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Categorization of case in case study research method: new approach

Khalifa Ababacar Sy Diop, Ersi Liu

Abstract: This study was inspired by two of the leading papers in the case study method: Eisenhardt (1991) and Dyer and Wilkins (1991). The work of those authors could be considered a benchmark for research based on a case study. Additionally, this research comes as a complement to re-categorize case study research design. After reviewing those papers, the authors identified certain misunderstandings relative to when a case study should be addressed as single or multiple case studies. This study reviewed both recent and ancient research papers that used the case study research design in their investigations based on this misunderstanding. Thus, the previously identified misinterpretation of case study categorization is the gap this study filled. For this study, the case study research design was to be re-categorized to understand which case study design suits which research study. Accordingly, based on the identified gap, the study used secondary data to re-categorize the case study research design through a literature review method. As a result, the study identified three case study categories: single setting case study with single sub-case, single setting case study with multiple sub-cases, and multiple case studies. Consequently, the result re-categorizes single case study design into single sub-case and multiple sub-cases. This study makes recommendations through the proposed approach that filled the gap identified in the case study design categorization. In terms of adding to knowledge, this study’s proposed approach will augment the optimal use of case study research design by management, economics, and other disciplines’ researchers in the future.
Keywords: categorization / research design / case study research / optimal / Sub Cases / Filled / Multiple Case / identified gap

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