Creswell et al. (2007; p.245) describe case study research as “a methodology, a type of design in qualitative research, an object of study and a product of the inquiry”. They conclude with a definition that collates the hallmarks of key approaches and represents the core features of a case study:
“Case study research is a qualitative approach in which the investigator explores a bounded system (a case) or multiple bounded systems (cases) over time through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information (e.g., observations, interviews, audiovisual material, and documents and reports) and reports a case description and case-based themes”
Creswell et al. (2007; p.245)
Case Studies: Research Methods
Baškarada, S. (2014). Qualitative Case Study Guidelines. Qualitative Report, 19(40). 1-18. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2014.1008
Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008). Qualitative Case Study Methodology: Study Design and Implementation for Novice Researchers. The Qualitative Report, 13(4), 544-559. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol13/iss4/index.html
Cotterill, S. T. (2020). Case Study Approaches in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Handbook of Sport Psychology, 1097-1109.
Creswell, J. W., Hanson, W. E., Clark Plano, V. L., & Morales, A. (2007). Qualitative research designs: Selection and implementation. The counseling psychologist, 35(2), 236-264. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0011000006287390
Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative inquiry, 12(2), 219-245. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1077800405284363
Gentles, S. J., Charles, C., Ploeg, J., & McKibbon, K. A. (2015). Sampling in qualitative research: Insights from an overview of the methods literature. The qualitative report, 20(11), 1772-1789. https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/sampling-qualitative-research-insights-overview/docview/1750038029/se-2
Gerring, J. (2016). Case study research: Principles and practices. Cambridge university press.
Gustafsson, H., Kenttä, G., Hassmén, P., Lundovist, C., & Durand-Bush, N. (2007). The process of burnout: a multiple case study of three elite endurance athletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2008-02698-004
Harrison, H., Birks, M., Franklin, R. & Mills, J. (2017). Case Study Research: Foundations and Methodological Orientations. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 18(1), Art. 19, https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-18.1.2655
Hodge, K., & Sharp, L. A. (2016). Case studies. In Smith, B. and Sparkes, A.C.. Routledge handbook of qualitative research in sport and exercise, Routledge.
Schwandt, T. A. (2014). The Sage dictionary of qualitative inquiry. Sage publications.
Simons, H. (2009). Case study research in practice. SAGE publications.
Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In Denzin, N. K., Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 443-466). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Thomas, G. (2021). How to do your case study. Sage. https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/how-to-do-your-case-study/book242255 [checklists]
Thomas, G. (2011). A typology for the case study in social science following a review of definition, discourse, and structure. Qualitative inquiry, 17(6), 511-521. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1077800411409884
Thomas, G. (2010). Doing case study: Abduction not induction, phronesis not theory. Qualitative inquiry, 16(7), 575-582.
Veal, A. J., & Darcy, S. (2014). Research methods in sport studies and sport management: A practical guide. Routledge.
Yin, R. K. (2011). Applications of case study research. sage.
Zucker, D. M. (2009). How to do case study research. In Teaching research methods in the social sciences (pp. 191-202). Routledge. https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=nursing_faculty_pubs
‘sometimes we simply have to keep our eyes open and look carefully at individual cases--not in the hope of proving anything, but rather in the hope of learning something!’
Hans Eysenck (1976, 9)
Examples: Case Studies in Health
Boblin, S. L., Ireland, S., Kirkpatrick, H., & Robertson, K. (2013). Using Stake’s qualitative case study approach to explore implementation of evidence-based practice. Qualitative health research, 23(9), 1267-1275. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1049732313502128
Flattum, C., Friend, S., Horning, M., Lindberg, R., Beaudette, J., & Fulkerson, J.A. (2021). Family-focused obesity prevention program implementation in urban versus rural communities: a case study. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11967-3
Houghton, C., Murphy, K., Shaw, D., & Casey, D. (2015). Qualitative case study data analysis: An example from practice. Nurse researcher, 22(5).
Lawford, B. J., Delany, C., Bennell, K. L., Bills, C., Gale, J., & Hinman, R. S. (2018). Training physical therapists in person‐centered practice for people with osteoarthritis: a qualitative case study. Arthritis care & research, 70(4), 558-570. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.23314
Lebohang L., Jana, M., Pursell-Gotz, R., Kodisang, P., & Weiner, R. (2021). The role and effectiveness of School-based Extra-Curricular Interventions on children’s health and HIV related behaviour: the case study of Soul Buddyz Clubs Programme in South Africa. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-12281-8
Moore, K., & Field, B. J. (2017). Enhancing clinical education in the private practice setting: A case study in osteopathy. International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 23, 42-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijosm.2016.06.003
Examples: Case Studies in Sport
Balish, S., & Côté, J. (2014). The influence of community on athletic development: An integrated case study. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 6(1), 98-120. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2013.766815
Cushion, C., & Jones, R. L. (2006). Power, discourse, and symbolic violence in professional youth soccer: The case of Albion Football Club. Sociology of sport journal, 23(2), 142-161. https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.23.2.142
Brackenridge, C., & Fasting, K. (2005). The grooming process in sport: Narratives of sexual harassment and abuse. Auto/Biography, 13(1), 33-52.
Light, R. L. (2010). Children’s social and personal development through sport: A case study of an Australian swimming club. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 34(4), 379-395. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0193723510383848
Hodge, K., Henry, G., & Smith, W. (2014). A case study of excellence in élite sport: motivational climate in a world champion team. Sport Psychologist, 28(1). https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.2013-0037
McKenna, J., & Thomas, H. (2007). Enduring injustice: A case study of retirement from professional rugby union. Sport, education and society, 12(1), 19-35. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573320601081500
Macphail, A., Gorely, T., & Kirk, D. (2003). Young people's socialisation into sport: A case study of an athletics club. Sport, education and society, 8(2), 251-267. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573320309251
Mathorne, O. W., Henriksen, K., & Stambulova, N. (2020). An “organizational triangle” to coordinate talent development: A case study in Danish swimming. Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, 4(1), 11-20. https://doi.org/10.1123/cssep.2019-0017
Papathomas, A., & Lavallee, D. (2012). Narrative constructions of anorexia and abuse: An athlete's search for meaning in trauma. Journal of loss and trauma, 17(4), 293-318. https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2011.616740
Wixey, D., Ryom, K., & Kingston, K. (2020). Case studies from elite youth soccer: Reflections on talent development practices. International Sport Coaching Journal, 8(1), 62-71. https://doi.org/10.1123/iscj.2019-0005