A case study is used in investigating problems that cannot be unearthed by the quantitative study as it is an in-depth examination of a research phenomenon that is utilized in the understanding of an issue that relates to the present situation.
This means that it examines a situation in its natural setting and is normally engaged in examining records, observation, psych testing, and interviews. A case study is superior, for instance, in addressing psychological disorders as the researcher can distinguish between development and history. However, it is subjective in nature as it depends on the researcher’s judgment of the situation.
Diverse types of investigating qualitative behavior exist, and research design is different in each one of them; a case study is one of the qualitative methodologies used in the study of such phenomenon. A single case study can have two types of study that are either instrumental or intrinsic; an instrumental study offers the common understanding of a situation using a specific case that must be justified by the researcher. In an intrinsic study, the researcher studies the uniqueness of a particular situation that the research focuses on; in this case, it is paramount for the researcher to identify the uniqueness of the situation, which differentiates it from other similar events. A collective study or case study offers a common understanding of the amount of instrumental study that originates from one or multiple sites; the nature of the case is a useful factor that determines the study design to be used to arrive at the research findings.
As such, a case study is considered as the most important approach is qualitatively designed studies because methods because can be able to generate a hypothesis, focus interpretation of the phenomena, and identify unforeseen factors that impact the study which has not been foreseen as earlier mentioned case study can involve the study of multiple and single cases datasets that rely on numerous sources of facts which are also based on the previous generation of hypothetical propositions and can involve both types of qualitative and quantitative data. Therefore, qualitative and quantitative aspects of a study can be found intertwined in a case study depending on the nature of the research study involved.
In case studies that involve qualitative studies, a researcher analyzes and reports the results of the study based on the data examined as well as the context in which the data was collected to formulate findings as to why a certain event occurred and explanation of other objectives of the study; this approach of phenomena investigation is characteristic of all qualitative research. One of the unique abilities of case studies in social research is that they can be used for both purposes of generating and testing a hypothesis. This is unique because most research studies, including the two that we have focused on throughout this paper of qualitative and quantitative, cannot be able to achieve both of this but each is concerned with either formulation of a hypothesis as is the case of qualitative studies or testing of the hypothesis as is the case of quantitative research.
Thus, this unique nature of case studies makes it possible for them to be used in both types of research studies. The quantitative researcher, for instance, uses numerous cases to find out the most common and general theory that relates to a hypothesis since it is interested in testing a certain theory. This is done through a controlled study by use of several variables that are aimed at certifying a certain hypothesis to be true or false and thereby validate or invalidate a theory that is being investigated.
Qualitative researchers, on the other hand, try to understand and build knowledge; as such, quantitative research commences with “why” as it looks for an explanation while qualitative research begins with “how or what” as it focuses on proving a theoretical assertion. To comprehend the study in qualitative research, all elements of the study need to be put into consideration, and this completeness means that each event is unique. In this case, a case study can be regarded as a qualitative research design. It exhibits qualitative research method characteristics such as the uniqueness of phenomena, seeks to understand and interprets a situation in its natural settings, and is oriented towards knowledge creation. On the other hand, a case study can also be used in quantitative research because it tests theories after qualitative researchers have developed them.