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Classified in Philosophy and ethics

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Case studies often involve the detailed exploration, typically with information accumulated over a phase of time, of phenomena within their context. A case study can be defined as “...An empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon in depth and within its real-life context, especially when... The boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident”. The fundamental objective is to generate an analysis of the context and processes which enlighten the issue being researched. Therefore, unlike laboratory research, the phenomenon is not divorced from its context but is of appeal as the purpose is to realise how behaviour and processes affect and are affected by context. Case studies, which can be single or multiple, regularly concentrate on one or more specific entities, for example, organisations, individuals, departments, groups, and processes. Case studies aim to comprehend an existent problem and to use the acquired understandings to develop new theoretical outlooks or explanations. There exist different traditions in the case study literature, which can influence the methodological choices taken by the researcher. Cases are presented in the broader tradition of positivist research. Within this perspective, the objective is to advance theory through testable propositions and the pursuit of facts through the process of induction. This approach is best suited to circumstances where there is limited knowledge about a phenomenon or where exiting knowledge is contradictory or unclear. For example, Martin and Eisendhardt used this approach to examine the key differences between successful and failed cross-divisional projects in multi-business organisations.

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