese patients, these findings may not translate to patients of other ethnicities. Focus Case Study: Case studies focus on a single incident, event, organization, or an individual. They are commonly used to collect in-depth data in a natural setting where the researcher has little or no control over the events and there is a real life context. The project consists of two single-family homes for seasonal workers, approximately 2000 square feet each.
The second potential problem with qualitative research is that a particular problem could go unnoticed Bowen 2006. Personal experience and knowledge influences the observations and conclusions related to research problem. Case study has proven particularly useful for studying educational innovations, evaluating programs, and informing policy. Keep in mind that acknowledgement of a study's limitations is an opportunity to make suggestions for further research. It involves providing not only a coherent explanation of the key sequential steps in a hypothesised process, but also sensitivity to alternative explanations as well as potential biases in the available evidence Bennett and Elman 2010: 503-504. A second issue, again also incorporating issues of construct validity, concerns that of the reliability and replicability of various forms of single case study analysis.