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What Is a Case Study?
When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.
Deep Dive into a Topic
At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.
As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.
Study a Pattern
One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.
During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.
As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.
Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.
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Knowledge Management Success and Failure: 2 Case Studies
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Please note you do not have access to teaching notes, knowledge management critical failure factors: a multi-case study.
ISSN : 0305-5728
Article publication date: 4 February 2014
The goal of this paper is to present the main critical failure factors extracted from analyzing ten case studies of failure in knowledge management (KM) systems and projects and present a framework in which the failure factors are linked to the different stages in the cycle of KM implementation.
“Grounded theory” as a qualitative research technique has been applied to explore the main failure factors. Data was collected reviewing scholarly articles containing KM case studies (failure in KM implementation) and after an in-depth study – applying grounded theory method – the results of main critical failure factors categorized and analyzed in specific stages of implementing KM systems.
Through review and analysis of ten case studies, two main results were obtained. First, the main critical failure factors of KM projects were identified. Second, identified critical failure factors were traced along the KM implementation cycle. A framework is proposed that shows the critical failure factors' effect in each specific stage of the KM cycle.
The results of this research are generalized based on cases from prior literature. However, the authors have tried to be as inclusive as possible to ensure a representative sample of reported KM failures. In addition, organizations do not provide accurate reports of failure in their projects because of their policies, the image of their organization, and privacy, which could affect the identification of all failure factors.
The findings are incorporated into a framework of failure factors in KM projects and the proposed framework can help practitioners in organizations to avoid factors that lead to the demise of KM systems in each stage of the KM project development cycle. This multi-case study research and its suggested framework are also useful for academics to gain a comprehensive view of KM critical failure factors for future studies.
To the authors' knowledge this study is the first of its kind to provide an integrated perspective of critical failure factors for the implementation of KM through the inspection of ten case studies and maps the failure factors on KM implementation cycle. It provides valuable information and guidelines that will hopefully pave the way for managers to avoid failure in implementation of a KM.
- Applied knowledge management
- Knowledge barriers
- Knowledge management success factors
- Knowledge management
- Knowledge management failure
- Knowledge management cycle
- Qualitative research
- Critical failure factor
Akhavan, P. and Pezeshkan, A. (2014), "Knowledge management critical failure factors: a multi-case study", VINE , Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 22-41. https://doi.org/10.1108/VINE-08-2012-0034
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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Why Knowledge Management Fails: Lessons from a Case Study
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