1 Urban Planning and Mobility, The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Aalborg University, VBN2 Department of Development and Planning, The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Aalborg University, VBN3 The division of Technology, Environment and Society, The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Aalborg University, VBN4 Centre for Mobility and Urban Studies, The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Aalborg University, VBN
This article examines five common misunderstandings about case-study research: (a) theoretical knowledge is more valuable than practical knowledge; (b) one cannot generalize from a single case, therefore, the single-case study cannot contribute to scientific development; (c) the case study is most useful for generating hypotheses, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building; (d) the case study contains a bias toward verification; and (e) it is often difficult to summarize specific case studies. This article explains and corrects these misunderstandings one by one and concludes with the Kuhnian insight that a scientific discipline without a large number of thoroughly executed case studies is a discipline without systematic production of exemplars, and a discipline without exemplars is an ineffective one. Social science may be strengthened by the execution of a greater number of good case studies.
Qualitative Inquiry, 2006, Vol 12, Issue 2, p. 219-245