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A Comparison of Methods in Business Research

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A Comparison of Methods in Business Research
By Song Gao
This essay compares the research method of case study with five other methods in business research. The five methods are focus group, in-depth interview, observation, questionnaires and field experiment. This essay provides the definition, advantages, disadvantages/limitations for each of the six methods. Moreover, five published articles related to case study method and two published articles related to each of the other five methods were found to further discuss their application in research.
Case Study
Definition
It is an understatement that there is confusion among students, teachers and researchers about the definition of case study research. In this essay, I use the definition as follows: A case study is a study in which (a) one case (single case study) or a small number of cases (comparative case study) in their real life context are selected, and (b) scores obtained from these cases are analysed in a qualitative manner.(Dul & Hak, 2008).
Advantages
The case study method involves detailed, holistic investigation and can utilise a range of different measurement techniques (the case study researcher is not limited to any one methodological tool). Data can be collected over a period of time, and it is contextual. The histories and stories that can be told about the company are also something that can be assessed and documented.(The university of Melbourne, 2010)
Limitations
The case study involves analysis of small data sets, such as one or two companies, that may lead the researcher to gain some insights about trends in relevant industries. The study involves “small-n” data and therefore conventional empirical techniques cannot be used, or where they are used, they may have limited application as there may not be enough data to meet requirements for statistical significance.(The university of...

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