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Encyclopedia of Case Study Research

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Encyclopedia of Case Study Research

Albert J. Mills & Gabrielle Durepos & Elden Wiebe

Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412957397 | Print ISBN: 9781412956703 | Online ISBN: 9781412957397 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Intrinsic Case Study

Gina Grandy

An intrinsic case study is the study of a case (e.g., person, specific group, occupation, department, organization) where the case itself is of primary interest in the exploration. The exploration is driven by a desire to know more about the uniqueness of the case rather than to build theory or how the case represents other cases. Robert Stake classifies cases into three categories: (1) intrinsic, (2) instrumental, and (3) collective. The intrinsic case is often exploratory in nature, and the researcher is guided by his or her interest in the case itself rather than in extending theory or generalizing across cases. In an instrumental case study the case is secondary to the exploration of a specific issue, building theory or redrawing generalizations. In an instrumental case study the case becomes a tool to better understand something else. A collective case study involves the exploration of multiple instrumental case studies. The ...

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