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Qualitative Research Methodology and Design

3 pages
645 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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The researchers applied the principles of the case study design to address their research problem by giving them the opportunity to examine composite phenomenon within their frameworks. For the researcher to identify the research problem, principles of the case study design will allow the researcher to investigate the contemporary phenomenon in details to find areas which have not been researched (Edmondson & Pisano, 2001). It is a very important approach which researchers should use to determine the in-depth analysis of an issue of great interest. The in-depth analysis provides the researcher with an opportunity to understand the information in holistically in the case study before identifying the research problems. Case study design is an appropriate qualitative design to effectively address the research problem of interest because it allows the researcher to conduct in-depth, multi-faceted investigation of complex issues in their contemporary society. Other research designs do not deal with complex issues and also do not require in-depth analysis to explore the problem of interest.

There are two different boundaries of the case namely Single-case designs and Multiple-case designs. A single-case design is a research design which is mostly used in experiments where only one entity is observed regularly for a given period of time at various levels. It is different from Multiple-case designs which are an in-depth examination of a definite bounded system where multiple forms of data collection are used (Baxter & Jack, 2008). Single case design uses Holistic single unit Analysis while multiple case designs use embedded multiple units of analysis which visually examines data to methodically balances applicants target behavior before getting an interference to similar behaviors for the period of the intercession. It is usually described as a single subject design which can be used to evaluate the success of an involvement on a given case and also give evidence about the general efficacy of an intervention through the use of a small sample size (Bowen, 2008). It is usually performed by one participant or on a group of people participating in one experiment. Usually, the construct of saturation occurs because a range of opinions and diverse views are being examined under qualitative research. In qualitative research, the number of participants required depends on the nature of the research and the number of people required answering the research questions (Guest, 2006). The researchers, therefore, should focus on sample adequacy but not sample size because it is wrong to aim at generalization issues. Sample adequacy is only justified by reaching a saturation which is a sign the researchers use as an indication of quality. The two saturation points which can be reached include thematic data saturation and theoretical saturation where thematic saturation require data collection to the point where only a few data can be found within the study area. Theoretical saturation is where there is no any new data that can be found from the study area. The approach of using single case design is very effective because it ensures that collected all the available data which can increase the research validity. It does not depend on the sample size but sample adequacy which increases the quality of data collected through the use of case study design principles. The methodology is very important as it provides data triangulation which allows the researcher to explore various levels and perspectives of the same event thus increasing data validity.



American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 5th ed. American Psychological Association.

Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative Case Study Methodology: Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers. The Qualitative Report, 13(4), 544-556.

Edmondson, A. & Pisano, G. P. (2001). Disrupted routines: Team learning and new technologyimplementation in hospitals. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(4), 685-716.

Bowen, G. a., 2008. Naturalistic inquiry and the saturation concept: a research note.Qualitative Research, 8(1), pp.137152.

Guest, G., 2006. How Many Interviews Are Enough?: An Experiment with Data Saturation and Variability. Field Methods, 18(1), pp.5982.


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