During the course of the post-graduate or doctoral course students might be required to complete some kind of case study. They will have to go into great detail in trying to answer a particular question and examine all different points of view. There are some kinds of research which look at the overall scenario or a general picture. However, a case study looks at one aspect of the research and often tries to apply certain principles to real world scenarios and see what the results are.
Case studies are quite common in marketing where researchers are constantly trying to examine cause and effect situations and many of the case studies are often applied practically in the real world. A case study can pave the way for a researcher to establish his credentials among those who matter and find a road to success in corporate life.
One of the qualities that are required of a case study is that the researcher needs to be flexible. There are certain kinds of research which require the scholar to frame a theory or a hypothesis in advance and then proceed to investigate its validity. But a case study requires the researcher to be open to all ideas. The investigation might throw up some unexpected answers that the scholar might not have been expecting and he or she should be open enough to accept it.
The researcher should ideally make a list of all the points that are going to be investigated in the study. There are also studies where the researcher simply has to stand back and observe rather than play an active role in any kind of experiment. While there will be many facts to be gleaned in the study, some of it will also be opinions that the researcher will have to form during the final analysis.