Case Studies

Participant and Nonparticipant Observation: A Study of Instructional Support Liaisons

The case presents an example of a research project in which the researchers struggled to negotiate participant and nonparticipant observation roles. The project and the data collection efforts including mistakes and eventual solutions are described. The case presents the benefits and challenges of engaging in participant and nonparticipant observation, specifically for those in the field of education. Finally, this case highlights the importance of thoughtfully selecting one’s role in observational data collection.

1: What are the differences between participant and nonparticipant observation?

2: Why is it important to reflect on the researchers’ roles in participant observation?


Developing and Executing a Data Collection Plan for Archival Research

This case details the process of planning and carrying out archival research on municipal associations, and it discusses the challenges and opportunities that arise from researching an understudied field, including the need to identify, locate, and collect primary data. The case discusses the process of developing a Data Collecting Plan and executing a plan of archival research to conduct original, empirical analysis. By carrying out this process, the researcher found and developed the data needed to carry out mixed-methods research, and to analyse the relationship between municipal associations’ memberships and their behaviour in intergovernmental relations.

1: Why is it useful to develop a data collection plan in archival research?

2: How can documents from archives be used in mixed methods research?


Importance of Adapting to Unexpected Circumstances in Qualitative Data Collection

This case is a reflection on a qualitative research project based on focus groups for evaluating the effectiveness of a sports centre for canoe/kayak in Oklahoma City in the US. The purpose of the project was to make sure that what the centre was doing was actually working. The case highlights the importance of being prepared, anticipating problems, and being flexible enough to overcome unforeseen circumstances.

1: Why is proper planning necessary in qualitative data collection?

2: What are the strengths and limitations of using focus group in this kind of evaluation research?


A Mixed-Method Design for Developing a Measure of Entrepreneurial Openness

This mixed methods case explains the development of the concept and measurement scale of entrepreneurial openness – a personality characteristic that helps to understand the impact of an entrepreneur’s personality on a small firm’s performance. The case describes several procedures that were applied in the scale development process: interdisciplinary literature review, interviews, focus group, pilot study, and two large-scale studies with questionnaires and data analysis for assessing each measures reliability and validity.

1: What are the benefits of a mixed-method design in a scale development process?

2: Why is the combination of different methods useful for assessing and ensuring the reliability and validity of the data?