Case Study Research: Theory, Methods and Practice
Contents Part 1. How qualitative inquiry contributes to our understanding of the world Module 2. What makes qualitative data qualitative Module 3. Making methods decisions Module 4. The fruit of qualitative methods: Chapter summary and conclusion Chapter 2. Strategic Themes in Qualitative Inquiry Module 5. Strategic design principles for qualitative inquiry Module 6. Strategic principles guiding data collection and fieldwork Module 7.
Theory, Methods and Practice
Strategic principles for qualitative analysis and reporting findings Module 8: Integrating the 12 strategic qualitative principles in practice Chapter 3. Introduction to Qualitative Inquiry Frameworks Module Ethnography and Autoethnography Module Practical and Actionable Qualitative Applications Module Practical purposes, concrete questions, and actionable answers: Illuminating and enhancing quality Module Program evaluation applications: Focus on outcomes Module 22 Specialized qualitative evaluation applications Module 23 Evaluating program models and theories of change, and evaluation models especially aligned with qualitative methods Module 24 Interactive and participatory qualitative applications Module 25 Democratic evaluation, indigenous research and evaluation, capacity building, and cultural competence Module 26 Special methodological applications Module 27 A vision of the utility of qualitative methods: Chapter summary and conclusion Part 2.
Qualitative Designs and Data Collection Chapter 5. Designing Qualitative Studies Module 28 Design thinking: Questions derive from purpose, design answers questions Module 29 Date Collection Decisions Module 30 Purposeful sampling and case selection: Overview of strategies and options Module 31 Single-significant-case sampling as a design strategy Module 32 Comparison-focused sampling options Module 33 Group characteristics sampling strategies and options Module 34 Concept and theoretical sampling strategies and options Module Instrumental-use multiple-case sampling Module 36 Sequential and emergence-driven sampling strategies and options Module 37 Analytically focused sampling Module 38 Mixed, stratified, and nested purposeful sampling strategies Module 39 Information-rich cases Module 40 Sample size for qualitative designs Module 41 Mixed methods designs Module 42 Qualitative design chapter summary and conclusion: Methods choices and decisions Chapter 6.
Variations in observational methods Module Variations in duration of observations and site visits: From rapid reconnaissance to longitudinal studies over years Module Variations in observational focus and summary of dimensions along which fieldwork varies Module What to observe: Sensitizing concepts Module Integrating what to observe with how to observe Module However, existing research methods texts are based solely on either the business approach or the social science approach to tourism.
They often fail to provide real world examples of how to plan, implement or analyse tourism related research. This book aims to address this divide by integrating theory with practice through the inclusion of specific tourism research case studies alongside research theory. It considers a wide range of research issues, approaches and techniques with contributions from both experienced and new researchers.
Tourism Research Methods: Integrating Theory with Practice
Have you read this book, or used it for one of your courses? We would love to hear your feedback. In addition, the creation of other categories of analysis to conduct a study on practices is a mistake that should be avoided. Based on this, the following question arises: How do I identify and analyze one or more practice? This should be the main question that many researchers ask, and with some guidance on immersion into the research field, it helps to answer the question.
The first important thing in order to identify a practice is to assume that it is something that happens but not as a priori practice in the sense of theory testing. It means that to identify a practice it is necessary to observe it and understand its dynamics process. This is the main goal of the researcher: to understand, describe, analyze and explain why things are the way they are through the practice lens.
In so doing, I will briefly discuss some aspects about the techniques of observation, interviews, documents, recording, and transcription of material captured in the field in order to contribute how to identify a practice. Observation in its various forms has contributed effectively in studies of practice because it allows the researcher to access the field and check while the constituent activities of practice are running or going in their naturalistic way. Since observation having many possibilities, including ethnographic, it offers circumstances where the researcher can experience the practice in order to be, at the same time, an insider and an outsider.
This process of zooming in and zooming out Gherardi, ; Nicolini, b , helps researchers best define the studied practice, better knowing its dynamics and the actors involved, both human and non-human. The main challenge is to know the practice as an insider to catch the meanings, accountability and the way to do the practice the same way as the practice members do it. On the other hand, it is necessary to see the same practice as an outsider to be able to analyze it in a different way that the members can, in terms of the non-reflexive part of the practice. Interviews can also contribute to research in practice-based research; however, they present important limitations when used in isolation, or as a protagonist technique in the research to be developed.
Interviews capture, in general, the speeches, the memories, and the knowledge people carry with them, or have about a certain topic or subject. Therefore, when the researcher wants to confirm, confront, or even know historical aspects concerning some practice; these techniques can be useful since the researcher cannot always access this data in another way.
However, interviews alone cannot meet certain conditions to access some relevant aspects in the research of practices. The first limitation is because we are unable to access the dynamics of a practice from the discourse of the other s , considering that it will be a reporting of something passed through and that it is subject to memory lapses, distortions of the facts, possibility of omission, and even the lack of veracity of some data. In addition, as discussed earlier in this article, although the speeches and discourses are integral and relevant in the constitution of practices, these alone are not enough to explain all of the dynamics and complexity of reality itself.
Some aesthetics Strati, about data and ongoing process are harmed with the exclusive adoption of interviews. Another important aspect regarding interviews is a certain degree of dogmatism created in the form of treatment of the data generated by them. It has become almost a rule saying that interviews were recorded and transcribed, as if that was a guaranteed best way to conduct interviews for all types of qualitative research.
My question is: As good as the recording and the transcript will be, is there no significant loss of aesthetic data, for example? How are the non-humans in a practice captured in that context by only analyzing speeches? Or, how are the dynamics of a practice captured only with the interviewees' discourse? And what do they not know, or do not realize they know, and do not include in the interviews?
Thus, the exclusive or extensive use of interviews should be considered limitations to the research on practices. Interviews are useful as a mean of triangulation of data and supplementary information that is not accessible to observations. It is also important to say that when interviews are recorded and analyzed as a movie and not transcription it helps to significantly reduce data loss.
Finally, the number of interviews in practice-based studies can vary greatly, depending on the purpose of the research. Another practical way of research is through documents, whether produced for research or not. They can contribute to the understanding of how some practices materialize and can express aspects that were unnoticed during observation.
In relation to documents produced for research, photos and films help rescue the research context of observation and also allow repeated access to data and facilitate analysis. They are also useful in analysis in that they can materialize aspects of practice that are very subjective and difficult to verbalize. So they are welcome throughout the text to help the reader understand the studied practice.
Documents that have not been produced for research purposes, such as manuals, reports, projects, emails, among others can contribute to help the researcher see how some practices materialize and how they influence the practice itself.
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These sorts of documents are good resources of complementary data and useful as a mean of triangulation and supplementary information. Some considerations on the analysis of the data accessed in the field are necessary. One is to say that a practice is a way to describe, understand, and analyze a phenomenon that is called practice. So when a researcher assigns a name to a set of activities, that is what we are calling practice; i. However, this does not mean that the identified practice is separated from other practices and might not even be part of a larger practice in which it is inserted.
Another important point is that practices have a direct influence on the way the researchers of this approach see and understand organizations. For scholars of practice, organizations are formed by practices and determined as such Czarniawska, ; Latour, , This observation is important because it has generated a lot of confusion and analytical conflicts during this phase of the research.
To illustrate this situation I will use the example of corrupt practices. A study that is investigating corruption as a practice cannot be limited to making it into only an institution, without the risk of not capturing all nuances. Furthermore, it is important to realize that corruption is a form of organization, which is not similar to what is called organization in the common sense.
When considering all presented aspects, practice-based studies require specific care for conduction. Therefore, it is up to us to emphasize that this is not just the use of a theoretical approach or new epistemology as an academic fad Nicolini, By opting for practice theories, the researcher must meet the methodological developments needed to conduct research in order to avoid creating an academic Frankenstein. In other words, this first reflection is the moment to establish the draft of a practice, such as guidelines of its constitution.
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After that, in order to better understand, describe and explain the practice, it is necessary to go through the collected material and organize them inside the set of activities identified and which constitute the practice together; i. It is important to clearly describe each activity and how they constitute the main practice. In this moment, you will have a first constitution and description of the practice as an insider, or "a mode, relatively stable in time and socially recognized, of ordering heterogeneous items into a coherent set" Gherardi, , p.
To go in depth to explain the practice, it is necessary to conduct a second analysis process considering the practice as a whole. At this moment the data have to be revisited, researching the practice as an organizing way of humans, non-humans and the activities produced by them in a coherent, symbolic and meaningful set, as an outsider.
Figure 1 llustrates this process. The figure is a simplified framework to illustrate my point of view of how to analyze data from a practice-based approach perspective. It has not intended to be a generalized framework, but it helps to reflect upon a process of data analysis. It is also important to notice that this proposal respects the idiosyncrasies of each practice-based approach by calling attention to the chosen practice-based approach[es] which will determine the analysis criteria of each approach.
The term activity, especially due to Marx's influence, has the status of practice for these scholars.
Case Study Research: Theory, Methods And Practice
Thus, according to my proposed framework it is necessary to understand that for these scholars a bundle of praxis forms an activity. This is an example of label situation that reinforces the existence of an umbrella, which has many approaches that have to be respected in their own characteristics and do not offer the opportunity to conduct a unique practice-based research. However, at the time, some authors Gherardi, ; Nicolini, state that it is possible and positive to use two or more practice-based approaches combined in order to investigate and understand many sorts of social and organizational phenomena.
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In this case, the existence of sharing epistemological roots opens the possibility to do so. Another methodological observation that I would like to make is for those scholars that use the Strategy as Practice approach.