CASE STUDY METHOD

CASE STUDY METHOD

Case study method is a prominent form of research method that governs a significant place in the social sciences reserch. The investigator makes investigation of social unit, which may be a person, family, community or entire culture. The investigator gathers pertinent information about the present status, past experiences, environmental focus, which contribute to the individuality and behaviour of the unit. Case study is intensive, integrated, insightfull method of studying a social phenomenon. It can also be used to illustrate theory. The term “case study” has multiple meanings. It can be used to describe a unit of analysis (e.g. a case study of a particular organization) or to describe a research method. The discussion here concerns the use of the case study as a research method.
The case study data are always gathered with view of tracing in natural history of the social unit and its relation to the forces in the surrounding milieu. In sum social researcher tries, by means of case study methods, to understand the complex factors that ate operative with in a social unit as an integrated totality. Burgess has highlighted the special potencies of these materials in understanding complex behaviour and situation in specific details. He refers to these data as a social microscope.
The major credit of introducing case study method to the field of social investigation must go to Fredrick leplay.
Various media and techniques have been utilized by researchers in the course of certain excellent case studies, they managed to turn out. The “Yankee City Series”, have in the course of their case study made use of various methods of data collection like personal interview, observation, questionnaire, statistical. The criteria for evaluating the adequacy of the case history as said by John Dollard are:
1. The subject must be viewed as a specimen in a cultural series. That is, the case drawn out from its total context for the purpose of study must be considered a member of the particular cultural group of community.
2. The organic motors of action must be socially relevant. That is, the action of the individual cases must be viewed as a series of reactions to social stimuli or situations.
3. The strategic role of the family transmitting the culture must be recognized.
4. The specific method of elaboration of organic material into social organism must be clearly shown.
5. The continuous, related character of experience from childhood through adulthood must be stressed. Such a Gestalt affords a comprehensive understanding of a person’s life as a continuum.
6. The social situation must be carefully and continuously study specified as a factor one of the more important criteria is that the person’s life must be shown unfolding itself in the context of and partly owing to specific social situations.
7. The life-history material itself must be organized according some conceptual framework; this in turn would facilitate generalization at the higher level.
Case histories are replete with valuable information of a personal, private nature. This information helps the researching to portray not only personality but also the situation researcher can conduct more effective of particular aspects if he has acquired an intimate acquaintance with the personal documents.
A case may be considered the gateway to and at the same time the final destination of abstract knowledge. The social researcher is interested in comparable case data also forgetting more insight into the similarities that enable him to analyze data to formulate ultimately the law of their occurrence and relationships.
Case study research is the most common qualitative method used in information systems although there are numerous definitions, Yin defines the scope of a case study as follows:
A case study is an empirical inquiry that:
* Investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident
Clearly, the case study research method is particularly well-suited to IS research, since the object of our discipline is the study of information systems in organizations, and “interest has shifted to organizational rather than technical issue
Case study research can be positivist, interpretive, or critical, depending upon the underlying philosophical assumptions of the researcher. in and Benbasat are advocates of positivist case study research, whereas walsham is an advocate of interpretive in-depth case study research(http://www.qual.auckland.ac.nz/)

Limitations:

1. It is more expensive as it is explorative in nature
2. The generalization based on a single case cannot be applied to the entire population.
3. There is a strong possibility of subjectivity in results. The investigator should guard against personal bias which may influence interpretation.
4. Based on the available information certain assumption regarding the rest.

Review of Implementation Process of women development process of Women development Programme(IFAD)-An Experimental Model A Case study by Hemalatha Prasad)

Hemalatha Prasad in her case study-Implementation Process of women development process of Women development Programme(IFAD)-An Experimental Model.The investigator exploratively tries to understand the women development programme implemented in Salem district. The objectives of the project are delineated in detail before proceeding to the details of the universe, Salem district.the investigator has described the details of the district Salem. All the important details needed for the study are furnished. in detail.
The investigator has gained detailed information about the achievements of the project and the performance of the project in Salem district. The organization structure of the project is shown in detail. the approach envisaged To bring about empowerment of women is clearly shown.The process of coordination of activities and the group formation process is explained. For understanding the perceptions about the project groups,3 blocks of the district of Salem are selected and the socioeconomic conditions of the members are explored by the investigator.A vivid description of the group activities pursued by the members,training provided to the group members and the main thrust highlighted,The role done by the programme staff,NGO staff in the implementation of project.The study reveals the various income generating activities pursued,the financial support given,means of availing it,loan disbursement are explained.The utilization of the loan and repayement schedule is insightfully explained.On basis of the activities of groups explored,findings are drawn from that and based on it the investigator has concluded that the capacity building and empowerment of rural women has been brought about by the enhancement of the group dynamics and credit facilities for their economic development.