Case Study is a qualitative research which is an in-depth comprehensive study of a case or a study of a subject as well its related circumstances. It is a design that helps to narrow down broad studies into one easy research topic. The case study design is valuable in figuring out if the theories and designs work in the real world with real people. In additions, it is useful for exploring specific trends and situations.
There are 3 types of case studies, exploratory case-study, descriptive case-study and explanatory case study (Yin, 2018). Exploratory case study is initial research that leads to a bigger research project, a descriptive case study is focused and detailed, and explanatory case study simply emphases on explanation for questions. The intent of the case study is not to just be entirely intrinsic, but it can be used to look at other similar cases involving a similar subgroup and culture. (Creswell & Poth, 2018). For example, one case study can lead to another study exploration in the same field but in a larger representation. There are some important steps for a successful case study. Firstly, plan and design the case study ensuring the approach is relevant to the research problem. Secondly, identify the case by finding and picking right candidates. Thirdly, gather the data by ensuring all the appropriate documents are collected and then analyze the data. Lastly, report the case and share.
One of the challenges associated with case study is that it might not answer all questions completely, as the research can be specific and narrow, therefore the results cannot be explored further. In contrast, case study can be flexible as well, therefore introducing new and unexpected results leading to new questions and directions in the research (Shuttleworth 2008).
Another challenge related to case study is that the researcher must decide to study a single case or multiple cases. While selecting single case can ensure the researcher is clear and focused on the method, choosing multiple case can confuse the researcher about how many subjects to choose which can give a larger data set, but unable to present the case study robustly. The study of multiple cases weakens the analysis, thus making the single cases less comprehensive and detailed. (Creswell & Poth, 2018).
Additionally, case studies can take too long, consequently confusing the researcher of the method of data collection to be used. The confusion can lead the researchers to be disorganized and unfollow the proper methods and procedures to be used, thus making them biased towards the study findings and conclusions. Some case studies may not have clear focus on the beginning and ending, therefore the researcher will need to set boundaries that sufficiently surround the case (Creswell & Poth, 2018).
Case study has also been criticized for not being too rigor or not being too consistent and lacks the thoroughness, as as they focus on small groups. Since the case studies focus on a specific group of participants, the data collection can be limited, not taking in account all the interviewers opinions, views and ideas. The absence of users for interview meant that only one side of the story was told in this case study site (Potter & Nielson, 2010). The study deals with real world which also means the lack of control over the situations.
The challenge of doctoral persistence rate depends on many critical factors, retention rate being one of them, especially for women students. Although, in this new age, online and advance programs availability promise adult’s flexibility, and convenience, many barriers to learning still remains for female students. For example, women are still known to be primary caregivers for their family, therefore these multiple commitments in women’s life makes doctoral persistence a challenge (Müller, 2008).
In this case study, the problem to be addressed pertaining to doctoral persistence of business students is learning how gender affects doctoral persistence and what factors influence the persistence degrees in female students. Understanding the factors and variables contributing towards the attrition of female doctoral students can provide details and information on why many female students fail to complete the program compared to men. Findings have suggested that multiple responsibilities towards their family and career, insufficient interaction with professors, technology challenges, and coursework ranked as the highest barriers to women’s persistence (Müller, 2008).
The problem can be addressed by focusing on female student’s situation, context and background and trying to identify and understand the reasons for more women dropping out of the program. These questions can be answered by interviewing the female candidates who have dropped out of the doctoral programs and analyzing their opinions and thoughts based on their gender and hindrance towards the program completion.
Specific questions related to female students who have withdrawn from the doctoral program due to gender difference and factors that impacted their persistence rate is:
How does gender difference affect doctoral persistence?
What factors affect and influence women retention rate in doctoral persistence?
The purpose of this qualitative case study is to understand what factors and experience affect the female student’s doctoral persistence or failure rate. During the doctoral study, female students usually multitask as they are the primary caregivers for their children and family. Although studies show that women’s participation in the doctoral degree has increased over the years, women are still leaking through the educational pipeline (Soto & Yao, 2010)
Unfortunately, one of the most frequent complaints female students have is that they feel overwhelmed and stressed. Generally, they don’t have enough time to finish their assignments and tasks as they struggle to balance family and job demands and challenges. According to a 2010 study by the American Psychological Association, 49% of women said their stress had increased over the past five years, compared to 39% of men (Giese, 2017).
Many studies have shown that women have become self-negligence, therefore, not spending enough time on themselves and their priorities. The lack of self-attention is enough for them to fail in the doctoral program, as this can lower self-confidence and self-esteem. As women’s nature is always to take care of others first, it forces them to divide their time between school and family, and women usually choose family over everything.
The case study will offer insight into how the women students who dropped out of the program view retention rate and what factors influence their doctoral persistence.
It’s essential to interview the women candidates to further investigate and analyze their views, concerns and difficulty behind the factors affecting and influencing doctoral persistence.
Case study research comprises of the study of real life context and conditions and can be based on a single or multiple case. While case studies can be challenging at times, it also gives the researcher the opportunity to advance and improve on research thus leading to a better understanding of the studies.