Case Study Methodology for Islamic Studies Researchers A Comprehensive Overview of Its Types, Elements, and Implementation
Case study methodology is very effective for the situations where acquiring deep insights about the cases under study within their specific contexts is the objective. This methodology is widely applied in a range of disciplines and enjoys a highly prominent status in Islamic studies, educational, and social sciences research among many other disciplines that utilize this approach. This literature review paper provides useful guidelines for researchers who wish to gain a deeper understanding of this methodology with regards to situations when it can be applied, the recommended protocol to implement it, the procedural recommendations that are required to be adhered to and how the findings from case study research can augment the existing knowledge or create new theories. In compiling this paper, we have not only referred to the works of the renowned case-study methodologists such as Yin, Stake, Merriam, Eisenhardt etc. (like most researchers who have done the literature reviews on case study methodology) but also referred to the research and analysis from other researchers who have focussed on application, review or critique of their works; this approach provides unique insights about this methodology. In this paper, we have provided a synthesis of literature on various perspectives about the definition of the case study methodology, its various types depending on the research purpose and research design, the application protocol, and other key elements and methods that come under the umbrella of case study research. This literature review paper can be a useful induction for the Islamic studies and social sciences researchers to this important research methodology.
The case study methodology, like other methodologies, has not just received the praise; mit has also received criticism from some researchers. An overview of the key concerns raised in this regard, such as lack of rigour, lack of generalizability etc. and how the case study researchers have responded to it has also been woven into the article. We have found that most of the criticism is either because of a lack of thorough understanding of the case study methodology, or because of its incorrect application. In addition, it is partly due to the fact that the case study methodology has evolved over time and it is not the same now as it used to be a few decades ago. Considering a number of perspectives where recommendations from the case study researchers converge and diverge, this paper provides a valuable synthesis of literature for the Islamic studies researchers aiming to adopt case study methodology in their research.