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Researchers who have contributed to the development of case study research come from diverse disciplines with different philosophical perspectives, resulting in a variety of definitions and approaches.For the researcher new to using case study, such variety can create a confusing platform for its application. Introduction Case study research has grown in reputation as an effective methodology to investigate and understand complex issues in real world settings.
Case studies are a popular research method in business area.
Case studies aim to analyze specific issues within the boundaries of a specific environment, situation or organization.
As a result, while case study research has evolved to be a pragmatic, flexible research approach, the variation in definition, application, validity, and purposefulness can create a confusing platform for its use.
 In this article, we examine each of these issues in turn, with the aim of improving our understanding of case study research and clarifying the requisite tenets to consider when designing a case study.
Such investigations were conducted in the natural setting of those experiences with results presented descriptively or as a narrative (MERRIAM, 2009).
The most notable case studies include THOMAS and ZNANIECKI's (1958 [1918-1920]) study of Polish peasants in Europe and America and, the ethnographic work by MALINOWSKI (1913) in the Trobriand Islands in Melanesia that spanned over several years (CRESWELL, HANSON, PLANO CLARK & MORALES, 2007; JOHANSSON, 2003; STEWART, 2014).This type of case studies focus on phenomena within the contexts of real-life situations.Example: “An investigation into the reasons of the global financial and economic crisis of 2008 – 2010.” Descriptive case studies aim to analyze the sequence of interpersonal events after a certain amount of time has passed.According to its design, case studies in business research can be divided into three categories: explanatory, descriptive and exploratory.Explanatory case studies aim to answer ‘how’ or ’why’ questions with little control on behalf of researcher over occurrence of events.We begin with an overview of the history and evolution of case study research, followed by a discussion of the methodological and philosophical variations found within case study designs.We end with a summary of the common characteristics of case study research and a table that brings together the fundamental elements that we found common in all case study approaches to research. History and Evolution Case study research as a strategy for methodological exploration, according to FLYVBJERG (2011) "has been around as long as recorded history" (p.302).This evolution has resulted in a pragmatic, flexible research approach, capable of providing comprehensive in-depth understanding of a diverse range of issues across a number of disciplines.Change and progress have stemmed from parallel influences of historical transformations in approaches to research and individual researcher's preferences, perspectives, and interpretations of this design.Studies in business research belonging to this category usually describe culture or sub-culture, and they attempt to discover the key phenomena.Example: “Impact of increasing levels of multiculturalism on marketing practices: A case study of Mc Donald’s Indonesia.” Exploratory case studies aim to find answers to the questions of ‘what’ or ‘who’.