Case study research: opening up research opportunities


RAUSP Manag. J.




Abstract Purpose The case study approach has been widely used in management studies and the social sciences more generally. However, there are still doubts about when and how case studies should be used. This paper aims to discuss this approach, its various uses and applications, in light of epistemological principles, as well as the criteria for rigor and validity. Design/methodology/approach This paper discusses the various concepts of case and case studies in the methods literature and addresses the different uses of cases in relation to epistemological principles and criteria for rigor and validity. Findings The use of this research approach can be based on several epistemologies, provided the researcher attends to the internal coherence between method and epistemology, or what the authors call “alignment.” Originality/value This study offers a number of implications for the practice of management research, as it shows how the case study approach does not commit the researcher to particular data collection or interpretation methods. Furthermore, the use of cases can be justified according to multiple epistemological orientations.

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