Using case study research as a rigorous form of inquiry
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Using case study research as a rigorous form of inquiry

Camille Cronin Lecturer, University of Essex, Southend campus, Essex, UK

Aim To describe how case study research (CSR) was used inductively as an all-encompassing theoretical framework to examine learning in the workplace.

Background Case study research is a method with strong philosophical underpinnings which provides a framework for exploratory research in real-life settings (Yin 2009).

Data sources A study of five students’ experiences of learning in healthcare environments to explore real-life contexts over the course of two years. The study was rich with empirical data, offering a pragmatic framework for learning in the workplace.

Review methods Observations, interviews and documents were used.

Discussion As a result of using CSR, the findings were analysed systematically and rigorously. Using multiple methods verified data and strengthened the significance of the findings.

Conclusions This paper focuses on the strengths of using the CSR methodology. CSR embraces qualitative research methods in a rigorous and systematic manner. CSR has been applied to one example of research, addressing each step of the research protocol to use CSR to its full potential.

Implications for practice/research CSR enables real-life settings to be studied systematically and rigorously, offering examples of practice in nursing and education.

Nurse Researcher. 21, 5, 19-27. doi: 10.7748/nr.21.5.19.e1240

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 01 April 2013

Accepted: 08 July 2013

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