Teegavarapu, S. & Summers, J.D, Case study method for design research, ASME2008

This paper is for those who do not have the time to read Yin’s case study research book. This paper picks up the main points of that book:

Five components of research:

  • case study questions
  • case study propositions
  • units of analysis
  • logic linking data to propositions
  • criteria to interpret case study results

Case studies answer to questions ‘how’ and ‘why’

Criteria for soundness:

  • construct validity
  • internal validity
  • external validity
  • reliability

Paper compares case study method to other methods used in design research: written survey, interview, experiment. The comparison shows that the case study method is most suitable. Here are some characteristics requirements case study has that the others don’t:

  • should help in constructing theories
  • variables are greater than data points
  • should accommodate indirect observation of variables
  • should be able to elicit implicit and explicit data from the subject
  • should help in data analysis
  • work well with variety of cases within same study
  • facilitate use of a multi-method approach