CASE STUDIES FOR SOSC-6002 KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (worth 40%)
WHAT IS A CASE STUDY? WHY ARE THEY USEFUL?
“A case study is a method for learning about a complex instance, based on a comprehensive understanding of that instance obtained through extensive description and analysis of that instance taken as a whole and in its context.”
A case study typically focuses on a particular aspect of something – a person, a site, a project, an idea, or a methodological approach. They are useful for understanding how different parts fit together and how different elements interact to produce the research data. The data is often quantitative (e.g., quantities or amounts) and/or qualitative (e.g., the characteristics of a thing or phenomenon).
Different types of case studies highlight different purposes in evaluation. Generally speaking, there are six different ways to approach a case study:
Illustrative: a descriptive analysis designed to add practicality and in-depth examples to other information regarding a program or policy.
Exploratory: a descriptive or illustrative analysis aimed at generating theories or philosophies for future investigation.
Critical: the critical examination of a single, interesting aspect of an evaluation, or an assertion regarding a program, problem or strategy.
Program implementation: an investigation conducted over time into evaluation operations, often conducted using a set of norms or standards regarding implementation processes.
Program effects: an examination of causal links between the program and the resulting research data (e.g., regarding outputs, outcomes or impacts) and usually involving multi-method evaluations.
Cumulative: a comparative analysis that combines findings from different case studies in order to address comparatively-similar evaluative issues.
Regardless of the approach you take, a case study is still an effective way to answer the question: “What happened?” As a method, the case study is correctly understood as a particular way of defining cases, not a way of analyzing cases or a way of modeling causal relations. Finally, case studies are a marketing staple. Businesses use them to show how their product or service has been implemented successfully by customers.
WHAT TO DO
Here are your tasks/questions:
Read the essay “Knowledge management critical failure factors: a multi-case study” (2014) by Peyman Akhavan and Amir Pezeshkan. You can find it by clicking on the link in the “Case Study” folder. Once you have finished reading the essay, please answer the following questions.
What is “grounded theory” and how do the authors us it as a qualitative research technique?
Identify and explain the two main results obtained by the authors to explain the main critical failure factors of KM projects.
Because organizations do not always provide accurate reports of failure in their projects because of their individual policies,
do you think the authors provide enough example to warrant their qualitative research technique?
How do they deal with the lack of information or examples?
Identify and describe the framework designed to show the critical failure factors’ effect in each specific stage of the KM cycle.
In terms of its original value as a case study,
do you believe the authors succeed in providing an integrated perspective of critical failure factors for the implementation of knowledge management?
How is the “integrated perspective” created?
Do you think they realize their goal successfully?
What are some of the alternative strategies they offer to reduce the likelihood?
Do you agree with the authors’ conclusion?
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