Yin Case Study Research Notes 2003

Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Chapter 6: Reporting Case Studies

  • There is no prescriptive compositional structure. “As a general rule, the compositional phase puts the greatest demands on a case study investigator (p. 141).”
  • “The successful investigator usually perceives the compositional phase as an opportunity – to make a significant contribution to knowledge or practice (p. 142).”

Targeting Case Study Reports

  • Know your audience. They are the greatest determining factor for selecting the style and structure of the written report.
  • Communicating With Case Studies
  • Orienting the Case Study Report to an Audience’s Needs

    • “Overall, the preferences of the potential audience should dictate the form of your case study report (p. 145).”
  • Formats for Written Case Study Reports

    • “Depending on the depth of the case study, these classic single cases are likely to appear as books because journals cannot accommodate the needed space (p. 146).”
    • “(In contrast, the traditional case study narrative may be considered similar to the format of a term paper) (p. 147).”
  • Yin vs Stake è Analytic Narrative (Yin) vs Descriptive or Storytelling Narrative (Stake)

Case Study Reports as Part of Larger, Multimethod Studies

Illustrative Structures for Case Study Compositions

  • Offers a table of the six structures and which ones work with which kind of case

    • Explanatory: Linear-analytic, comparative, chronological, theory building, “suspense”
    • Descriptive: Linear-analytic, comparative, chronological, unsequenced
    • Exploratory: Linear-analytic, comparative, chronological, theory building
  • The six structures include : linear-analytic, comparative, chronological, theory building, “suspense”, and unsequenced.
  • Linear-analytic are appropriate for journal articles and dissertations.
  • Comparative are appropriate when you have multiple points of view or models to which to compare the case.

    • “The same case can be described repeatedly, from different points of view or with different descriptive models, to determine how the case might best be categorized for descriptive purposes – as in arriving at the correct diagnosis for a clinical patient in psychology (p. 153).
  • Chronological are appropriate for knowing time and order or sequence of events in the case.
  • Theory-building the chapters follow a logic aimed at building the theory.
  • In suspense, the reader knows the end and then the case goes back and explains from the beginning how they got to the end.
  • Unstructured – the order doesn’t matter, they can be interchangeable

Procedures in Doing a Case Study Report

  • When and How to Start Composing

    • Immediately
  • Case Identities: Real or Anonymous?
  • The Review of the Draft Case Study: A Validating Procedure

    • “The informants and participants may still disagree with an investigator’s conclusions and interpretations, but these reviewers should not disagree over the actual facts of the case. If such disagreement emerges during the review process, an investigator knows that the case study report is not finished and that such disagreements must be settled through a search for further evidence. Often, the opportunity to review the draft also produces further evidence, as the informants and participants may remember new materials that hey had forgotten during the initial data collection period (p. 159).”

What Makes an Exemplary Case Study?

  • The Case Study Must Be Significant
  • The Case Study Must Be “Complete”
  • The Case Study Must Consider Alternative Perspectives
  • The Case Study Must Display Sufficient Evidence
  • The Case Study Must Be Composed in an Engaging Manner