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Advantages of case study method in business research

Limitations of Case Studies

They are being deemed non-scientific and of questionable usefulness. In this blog I will look at both sides of the argument for case studies and see whether as a design it is still useful for the field of psychology. Advantages Case studies allow a lot of detail to be collected that would not normally be easily obtained by other research designs.

The data collected advantages of case study method in business research normally a lot richer and of greater depth than can be found through other experimental designs. Case studies tend to be conducted on rare cases where large samples of similar participants are not available.

Case Study Method

An example of this is the study of Phineas Gage by Harlow, J. This advantages of case study method in business research also connects with the point above with the depth of data obtained. Cases of brain damage are quite minimal and it is extremely rare to find people with the exact same parts of the brain affected.

To be able to gain knowledge of brain functions the damage between people have to be exact to ensure you are testing the right thing, this can generally only be done through case studies. Within the case study, scientific experiments can be conducted.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Case Studies

Again to Phineas Gage, his contributions to neuropsychology and the workings of the brain are invaluable. Disadvantages One of the main criticisms is that the data collected cannot necessarily be generalised to the wider population.

This leads to data being collected over longitudinal case studies not always being relevant or particularly useful. Some case studies are not scientific. Freud used case studies for many of his theories or studies.

Such examples are that of Anna O and Little Hans.

12 Case Study Method Advantages and Disadvantages

Both of these are not scientific nor are they able to be generalised. This can be attributed to them being case studies, but also Freudian theory in general.

Strengths of Case Studies

This can lead to bias in data collection, which can influence results more than in different designs. Case studies also tend to collect mainly qualitative data. I have put this as neither an advantage or disadvantage of case studies, as this depends on your stance on qualitative data. If you look back a few blogs I have summarised my view of qualitative data. It would be extremely unethical to go taking parts of peoples brains out just to make a larger sample size to use a different experimental design method.

However, as data is collected on new cases I think it is important to always refer back to previous data in order to build on existing knowledge and ensure findings are as applicable to real advantages of case study method in business research as possible.