Five Benefits of the Case-Based Study Method

M.S. in Commerce Student Ryann Sheehy discusses the benefits of the case-based study method.

M.S. in Commerce student ambassador Ryann Sheehy

Ryann Sheehy

M.S. in Commerce 2022

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When I first began the process of applying to graduate school, one of my biggest questions was how the work I did during my undergraduate years would compare to what would be expected of me in a graduate program. Many of my fears surrounded how difficult the homework and projects would be or how much time I’d have to spend in the library. Instead, what I found was that it wasn’t the subjective difficulty of a course or the number of hours I put into an assignment that was so different, but the overall shift in thinking we were being asked to make.

In the first few weeks of the M.S. in Commerce Program , my classmates and I were tasked with learning the language and tools of business quickly. And, in no better way was this achieved than through the case-based approach taken by our professors.

What is the case-based study method?

The case-based study method is a learning tool that allows students to read about a company and discuss their approaches to solving a presented problem faced by the firm. While this method is widely used in MBA programs, McIntire employs it across all of its programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level to challenge its students to apply practical business skills and course concepts.

How is it utilized in the classroom?

During the fall semester in the M.S. in Commerce Program, every class you take in the core curriculum will involve discussions of cases. Although the Strategy course taught by Professor Ira Harris will tackle the largest number of cases, every class from Accounting to Marketing will ask you to think critically about a real-life case whether in your small groups or as part of a larger class discussion.

So, why is the case-based approach used at McIntire, and what can it do for you? Here are five tangible benefits I’ve seen from this method that I believe give M.S. in Commerce students an advantage in the marketplace.

1. Discuss real-world scenarios

One of the most important learning objectives of the case-based study method—and, perhaps, the most obvious—is the practice with real-world scenarios. Professor Andrea Roberts, who teaches Cost Accounting in the fall semester, equates studying cases as the next best thing to actually placing students inside a real company. Many of the cases we are assigned are based on companies you may have heard of or have a personal experience with such as Trader Joe’s, Delta Air Lines, Peloton, and Wawa.

The emphasis on the real is even more clear in our Accounting classes, as we’re tasked with sifting through and interpreting actual financial statements taken directly from company reports. Roberts says one of the main objectives of these cases is to allow students to practice gathering information and figuring out what is relevant or even correctly stated. During our Cost Accounting class this semester, the case project we completed on the Alltel Pavilion was based on a real outdoor arena and included checking the financial reports for errors before calculating the answers. Although we are assigned some textbook problems to nail down the basic concepts, Roberts says it’s important to have experience with problems as they appear in practice—not nicely formatted or easily interpreted.

2. Learn from your peers

The deep level of diversity present across the program provides many opportunities for students to learn as much from their peers as they do from the professors. Phil Choi, a Business Analytics concentrator, said, “I actually do think that the M.S. in Commerce is really diverse. It’s not just a marketing thing; it actually is. The case approach takes advantage of that because you get to hear other people—their diverse experiences, whether that’s internships, whether that’s undergrad majors, or cultural diversity.” During in-class case discussions, students are encouraged to speak about their unique perspectives, since there are often many ways to look at the problem at hand. Choi said the case approach helps students who may be more reserved become comfortable with speaking their mind, as well as helps outspoken classmates learn to value other points of view.

3. Become comfortable with ambiguity

While many students may be used to finding the one best answer to a problem, in many of the cases we discuss, there truly is no perfect or “right” solution. Roberts describes this process as becoming “comfortable with the uncomfortableness.” While this change may be shocking to some students, it’s one of the most helpful lessons to learn before entering the workforce because your employer will not have an answer key to evaluate you with, nor will you be given all the necessary information in a neatly organized problem. The uncertainty pushes you to become more creative and look at all the options before deciding. As Harris teaches in Strategy, you cannot always make the right choice, but you can make an informed one.

4. Practice applying course concepts

Besides giving students real-world practice, one of the main objectives of studying cases is to practice applying the analytical tools and course concepts from class. For example, the case Harris calls a kind of “mid-range capstone” was the Delta Air Lines case we discussed after learning about benchmarking. Not only did the case cause us to discuss what makes successful versus failed benchmarking strategies, it also pulled together many of the concepts we had learned earlier in the semester. The connection between each case and a specific concept is also made clear, because we often discuss a new concept for the first part of class and then apply it to the case in the second half. This study method ultimately serves as a great way for students to test their overall understanding and ability to use the concepts taught in class when faced with a real issue.

5. Improve critical thinking and decision making

Last, but not least, cases are one of the main ways the M.S. in Commerce Program improves your ability to think critically and make informed decisions. In Roberts’ opinion, “Everything that you learn in M.S. in Commerce is providing information and tools so that you can make a decision.” Harris echoed that sentiment when he said, “When we talk about analytical thinking, when we talk about problem solving, it almost always is the use of a few different tools in order to gain some sort of a better understanding and to solve something that a company is facing.” At the end of the program, these cases will have served to improve your gut instincts and your ability to think quickly in future decision-making situations—a skill that you will need in everything from job interviews to your future day-to-day work.

What can prospective students do to prepare for this method of learning?

Harris recommends that prospective students begin familiarizing themselves with real-world business cases as soon as possible in order to gain a surface-level understanding of some of the key concepts and vocabulary that will come up in your McIntire courses. This is as easy as subscribing to and reading some of the world’s most popular business press such as The Wall Street Journal or Financial Times. Some of your current institutions may even give you free access to these sources.

If you’re interested in learning more about the case-based study method feel free to reach out to any of the current student ambassadors .

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Using Case Studies to Teach

case study benefits

Why Use Cases?

Many students are more inductive than deductive reasoners, which means that they learn better from examples than from logical development starting with basic principles. The use of case studies can therefore be a very effective classroom technique.

Case studies are have long been used in business schools, law schools, medical schools and the social sciences, but they can be used in any discipline when instructors want students to explore how what they have learned applies to real world situations. Cases come in many formats, from a simple “What would you do in this situation?” question to a detailed description of a situation with accompanying data to analyze. Whether to use a simple scenario-type case or a complex detailed one depends on your course objectives.

Most case assignments require students to answer an open-ended question or develop a solution to an open-ended problem with multiple potential solutions. Requirements can range from a one-paragraph answer to a fully developed group action plan, proposal or decision.

Common Case Elements

Most “full-blown” cases have these common elements:

Case assignments can be done individually or in teams so that the students can brainstorm solutions and share the work load.

The following discussion of this topic incorporates material presented by Robb Dixon of the School of Management and Rob Schadt of the School of Public Health at CEIT workshops. Professor Dixon also provided some written comments that the discussion incorporates.

Advantages to the use of case studies in class

A major advantage of teaching with case studies is that the students are actively engaged in figuring out the principles by abstracting from the examples. This develops their skills in:

Guidelines for using case studies in class

In the most straightforward application, the presentation of the case study establishes a framework for analysis. It is helpful if the statement of the case provides enough information for the students to figure out solutions and then to identify how to apply those solutions in other similar situations. Instructors may choose to use several cases so that students can identify both the similarities and differences among the cases.

Depending on the course objectives, the instructor may encourage students to follow a systematic approach to their analysis.  For example:

An innovative approach to case analysis might be to have students  role-play the part of the people involved in the case. This not only actively engages students, but forces them to really understand the perspectives of the case characters. Videos or even field trips showing the venue in which the case is situated can help students to visualize the situation that they need to analyze.

Accompanying Readings

Case studies can be especially effective if they are paired with a reading assignment that introduces or explains a concept or analytical method that applies to the case. The amount of emphasis placed on the use of the reading during the case discussion depends on the complexity of the concept or method. If it is straightforward, the focus of the discussion can be placed on the use of the analytical results. If the method is more complex, the instructor may need to walk students through its application and the interpretation of the results.

Leading the Case Discussion and Evaluating Performance

Decision cases are more interesting than descriptive ones. In order to start the discussion in class, the instructor can start with an easy, noncontroversial question that all the students should be able to answer readily. However, some of the best case discussions start by forcing the students to take a stand. Some instructors will ask a student to do a formal “open” of the case, outlining his or her entire analysis.  Others may choose to guide discussion with questions that move students from problem identification to solutions.  A skilled instructor steers questions and discussion to keep the class on track and moving at a reasonable pace.

In order to motivate the students to complete the assignment before class as well as to stimulate attentiveness during the class, the instructor should grade the participation—quantity and especially quality—during the discussion of the case. This might be a simple check, check-plus, check-minus or zero. The instructor should involve as many students as possible. In order to engage all the students, the instructor can divide them into groups, give each group several minutes to discuss how to answer a question related to the case, and then ask a randomly selected person in each group to present the group’s answer and reasoning. Random selection can be accomplished through rolling of dice, shuffled index cards, each with one student’s name, a spinning wheel, etc.

Tips on the Penn State U. website:

If you are interested in using this technique in a science course, there is a good website on use of case studies in the sciences at the University of Buffalo.

Dunne, D. and Brooks, K. (2004) Teaching with Cases (Halifax, NS: Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education), ISBN 0-7703-8924-4 (Can be ordered at at a cost of $15.00)

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What are the benefits and drawbacks of case study research?

Posted by Mark Murphy | May 24, 2014 | Method , Research Students | 0

What are the benefits and drawbacks of case study research?

There should be no doubt that with case studies what you gain in depth you lose in breadth – this is the unavoidable compromise that needs to be understood from the beginning of the research process. So this is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage as one aspect cancels out the benefits/drawbacks of the other – there are other benefits and drawbacks that need attention however …

Reference: Hodkinson, P. and H. Hodkinson (2001). The strengths and limitations of case study research. Paper presented to the Learning and Skills Development Agency conference, Making an impact on policy and practice , Cambridge, 5-7 December 2001, downloaded from h ttp://

About The Author

Mark Murphy

Mark Murphy

Mark Murphy is a Reader in Education and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. He previously worked as an academic at King’s College, London, University of Chester, University of Stirling, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, University College Dublin and Northern Illinois University. Mark is an active researcher in the fields of education and public policy. His research interests include educational sociology, critical theory, accountability in higher education, and public sector reform.

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Strengths and Weaknesses of Case Studies

There is no doubt that case studies are a valuable and important form of research for all of the industries and fields that use them. However, along with all their advantages, they also have some disadvantages. In this article we are going to look at both.

Advantages of Case Studies

Intensive Study

Case study method is responsible for intensive study of a unit. It is the investigation and exploration of an event thoroughly and deeply. You get a very detailed and in-depth study of a person or event. This is especially the case with subjects that cannot be physically or ethically recreated.

This is one of the biggest advantages of the Genie case. You cannot lock up a child for 13 years and deprive them of everything. That would be morally and ethically wrong in every single way. So when the opportunity presented itself, researchers could not look away. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn about feral children.

Genie was a feral child. She was raised in completed isolation, with little human contact. Because of the abuse she withstood, she was unable to develop cognitively. From infancy she was strapped to a potty chair, and therefore never acquired the physicality needed for walking, running and jumping.

If Genie made a noise, her father beat her. Therefore, she learned to not make a noise. Once she was found, researchers studied her language skills, and attempted to find ways to get her to communicate. They were successful. While she never gained the ability to speak, she did develop other ways to communicate. However, the public soon lost interest in her case, and with that, the funds to conduct the study.

However, her case was extremely important to child development psychology and linguistic theory. Because of her, we know that mental stimulation is needed for proper development. We also now know that there is a "critical period" for the learning of language.

Developing New Research

Case studies are one of the best ways to stimulate new research. A case study can be completed, and if the findings are valuable, they can lead to new and advanced research in the field. There has been a great deal of research done that wouldn't have been possible without case studies.

An example of this is the sociological study Nickel and Dimed. Nickel and Dimed is a book and study done by Barbara Ehrenreich. She wanted to study poverty in America, and did so by living and working as a person living on minimum wage.

Through her experiment, she discovered that poverty was almost inescapable. As soon as she saved a little money, she was hit with a crisis. She might get sick, or her car might break down, all occurrences that can be destructive when a person doesn't have a safety net to fall back on.

It didn't matter where she lived or what she did. Working a minimum wage job gave her no chances for advancement or improvement whatsoever. And she did the experiment as a woman with no children to support.

This study opened a lot of eyes to the problem of the working poor in America. By living and working as the experiment, Ehrenreich was able to show first-hand data regarding the issues surrounding poverty. The book didn't end with any solutions, just suggestions for the reader and points for them to think about.

Using this case study information, new studies could be organized to learn better ways to help people who are fighting poverty, or better ways to help the working poor.

Contradicting Established Ideas or Theories

Oftentimes there are theories that may be questioned with case studies. For example, in the John/John case study, it was believed that gender and sexual identity were a construct of nurture, not nature.

John-John focused on a set of twin boys, both of whom were circumcised at the age of 6 months. One of the twin's circumcisions failed, causing irreparable damage to the penis. His parents were concerned about the sexual health of their son, so they contacted Dr. John Money for a solution.

Dr. Money believed that sexuality came from nurture, not nature, and that the injured baby, Bruce, could be raised as a girl. His penis was removed and he was sexually reassigned to become a girl. Bruce's name was changed to Brenda, and his parents decided to raise him as a girl.

In this case, Dr. Money was dishonest. He believed that gender could be changed, which has since been proven false. Brenda's parents were also dishonest, stating that the surgery was a success, when in fact that wasn't the case.

As Brenda grew up, she always acted masculine and was teased for it at school. She did not socialize as a girl, and did not identify as a female. When Brenda was 13 she learned the truth, and was incredibly relieved. She changed her name to David, and lived the rest of her life as a male.

This case proved that the general theory was wrong, and is still valuable, even though the study author was dishonest.

Giving New Insight

Case studies have the ability to give insight into phenomena that cannot be learned in any other way. An example of this is the case study about Sidney Bradford. Bradford was blind from the age of 10 months old, and regained his sight at the age of 52 from a corneal transplant.

This unique situation allowed researchers to better learn how perception and motion changes when suddenly given sight. They were able to better understand how colors and dimensions affect the human process. For what it is worth, Bradford continued to live and work with his eyes closed, as he found sight too stimulating.

Another famous study was the sociological study of Milgram.

Stanley Milgram did a study from 1960 to 1974 in which he studied the effects of social pressure. The study was set up as an independent laboratory. A random person would walk in, and agree to be a part of the study. He was told to act as a teacher, and ask questions to another volunteer, who was the learner.

The teacher would ask the learner questions, and whenever he answered incorrectly, the teacher was instructed to give the learner an electric shock. Each time the learner was wrong, the shock would be increased by 15 volts. What the teacher didn't know was that the learner was a part of the experiment, and that no shocks were being given. However, the learner did act as if they were being shocked.

If the teachers tried to quit, they were strongly pushed to continue. The goal of the experiment was to see whether or not any of the teachers would go up to the highest voltage. As it turned out, 65% of the teachers did.

This study opened eyes when it comes to social pressure. If someone tells you it is okay to hurt someone, at what point will the person back off and say "this is not ok!" And in this study, the results were the same, regardless of income, race, gender or ethnicity.

This study opened up the sociological world of understanding the divide between social pressure and morality.

Disadvantages of Case Studies

Inability to Replicate

As demonstrated with the Genie case study, many studies cannot be replicated, and therefore, cannot be corroborated. Because the studies cannot be replicated, it means the data and results are only valid for that one person. Now, one could infer that that results of the Genie study would be the same with other feral children, without additional studies we can never be 100% certain.

Also, Genie was a white, American female. We do not know whether someone with a different gender, race or ethnicity would have a different result.

Key Term! Hawthorne Effect

The effect in which people change their behavior when they are aware they are being observed.

Researcher Bias

When conducting a case study, it is very possible for the author to form a bias. This bias can be for the subject; the form of data collection, or the way the data is interpreted. This is very common, since it is normal for humans to be subjective. It is well known that Sigmund Freud, the father of psychology, was often biased in his case histories and interpretations.

The researcher can become close to a study participant, or may learn to identify with the subject. When this happens the researcher loses their perspective as an outsider.

No Classification

Any classification is not possible due to studying a small unit. This generalization of results is limited, since the study is only focusing on one small group. However, this isn't always a problem, especially if generalization is not one of the study's goals.

Time Intensive

Case studies can be very time consuming. The data collection process can be very intensive and long, and this is something new researchers are not familiar with. It takes a long period of time to develop a case study, and develop a detailed analysis.

Many studies also require the authors to immerse themselves in the case. For example, in the Genie case, the lead researchers spent an abnormal amount of time with Genie, since so few people knew how to handle her. David Rigler, one of the lead researchers, actually had Genie live with him and his family for years. Because of this attachment, many questioned the veracity of the study data.

Possibility of Errors

Case study method may have errors of memory or judgment. Since reconstructing case history is based on memory, this can lead to errors. Also, how one person perceived the past could be different for another person, and this can and does lead to errors.

When considering various aspects of their lives, people tend to focus on issues that they find most important. This allows them to form a prejudice and can make them unaware of other possible options.

Ethical Issues

With small studies, there is always the question of ethics. At what point does a study become unethical? The Genie case was riddled with accusations of being unethical, and people still debate about it today.

Was it ethical to study Genie as deeply as she was studied?

Did Genie deserve to live out her life unbothered by researchers and academics trying to use her case to potentially further their careers?

At what point does the pursuit of scientific knowledge outweigh the right to a life free from research?

Also, because the researchers became so invested in the study, people questioned whether a researcher would report unethical behavior if they witnessed it.

Advantages and Disadvantages in Real-Life Studies

Two of these case studies are the Tylenol Scandal and the Genie language study.

Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two studies.

Genie – Advantages

Uniqueness of study – Being able to study a feral child is a rare occurrence.

Genie – Disadvantages

Ethics - The lead researcher David Rigler provided a home for Genie, and was paid for being a foster parent. This is often seen as unethical, since Rigler had a financial interest in Genie and her case.

Tylenol – Advantages

Uniqueness of study – What happened to Tylenol was very unique and rare. While companies face crisis all the time, a public health crisis of this magnitude is very unique.

Tylenol – Disadvantages

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12 Case Studies of Companies that Revised How They Compensate Employees

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12 Case Studies of Companies that Revised How They Compensate Employees

S HRM has partnered with to bring you relevant articles on key HR topics and strategies.

Higher compensation is part of the ransom for dealing with the pandemic for most American companies and industries. So salaries, wages, benefits and perks will cost them more—perhaps a lot more—in the year ahead.

The way CEOs and CHROs can make sure the Great Raise works to their companies' advantage is to be proactive, creative and equitable about it. Yet they also must weigh strategically the demands of the moment with their long-term compensation strategy.

"This is a time for real balance when it comes to how you deal with retention and attraction," said Paul Knopp, chair and CEO of KPMG US. "We all have to make sure we meet the market when it comes to base compensation, but the market has changed in a way that you also have to look at those benefits that are most attractive to employees for their careers."

While median full-time earnings of $1,001 per week in the third quarter of 2021 were nearly 9% higher than two years earlier, according to the Labor Department, expectations for 2022 remain frothy given the tight market for talent, the free-agent ethos encouraged by remote work, the geographic reshuffling of workers and decades-high inflation. U.S. wages will increase by 3.9 percent in 2022, according to the Conference Board, the highest rate since 2008.

The compensation surge is occurring at the high end, at a low end that's getting higher and everywhere in between. Goldman Sachs, for example, is offering paid leave for pregnancy loss and expanding the amount of time employees can take for bereavement leave while also boosting its retirement-fund matching contributions for U.S. employees to 6% of total compensation, or 8% for those making $125,000 a year or less.

Meanwhile, at Tyson Foods' chicken-processing plant in New Holland, Pa., the company has started offering a three-day workweek, plus pay for a fourth day that retains employees' status as full-time workers. Just for good measure, Tyson has created a $3,000 sign-on bonus for new hires.

"We're in a bidding war for talent that will go on for a long time," said Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics.

For CEOs and CHROs, several new factors demand their attention along with the overall spike in compensation. They include:

"Mental health is a real thing, regardless of how [a previous generation of leaders] feel and what we did," said Jeffrey Immelt, former CEO of General Electric. "Particularly post-Covid, it's something worth your time to try to understand."

Many Fortune 500 companies already offered mental-health benefits, but by now "mental health is just a place setter: You've got to have it in place to be competitive in the market today, across the board," said Richard Chaifetz, founder and CEO of ComPsych, a large provider of employee-assistance programs. "Companies understand the importance of keeping their people functioning at the highest level."

Codility, for example, has begun supplying all employees with 27 days of paid time off per year plus four mental-health days, which don't have to be approved. "We're offering these days in addition to personal-time-off days to recognize and bring to light the importance of mental health," said Natalia Panowicz, CEO of the platform that evaluates the skills of software engineers, with its U.S. hub in San Francisco. asked a dozen CEOs, CHROs and other top executives about their compensation strategies and practices for 2022. Here are some of their ideas:

Let Them Name Their Salary

Chris Kovalik, CEO, Rushdown Revolt, a video-game maker in New York City

We started as 12 part-timers, mostly people who were giving me their moonlight hours. That's not a lot different from now, except now we have 75 people. The magic of what we do is that we don't recruit anybody. We're just a magnet. We let people come to us.

When it comes to compensation, some say they wanted to volunteer, that they weren't expecting compensation. But we never, ever allow people to volunteer their time for us. So we say our company minimum wage is $15 an hour, and if you insist, we can pay you that per hour.

But generally people come to us with an expectation of compensation because they see that we're making money. When compensation came up, we'd say, "I don't know what your skill set is. I've never hired you before. How much do you think you're worth, and how much do you need?"

If every hour we're compensating them for the amount of money they want and need, if someone is part-time and only giving me 10 hours a week, I'd argue that they're giving me their best 10 hours. Because they're getting paid what they want and doing things that they want to be attached to and be part of.

There's no pattern to the compensation requests. If their number is too low, we'll say, "Are you sure? Are you just giving me a low-ball number I'll say yes to?" If it's high, I don't talk them down, but I ask them to justify it, and if the justification isn't adequate, what I say is, "How long do you think you'll need to prove that justification? Two to three weeks? Then let's pay you two-third to three-quarters of what you asked, and if you prove it, we'll go up to whatever you said."

Tailor Package for Youth Appeal

Ronald Hall Jr., CEO, Bridgewater Interiors, an auto-seat maker in Detroit

We enjoyed very low turnover pre-Covid, but during the last two years we have had to replace probably one-third of our workforce at our largest facility, about the same number from termination as voluntary. So we've had to work harder than ever to recruit.

Our most-tenured employees, who are the most highly trained, have had to pick up the slack, working record amounts of overtime and less-predictable production schedules.

In our upcoming negotiations with the United Auto Workers, we're trying to emphasize short-term bonuses rather than wage increases that get baked into our costs. But we have continued health insurance through the pandemic as well as our tuition-reimbursement program, and many employees have thanked me for that.

What I am hearing from new employees is that they're not as interested in benefits but rather in higher cash wages. We've long touted benefits like our generous 401(k) matching and better medical coverage versus our peers, but we're finding that doesn't resonate as readily now as it did a decade ago. So I've asked my team: Should we be looking at some kind of hybrid model of offering higher wages to people who want those and move those dollars from the benefits side to the wages side?

We've also looked at providing childcare in a partnering arrangement where there could be a center developed near our facilities, and we would arrange for some sort of company subsidy or guarantee some level of attendance. The challenge with that is the auto industry runs around the clock, and you'd need a daycare provider who'd be committed to opening around the clock and provide legal, regulated, benchmark-standard levels of care to all those children in the off hours.

Equalize as You Acquire

Diane Dooley, CHRO, World Insurance, a business and personal insurer in Tinton Falls, N.J.

We onboarded about 800 employees in 2021 through acquisitions of small agencies and organic growth, but there had been no compensation modeling. Now we're building out our compensation philosophy with commission plans, incentives and bonuses, centralizing components and ensuring we have the right framework.

When we do an acquisition, we might retain their compensation model for a year or two years then slowly migrate, but make sure employees aren't taking a cut in pay. We are also capitalizing commissions into base compensation—identifying what commissions would have been and what they will be, and recognizing roles that are moving away from a commission base.

Some agencies we acquire are smaller and may be below-market for total compensation. Now we're addressing those concerns. They need to be more front and center. We must do everything to retain our employee population. If they're woefully underpaid, or not at market, we risk losing people, and we don't want to do that.

Educating the owners of some of the agencies [we acquire] is a piece of this. As we partner with them, we are evaluating them and asking, "Did you give people an increase this year?" We're not telling them what to do but providing guidance about what to do.

We're also modifying and increasing our benefits, such as giving employees pet insurance. And making counteroffers is a critical piece today, usually for high-end employees. They work better than they used to because not a lot of people really want to make a move in this environment.

Innovate for the New World

Jason Medley, Chief People Officer, Codility, a provider of skill-evaluation software in London

We really have to step back and be innovative and force ourselves to change. The companies that are going to win are going to be more progressive early and not fighting what's happening.

One thing we've done is change our outdated compensation models that give higher pay to employees living in tech hubs like San Francisco and New York and lower compensation for areas inside the coasts. Now, we've created a United States-wide salary band, so no matter where you live, the compensation is based on the role, not the location. You can go live and work wherever you want to.

We decided to approach compensation through a very human lens. People have seasonality in life, and maybe they are caregivers at different moments and want to live in different places. We want to be as flexible as possible, and this country band gives us that flexibility.

We are starting to see the same thing in Europe, where we have our headquarters in London and offices in Berlin and Warsaw, and employees all over, especially in Poland. People are wanting to live in the countryside of Spain but demanding a London salary. So we are transitioning to one European Union band and saying, "Here is your rate—live where you want to."

We are also seeing that with global warming, it's harder to get work done for people on the west coast of the U.S. and in Europe, because they didn't build homes with air conditioning. If you're sitting in a house at 90 degrees with no air conditioning, there's no way your performance is the same as someone with AC. Supplementing air conditioning isn't something we thought about before, but now we're very much having to look at those things.

Stay Ahead of Expectations

Traci Tapani, CEO, Wyoming Machine, a sheet-metal fabricator in Stacy, Minn.

Our wages have gone up by about 20% for the typical worker. When I found people I could hire, I knew they were being brought in at an hourly rate that was too high for what I was paying my incumbent workers.

My strategy has been to be proactive about that and not wait for [existing] employees to say something about it or give them a reason to look for another job. We're proactively making wage adjustments to make sure our incumbent workers are in line.

Employees will leave for more money, so they're very appreciative of it. But in my shop, I also know that people like working here, and I know they don't want to leave. I don't want to give them a reason. If they can get an increase in pay that's substantial, I know that I can cut them off at the pass. Retaining my workforce is my No. 1 strategy. They're already here, and I'm going to do everything I can to keep them.

For that reason, we've also been more generous as time has gone on with paid time off, offering it sooner than we once would have, especially for new workers. We recognize that it's healthy for people to be away from work and also, in the pandemic, people need to be away from work. Knowing they have some paid time off makes it easier for them.

Leverage Benefits for DE&I

Mark Newman, CEO, Chemours, a chemical manufacturer in Wilmington, Del.

In general our company hasn't seen the Great Resignation. And in fact, we continue to believe our focus on being a great place to work is serving us well, along with appropriate benchmarking on compensation issues.

Chemours  is  a great place to work. We survey our employees every year, to improve our working environment from a compensation and benefits perspective. Also, from the [diversity, equity and inclusion] perspective, we're trying to make sure we tap into the full breadth of talent in our industry.

That means, for instance, we are helping people more with college loans. We are offering same-sex [marriage] benefits. We are providing more family leave for people who have kids. There is clearly an aspect of our benefits package that is evolving to be consistent with our strategy of making Chemours a great place to work.

Overall, we view compensation as something where we want to be either in the median or upper quartile. It's something we're very focused on from both a wage as well as benefit level. From Covid, there's been no fundamental change as it relates to us wanting to be in the median to top quartile.

We've had to make some local adjustments where the labor market is more super-charged. For example, we see a lot of that in the Gulf Coast region, especially with oil prices coming back, and petrochemicals and refining. But it's very much a regional factor. So if industries are moving to a certain region, like the South, you have to make sure you stay current with local benchmarks.

Offer Skin in the Game

Cesar Herrera, CEO, Yuvo Health, a healthcare administrator in New York City

We're a year-old company that provides tech-enabled administrative solutions for community health centers across the U.S. that are specifically focused on providing primary-care services for low-income individuals. We have a team of about 10 people right now, and we have a number of open roles and positions where we're likely going to be tripling the size of our team in 2022.

Google can compensate well above the market rate. We don't have that since we're an early-stage organization. What we do have as levers aren't up-front financial compensation but equity, support in your role and a relatively flat organization where you can have significant autonomy.

A lot of individuals are going to be driven by the mission; that's the case with the entire founding team. We've made sacrifices to create this organization. So you can come in at a meaningful position with a lot of decision-making.

But one of the biggest carrots we can give is, if you accept the lower pay and the risk that comes with an early-stage organization, you can have meaningful equity in the company. We have an options pool which is not to exceed 10% ownership of the organization, and as we grow and scale, we increase that options pool. For senior-level leaders, we do expect to be able to distribute up to 10% of the company to them.

Pay Extra for Continuity

Corey Stowell, Vice President of Human Resources, Webasto Americas, a maker of automotive sunroofs in Auburn Hills, Mich.

We had to recruit for several hundred new openings at a brand-new facility right at the beginning of the pandemic. So we instituted an attendance bonus. For those who worked all their hours in a week, we paid an additional $3 an hour. We really had to keep it short-term, so we paid it weekly. If you wanted to pay it every month, you couldn't do it, because people needed that instant gratification.

Otherwise they could get it on unemployment. With our pay rate, they could earn more to stay at home and collect unemployment, a significant amount more than they could earn than working for us. So we also had to increase our wages, and we increased them by more than 20% in some classifications [in the summer of 2020].

We've filled all of our positions, but it's still a challenging market. We've had to increase all our wages, with the lowest for a position being $17 an hour, on up to $30 an hour.

We also have offered stay bonuses of $500 a month for three consecutive months, up to $1,500. And for hourly employees we've instituted a different attendance policy, where they can earn two hours of paid personal time for so many hours that they work consecutively with no attendance issues.

The key is the schedule—we can prepare and get someone to cover. That's easier to do than just managing whoever's going to come in today. In this environment, that really has changed with our workforce, and it's tough to rely on our current workforce.

Give Them the Keys

Elliott Rodgers, Chief People Officer, Project44, a freight-tracking software provider in Chicago

We have equipped and subsidized a van that we call Romeo, which employees can use to combine work with personal uses like family road trips. We cover the cost of the rental. It's a luxury van that comes equipped with a bed, a toilet and shower, Wi-Fi, device charging and a desktop workspace. And it's pet friendly.

We started it as a pilot project and reservations were full within 10 minutes of when we posted it internally. Then we extended it into 2022. By the end of 2021, more than 20 unique team members completed or nearly completed reservations. They've ventured out to places spanning Mount Rushmore and the Badlands; Rocky Mountain National Park; Salem, Mass.; and Pennsylvania. A pretty broad number of places.

It's something we're really proud of. It allows our team members the opportunity to work in a lot of different places while still being connected to us. And they've appreciated the opportunities to stay connected, but also be connected in other ways with nature and other places in the world. They can maintain their perspective while also continuing to contribute to their role in a productive way.

When you place a team member at the center of what they'd want in an experience like that, the value of it answers itself. It creates a comfort level where it provides the necessities for you to be able to continue to work, and you can work from anywhere. It's the best of both worlds. It's one thing to find that on your own but another to have that accessible to you via work, but done in a way that caters to you.

Help Them Come, Go—and Stay

Aamir Paul, Country President - U.S., Schneider Electric, a maker of electrical distribution and control products in Andover, Mass.

With our knowledge workforce, it's been about intentional flexibility. So, for instance, we launched a "returnship" program for women who'd left the workforce but might want to come back even at reduced hours. That means 20, 30, up to 40 hours a week, and we're finding some incredibly talented people who haven't been in the workforce.

This program is available to men as well. If there's a field engineer who's been in the electrical industry for 35 years and he's now retiring, but he's five years from getting his medical benefits, we say: Don't retire. Go on the program. Work 20 hours a week. Work from home. We'll reduce your pay proportionally, but we will couple you with three university hires, and they will call you on Microsoft Teams and show you what's happening on the job site, and you're going to walk them through it. Work just three days a week. We'll cover your benefits.

We've also expanded the parental leave policy, which already was one of the best in the industrial sector. And we created a way for people to buy more time off without having to leave their positions. They apply for more unpaid time off and we allow them to retain their position and seniority and allow them to work through whatever life event it is.

We landed on six weeks for the maximum. In the most intense industries—such as a fighter pilot or a surgeon—they've found that six weeks of being out of the rotation allows them to re-set. So that's what we did. Before, the limit was two weeks.

Give Sway to Local Management

Tom Salmon, CEO, Berry Global, a maker of plastic packaging in Evansville, Ind.

We've got to be competitive in all the geographies we serve. We have 295 sites around the world and manage our employees in those sites geographically. Every geography will be a different labor environment. There are different criteria that employees are looking for. It's not just about wages but taking everything into consideration.

We let local management handle things with their insight about wages and competition. They're hearing directly from employees about what they like and don't like, what they want more of and less of. It's a site-by-site discussion.

For example, at some sites, it may be important for employees to be able to access the internet at lunch; at other sites, they may not value that as much. Some want a more advanced locker facility, with different shower facilities. That includes the southwestern United States, where the temperatures are warmer; but in New England, some might not want that.

In any event, if you treat these things locally, you're going to be able to affect that local population and address the need of that geography. If you blanket something across our entire plant population, you may provide something that's not desired or needed.

We depend on our local management to respond to the different demands in terms of compensation and benefits at their sites. The better the front-line leadership is, and the more satisfied their team is, the higher our retention rate and productivity and safety performance. So these leaders participate in profit-sharing plans for those respective sites, because they have a great influence on the success of a given facility.

Focus Benefits on Flexibility

Paul Knopp, Chair and CEO, KPMG US, a financial consulting firm in New York

We announced a new package of enhancements to our benefits and compensation, tied to mental, physical, social and financial well-being. These increases are the biggest in the history of the company. You have to make sure your base compensation meets the market, but you also must have attractive benefits.

For example, we cut healthcare premiums by 10% for 2022 with no change in benefit levels, and we introduced healthcare advocacy services. We are replacing our current 401(k) match and pension programs with a single, automatic company-funded contribution within the plan that's equal to 6% to 8% of eligible pay.

As part of this, we're focusing on the crucial element of ensuring that employees know you're watching out for them. They also are looking for flexibility—you don't want to under-index on how important that is. So we also are providing up to three weeks additional caregiver leave, separate and apart from PTO. And all parents will receive 12 weeks of paid parental leave, in addition to disability leave for employees who give birth, allowing some up to 22 weeks of paid leave. We also have expanded our holiday calendar to now include Juneteenth.

Dale Buss is a long-time contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other business publications. He lives in Michigan.

This article is adapted from with permission from Chief Executive. C 2022. All rights reserved.

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13+ HR Case Studies: Recruiting, Learning, Analytics, and More


As someone who has worked in the HR profession, I know well the full value of stories, examples, and case studies . While much of the work we do at Lighthouse Research & Advisory focuses on quantitative research studies , we do a fair amount of qualitative research as well. We’ve collected case studies over time (and continue to) that highlight interesting approaches and examples of innovation within human capital management.

case study benefits

Report Shows Video Postcards Highly Effective for Employee Benefits Communication

Flimp Communications

APRIL 20, 2022

Flimp Communications recently released a new employee video communications case study report that highlights results from 40 employee benefits annual enrollment campaigns conducted with 27 large US employers using interactive video postcards.

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Case Study: Pure Dental Brands

DECEMBER 7, 2020

As the VP of HR, Ashley Brooker and her team manage more than 500 employees across 56 locations in eight states. Platform upgrades and additional implementations were required, which led to significant issues like losing employee data, and Ashley was reluctant to add new HR services.

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The American Benefits Conundrum: Realigning Healthcare Incentives

Speaker: Chris Wolpert, Founder of Group Benefit Solutions

This webinar with Chris Wolpert will expose the hidden misaligned incentives in the employee benefits space and help you modernize your approach to benefits by leveraging technology and communication.

case study benefits

Case Study: Krauss Maffei

OCTOBER 28, 2020

Paycor’s employee self-service features and user-friendly solutions help Krauss Maffei keep their employees engaged. Now, employees can speak fluently to their benefits offerings and they’re more engaged with the open enrollment process than ever before. And with employee self-service, our HR staff can focus on more strategic initiatives like building benefits packages that recruit and retain talent.”. Managing benefits and PTO questions.

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Case Study: Romantix

SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

Both onboarding and benefits enrollment were manual, paper-based processes that took an average of two hours each per new employee . Administrators had to manage and track employee paperwork from start to finish. Paper-based onboarding and benefits selection. With Learning Management, Romantix can virtually train their employees nationwide on company policies and new product offerings. Learning modules for training employees . Intuitive benefits selection.

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Gen X Spending - An Interesting Case Study on Smart Shopping and Savings

AUGUST 8, 2022

However, as her organization feels strongly about caring for employees' financial well-being, they invested in an employee discount program powered by Empuls, allowing Arunima and her family to avail unique experiences at lower costs. Employee Benefits

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Gen Y Spending: An Interesting Case Study on Smart Shopping and Savings

JUNE 29, 2022

This way, he gets to save double with exclusive employee discounts and retailer discounts. Employee Benefits Karan is an unmarried millennial who is also an urban dweller of one of the metros of India.

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Case study: Alteon Health learns a lesson in the value of tutoring

Chief Learning Officer - Talent Management

FEBRUARY 26, 2021

As many organizations found themselves on a steep learning curve to make adjustments and engage their workforce throughout the pandemic, it became clear that employees were placing a heightened premium on their employer-sponsored benefits .

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Case Study: How Tolunay-Wong Engineering Self-Funded Benefits

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016

When faced with high healthcare prices, some companies delegate a part of that cost to their employees . Others get creative in the best interest of their employees . Geotechnical engineering group Tolunay-Wong Engineers (TWE) was not going to raise costs for their employees again, given they experienced a 40% increase in the benefits plan costs in 2014. I couldn’t face 370 employees and tell them that they’re now looking at a $30 increase.” Benefits

case study benefits

Helping a Growing Hedge Fund Save Time and Resources with Highly Personalized HR

NOVEMBER 29, 2022

This growing, 15-employee hedge fund was focused on maximizing investor returns, while also attracting new employees , and wanted to completely remove the daily responsibilities of HR administration. Business Employee Benefits HR Outsourcing Human Resources Case Study

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SEJ Services Modernizes its Pay Strategies with DailyPay

FEBRUARY 13, 2023

Access case study Download Case Study Partner: SEJ Services US Headquarters: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina Industry: Cleaning services Number of Employees : 400+ Payroll Platform: TEAM Software Paycards: rapid! How has DailyPay affected your employee performance?

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Manufacturer Sparks Impressive 304% Engagement Rate with Digital Employee Communications from Flimp

SEPTEMBER 13, 2022

The post Manufacturer Sparks Impressive 304% Engagement Rate with Digital Employee Communications from Flimp appeared first on Flimp. Case Study Employee Benefits Communication Employee Communications Internal Communications

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An ALEX Broker Testimonial Video: Brian Ball, National VP of Employee Benefits Strategy and Solutions at USI Insurance


OCTOBER 10, 2019

Brian Ball, National Vice President of Employee Benefits Strategy and Solutions at USI Insurance, has been a big believer in ALEX for years. To learn why, watch this short video: If you liked this testimonial, check out how ALEX dramatically boosted voluntary benefits enrollment for a California-area broker and her client, and see why ALEX […]. Benefits Communication Blog Posts Case Studies Stuff for Brokers Videos

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Leevers Supermarkets Shares Their Secret: On-Demand Pay Costs Less Than Moving to Weekly Payroll

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

US Headquarters: Franktown, Colorado Industry: Retail/Grocery Number of Employees : 500+ Paycard Provider: Comdata. Leevers is a 100% employee -owned company with over 500 employees in 17 stores across Colorado. Our employees that use DailyPay are very happy with the solution.

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The Global Merger: Managing Employee Transitions of a Worldwide Scale

Global Upside

OCTOBER 9, 2019

Read this case study to learn about how Global Upside helped our Client successfully navigate: Legal entity formation/professional employer organization (PEO) setup. Multi-country employee benefits procurement. Download Case Study Contact Us [contact-form-7]. Case Study

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How to Motivate Hourly Employees

SEPTEMBER 16, 2022

Hourly employees make up the majority of the US workforce. A Gallup survey of job satisfaction found that hourly workers were unhappier than their salaried co-workers about just about everything, from their benefits to their pay to their job security. . What is an Hourly Employee ?

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BattleBots: Attraction, Retention and Employee Benefits

Robin Schooling

MAY 9, 2018

Yesterday, as is often the case , there was a good discussion in the HR Open Source Facebook Group. A group member posed a question stating she was looking for creative ideas as her company wants to offer additional benefits /perks beyond the basics (medical/dental/vision). Commuter benefits (i.e. A book benefit (company pays for book on a professional development topic; the readers writes a review to share with co-workers).

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Industry Insights: Quick Service Restaurants

DECEMBER 28, 2021

Customers have surged back to Quick Service Restaurants, but are seeing more closed doors, “help wanted” signs, and employee strikes than ever before. Employees deemed “essential” at the height of the pandemic have grown tired of poor treatment and have joined “The Great Reassessment” in mass.

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LifeSpeak’s first ever white paper on Mental Health in the Workplace is now live

APRIL 16, 2019

We worked with our friends at 10 organizations (representing over one million employees ) to share practical insights on their own approach to mental health in the workplace. Celebrating our 15 th year in business, one of LifeSpeak’s give-backs to the HR community is a white paper on transforming healthcare by improving mental health in the workplace.

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How Moosehead Breweries Saves Time with Rise Payroll

JANUARY 7, 2020

In fact, the majority of Moosehead’s employees retain an average tenure of 25+ years, with the company’s longest-standing team members having dedicated 40+ years of their careers to the organization. The benefits of switching to Rise Payroll.

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Catherine Graham on protecting her people

JUNE 16, 2017

We interviewed her about the decision to offer group benefits to her employees . . __. Yes, employee benefits play an important role in attracting and retaining top talent—in some cases , even more so than salaries. We also know that benefits can maintain productivity and reduce costs associated with absenteeism, presenteeism, and probably a few other ‘isms’. Currently, we have 22 employees at RIGHTSLEEVE and 14 at commonsku.

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How RIGHTSLEEVE eased its HR anxiety with Collage

JULY 14, 2017

To follow-up our first interview about the importance of employee benefits , we spoke with Catherine about the reality of managing HR for two companies, and how Collage is helping advance her vision of a paperless business. __ _. What Catherine wasn’t prepared for was how much more paperwork she would face as the people manager of two companies totalling 36 employees . “I To read more from Catherine, check out her thoughts on offering great group benefits . .

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6 Power Trends for the Future of Work

JULY 24, 2019

Since then, companies have lowered their hiring requirements as more and more employees have opted for alternative, less expensive education options. Potential impact : Student loan aid will be a trending employee benefit . Caregiving employees may need flexible hours, more paid time off, unpaid leave, a second job…or they may leave the workforce entirely. Potential impact : Caregiver benefits and family leave options should be factored into employment policies.

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Checklist for Creating a Stand-Out Career Page

AUGUST 6, 2019

Most of your potential employees have come in contact with it, even if they applied through a job board. According to the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study , more than half of Gen Z candidates value career websites when searching for jobs. According to a Pew Research Center study , 43% of smartphone users have used their phone to seek out information about a job. Tell Your Employees ’ Stories. Your best assets as a company are your employees . Showcase Your Benefits .

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How to Wow the C-Suite as an HR Professional?

FEBRUARY 9, 2021

A recent Gartner study found that growth is on the minds of most leaders. Fortunately, there are lots of studies out there to help you make your case , and you can also build in assessments to track the success of any program you implement. .

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10 Ways to Create a Great Company Culture

Vantage Circle

DECEMBER 19, 2022

Do you want your employees to feel valued, motivated, and happy? A strong company culture can improve employee retention, boost morale, and increase productivity. It is a workplace where employees feel unwelcomed, intimidated, or threatened. million employees who left.’

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Bersin: Don’t overlook these 8 factors in creating your new hybrid plan


JUNE 21, 2021

In fact, we’ll soon be publishing an entire report on the topic, with case studies from companies such as Autodesk, Sutter Health, Ferrero and RELX along with checklists and detailed considerations. It’s important to discuss and review changes so employees know what’s expected.

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HR Tech Conference 2021: What HR can learn from the New England Patriots

JULY 12, 2021

At the HR Technology Conference , we have always enjoyed featuring stories and case studies from some of the world’s leading organizations—and inviting their HR and technology executives to share their insights for the benefit of our HR tech community.

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HR Tech Number of the Day: HR Tech Conference tracks

JUNE 11, 2021

30 dives into how the events of the last year have proven that traditional wellness programs are no longer enough and organizations need to pivot to a more holistic view of employee health.

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Bersin: Why it’s time to build a new, improved deskless reality

OCTOBER 14, 2021

However, most employees working in retail, transportation, healthcare, hospitality and manufacturing don’t have an option for remote or hybrid working. HR has a critical role in designing the new reality for these employees , who make up about 80% of the global workforce.

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Do you want your employees to feel valued, motivated, and happy? A strong company culture can improve employee retention, boost morale, and increase productivity. This type of culture is quite favorable as the employees are bound to each other sentimentally.

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ACI’s Tim Mutrie Speaking at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference

ACI Specialty Benefits

APRIL 8, 2019

In this dynamic session, Mutrie will reveal the major organizational threats impacting businesses today and walk through a real-life case study of what happens when the workplace becomes a crime scene. The conference features over 200 concurrent sessions on topics related to benefits , workplace/HR practices, employment law, recruiting, workplace trends, and more. ABOUT ACI SPECIALTY BENEFITS .

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#ECTalent - Recognising Individuals: GE vs. Aviva

Strategic HCM

JUNE 10, 2011

For him, developing an Employee Value Proposition depends on recognising the individuality of employees . These use Real Deal cards to help understand how the company is doing in delivering what the employees value. And although I understand why being robust and honest is likely to be in lower performing employees ’ benefit longer-term, I’ve always felt this has smacked a bit of process for process sake. Case study Events Leadership Talent management

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ACI Specialty Benefits Executives Speaking at HR West 2019

FEBRUARY 11, 2019

In this dynamic session, Mutrie and Manzano will get real about the impact of crisis at the workplace, review a harrowing case study , and provide an action plan for HR leaders to bring back to their workplaces. ABOUT ACI SPECIALTY BENEFITS . ACI Specialty Benefits offers best-in-class benefit solutions to engage the new workforce and drive business performance. For more information about innovative employee benefit solutions, visit

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Much More Than a Paycheck: How a Pay Experience Helps Attract and Retain Employees and Boost Productivity

JULY 27, 2020

Much More Than a Paycheck: How a Pay Experience Helps Attract and Retain Employees and Boost Productivity. Much More Than a Paycheck: How a Pay Experience Helps Attract and Retain Employees and Boost Productivity. eBook.

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3 steps every organization can take to boost employee well-being

Qualtrics HR

JANUARY 21, 2021

Well-being is an essential part of the employee experience. Read the report: Explore the trends shaping employee experience in 2021. Well-being is an essential part of the employee experience , particularly in times of disruption, but how do you measure the well-being of your people?

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Green Garage

Case Study Method – 18 Advantages and Disadvantages

The case study method uses investigatory research as a way to collect data about specific demographics. This approach can apply to individuals, businesses, groups, or events. Each participant receives an equal amount of participation, offering information for collection that can then find new insights into specific trends, ideas, of hypotheses.

Interviews and research observation are the two standard methods of data collection used when following the case study method.

Researchers initially developed the case study method to develop and support hypotheses in clinical medicine. The benefits found in these efforts led the approach to transition to other industries, allowing for the examination of results through proposed decisions, processes, or outcomes. Its unique approach to information makes it possible for others to glean specific points of wisdom that encourage growth.

Several case study method advantages and disadvantages can appear when researchers take this approach.

List of the Advantages of the Case Study Method

1. It requires an intensive study of a specific unit. Researchers must document verifiable data from direct observations when using the case study method. This work offers information about the input processes that go into the hypothesis under consideration. A casual approach to data-gathering work is not effective if a definitive outcome is desired. Each behavior, choice, or comment is a critical component that can verify or dispute the ideas being considered.

Intensive programs can require a significant amount of work for researchers, but it can also promote an improvement in the data collected. That means a hypothesis can receive immediate verification in some situations.

2. No sampling is required when following the case study method. This research method studies social units in their entire perspective instead of pulling individual data points out to analyze them. That means there is no sampling work required when using the case study method. The hypothesis under consideration receives support because it works to turn opinions into facts, verifying or denying the proposals that outside observers can use in the future.

Although researchers might pay attention to specific incidents or outcomes based on generalized behaviors or ideas, the study itself won’t sample those situations. It takes a look at the “bigger vision” instead.

3. This method offers a continuous analysis of the facts. The case study method will look at the facts continuously for the social group being studied by researchers. That means there aren’t interruptions in the process that could limit the validity of the data being collected through this work. This advantage reduces the need to use assumptions when drawing conclusions from the information, adding validity to the outcome of the study over time. That means the outcome becomes relevant to both sides of the equation as it can prove specific suppositions or invalidate a hypothesis under consideration.

This advantage can lead to inefficiencies because of the amount of data being studied by researchers. It is up to the individuals involved in the process to sort out what is useful and meaningful and what is not.

4. It is a useful approach to take when formulating a hypothesis. Researchers will use the case study method advantages to verify a hypothesis under consideration. It is not unusual for the collected data to lead people toward the formulation of new ideas after completing this work. This process encourages further study because it allows concepts to evolve as people do in social or physical environments. That means a complete data set can be gathered based on the skills of the researcher and the honesty of the individuals involved in the study itself.

Although this approach won’t develop a societal-level evaluation of a hypothesis, it can look at how specific groups will react in various circumstances. That information can lead to a better decision-making process in the future for everyone involved.

5. It provides an increase in knowledge. The case study method provides everyone with analytical power to increase knowledge. This advantage is possible because it uses a variety of methodologies to collect information while evaluating a hypothesis. Researchers prefer to use direct observation and interviews to complete their work, but it can also advantage through the use of questionnaires. Participants might need to fill out a journal or diary about their experiences that can be used to study behaviors or choices.

Some researchers incorporate memory tests and experimental tasks to determine how social groups will interact or respond in specific situations. All of this data then works to verify the possibilities that a hypothesis proposes.

6. The case study method allows for comparisons. The human experience is one that is built on individual observations from group situations. Specific demographics might think, act, or respond in particular ways to stimuli, but each person in that group will also contribute a small part to the whole. You could say that people are sponges that collect data from one another every day to create individual outcomes.

The case study method allows researchers to take the information from each demographic for comparison purposes. This information can then lead to proposals that support a hypothesis or lead to its disruption.

7. Data generalization is possible using the case study method. The case study method provides a foundation for data generalization, allowing researches to illustrate their statistical findings in meaningful ways. It puts the information into a usable format that almost anyone can use if they have the need to evaluate the hypothesis under consideration. This process makes it easier to discover unusual features, unique outcomes, or find conclusions that wouldn’t be available without this method. It does an excellent job of identifying specific concepts that relate to the proposed ideas that researchers were verifying through their work.

Generalization does not apply to a larger population group with the case study method. What researchers can do with this information is to suggest a predictable outcome when similar groups are placed in an equal situation.

8. It offers a comprehensive approach to research. Nothing gets ignored when using the case study method to collect information. Every person, place, or thing involved in the research receives the complete attention of those seeking data. The interactions are equal, which means the data is comprehensive and directly reflective of the group being observed.

This advantage means that there are fewer outliers to worry about when researching an idea, leading to a higher level of accuracy in the conclusions drawn by the researchers.

9. The identification of deviant cases is possible with this method. The case study method of research makes it easier to identify deviant cases that occur in each social group. These incidents are units (people) that behave in ways that go against the hypothesis under consideration. Instead of ignoring them like other options do when collecting data, this approach incorporates the “rogue” behavior to understand why it exists in the first place.

This advantage makes the eventual data and conclusions gathered more reliable because it incorporates the “alternative opinion” that exists. One might say that the case study method places as much emphasis on the yin as it does the yang so that the whole picture becomes available to the outside observer.

10. Questionnaire development is possible with the case study method. Interviews and direct observation are the preferred methods of implementing the case study method because it is cheap and done remotely. The information gathered by researchers can also lead to farming questionnaires that can farm additional data from those being studied. When all of the data resources come together, it is easier to formulate a conclusion that accurately reflects the demographics.

Some people in the case study method may try to manipulate the results for personal reasons, but this advantage makes it possible to identify this information readily. Then researchers can look into the thinking that goes into the dishonest behaviors observed.

List of the Disadvantages of the Case Study Method

1. The case study method offers limited representation. The usefulness of the case study method is limited to a specific group of representatives. Researchers are looking at a specific demographic when using this option. That means it is impossible to create any generalization that applies to the rest of society, an organization, or a larger community with this work. The findings can only apply to other groups caught in similar circumstances with the same experiences.

It is useful to use the case study method when attempting to discover the specific reasons why some people behave in a specific way. If researchers need something more generalized, then a different method must be used.

2. No classification is possible with the case study method. This disadvantage is also due to the sample size in the case study method. No classification is possible because researchers are studying such a small unit, group, or demographic. It can be an inefficient process since the skills of the researcher help to determine the quality of the data being collected to verify the validity of a hypothesis. Some participants may be unwilling to answer or participate, while others might try to guess at the outcome to support it.

Researchers can get trapped in a place where they explore more tangents than the actual hypothesis with this option. Classification can occur within the units being studied, but this data cannot extrapolate to other demographics.

3. The case study method still offers the possibility of errors. Each person has an unconscious bias that influences their behaviors and choices. The case study method can find outliers that oppose a hypothesis fairly easily thanks to its emphasis on finding facts, but it is up to the researchers to determine what information qualifies for this designation. If the results from the case study method are surprising or go against the opinion of participating individuals, then there is still the possibility that the information will not be 100% accurate.

Researchers must have controls in place that dictate how data gathering work occurs. Without this limitation in place, the results of the study cannot be guaranteed because of the presence of bias.

4. It is a subjective method to use for research. Although the purpose of the case study method of research is to gather facts, the foundation of what gets gathered is still based on opinion. It uses the subjective method instead of the objective one when evaluating data, which means there can be another layer of errors in the information to consider.

Imagine that a researcher interprets someone’s response as “angry” when performing direct observation, but the individual was feeling “shame” because of a decision they made. The difference between those two emotions is profound, and it could lead to information disruptions that could be problematic to the eventual work of hypothesis verification.

5. The processes required by the case study method are not useful for everyone. The case study method uses a person’s memories, explanations, and records from photographs and diaries to identify interactions on influences on psychological processes. People are given the chance to describe what happens in the world around them as a way for researchers to gather data. This process can be an advantage in some industries, but it can also be a worthless approach to some groups.

If the social group under study doesn’t have the information, knowledge, or wisdom to provide meaningful data, then the processes are no longer useful. Researchers must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the case study method before starting their work to determine if the possibility of value exists. If it does not, then a different method may be necessary.

6. It is possible for bias to form in the data. It’s not just an unconscious bias that can form in the data when using the case study method. The narrow study approach can lead to outright discrimination in the data. Researchers can decide to ignore outliers or any other information that doesn’t support their hypothesis when using this method. The subjective nature of this approach makes it difficult to challenge the conclusions that get drawn from this work, and the limited pool of units (people) means that duplication is almost impossible.

That means unethical people can manipulate the results gathered by the case study method to their own advantage without much accountability in the process.

7. This method has no fixed limits to it. This method of research is highly dependent on situational circumstances rather than overarching societal or corporate truths. That means the researcher has no fixed limits of investigation. Even when controls are in place to limit bias or recommend specific activities, the case study method has enough flexibility built into its structures to allow for additional exploration. That means it is possible for this work to continue indefinitely, gathering data that never becomes useful.

Scientists began to track the health of 268 sophomores at Harvard in 1938. The Great Depression was in its final years at that point, so the study hoped to reveal clues that lead to happy and healthy lives. It continues still today, now incorporating the children of the original participants, providing over 80 years of information to sort through for conclusions.

8. The case study method is time-consuming and expensive. The case study method can be affordable in some situations, but the lack of fixed limits and the ability to pursue tangents can make it a costly process in most situations. It takes time to gather the data in the first place, and then researchers must interpret the information received so that they can use it for hypothesis evaluation. There are other methods of data collection that can be less expensive and provide results faster.

That doesn’t mean the case study method is useless. The individualization of results can help the decision-making process advance in a variety of industries successfully. It just takes more time to reach the appropriate conclusion, and that might be a resource that isn’t available.

The advantages and disadvantages of the case study method suggest that the helpfulness of this research option depends on the specific hypothesis under consideration. When researchers have the correct skills and mindset to gather data accurately, then it can lead to supportive data that can verify ideas with tremendous accuracy.

This research method can also be used unethically to produce specific results that can be difficult to challenge.

When bias enters into the structure of the case study method, the processes become inefficient, inaccurate, and harmful to the hypothesis. That’s why great care must be taken when designing a study with this approach. It might be a labor-intensive way to develop conclusions, but the outcomes are often worth the investments needed.

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Benefits of case studies

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When selling directly to other businesses (B2B), examples of previous successful projects are an increasingly important part of building trust and confidence that you can deliver the best solution for that business's needs. 

Case studies represent a focused channel for your business to explain the types of work you're suited to and the businesses that can benefit from your services. By showcasing a real-life example of your team providing a solution to a problem you can highlight your experience and authority as a potential partner for similar businesses. It's for these reasons that case studies represent the perfect opportunity for you to promote your business in a value-added context for B2B buyers.

In this article we'll outline the key components of a business-winning case study and the format you can follow to begin creating your own today.

What is a case study?

A case study is defined as being an up-close and detailed examination of something your business did. It includes a beginning, an explanation of what happened next, and a resolution that explains how the company solved or improved on something. For example, an instance where your business excelled at finding an innovative solution to a new or existing problem.

Throughout your case study, there should be a story that unfolds. This story will consist of introducing your customer, hearing about their problem and having it solved by your product. This is a realistic and relatable way to show customers the benefits and value of your offering and what it can bring. 

Extending the storyline and pushing it past the happy quotes, this is what is going to push prospects to buy. Prospects want to know the full journey, they need a context that explains the reasons for the raving review. Explaining the problems, its impact on the client's business and the process that the customer went through from their point of view will allow the reader to relate to the happy customer. 

Within the customer's story the relevance and impact of the solution needs to be brought to life. Customers aren't going to be able to relate to a list of features, they are more likely to be able to relate to a customer like them by seeing their problems solved with the features that your product offers. Alter and develop the storyline to showcase the benefits that your product provides. 

Give evidence

There is no point trying to persuade a customer to buy from you when you give them no evidence to back up your claims. Weaving in examples of work your brand has done throughout the case study will back up the points being made. Case studies include the word of the customer, but supporting their comments with evidence from your work will reassure the reader about the claims being made. 

By including data and analysis in your case study you add value and credibility to the material. It also gives a potential buyer more confidence in you as a solutions provider and builds trust and credibility. Many customers will come to you in the hopes they can achieve similar results, so make sure case studies put your best foot forward.

Power of social proof

The way customers relate to other customers far surpasses the effect words from a marketer can have on anyone. Case studies outline the buyer's journey from their own perspective, this gives customers the reassurance and confidence that other marketing effort wouldn’t achieve. People copy what they see other people doing, why not take advantage of that and showcase case studies of people buying your product?

Transparency within the case study will help the reader to relate more to the character in the story. Presenting minor details that will build up a case for your product would be beneficial. Throughout the buyer's journey including the options that the customer explored but later dismissed would make the story have more credibility.  

SEO keywords

Case studies are a good way to boost your SEO ranking. The storytelling nature makes it easy to intertwine keywords that are related to your product – this will make your website rank higher in Google searches that contain some of the keywords. Consistently updating and adding new content to the case studies page will maintain your ranking in searches as google will recognise the new and consistent content. 

The more you update your case study database the more you'll get from it. Adding more content to your website that is relevant to your product will reinforce to google that you are relevant in your field. These measures all help improve your rank on Google. 

Use them to close

Case studies are not only a marketing tool but a very powerful sales tool as well. In the early stages of relationship-building, the sales team can reinforce the solution they're putting forward by including a link to the case study to reassure the prospect.

Case studies are unlike any other marketing technique. They tell a story where your business and solutions are the main character and your clients reinforce your authority in your market. They can be used to attract new prospects, place your business at the forefront of viable options, and even close decision-makers and win new business.

With word-of-mouth as important as ever, it is beneficial to optimise this tool in many different forms. From reviews to testimonials, case studies to referrals, leveraging the voice of the customer can prove to be an untapped sales and marketing resource of the highest value. Case studies give the customer more of a story and provide more influence than testimonials alone – one form of word-of-mouth isn't enough, optimise as many as you can. 

Case studies might be overwhelming to think about, especially when you don't know where to start. And that's where we come in to help.

We've put together a free case study template to help you get started. It includes the questions you can ask the customer, and yourself to unravel the story behind your success. Remember to follow the three points below for a captivating case study:

1. Situation

2. Solution

Get started creating your own case studies by downloading our free template .

Download your free Case study template

Not sure where to start when writing a case study? This step-by-step guide has you covered.

Case study template

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Top Benefits of Using Case Studies For Your Business

Consumers are a lot less susceptible to fancy sales pitches in this day and age, which is why the use of case studies can be very effective in building brand trust. Many consumers will ask friends and family for recommendations or look up online reviews before doing business with a particular brand. They do this because they simply trust other consumers more than they are willing to trust a brand. It’s due to these reasons that you should consider using case studies. We’ve gone over the case study questions you should ask, but the following is some information on what they actually are and how they can benefit your marketing efforts:

What are Case Studies?

Case studies are similar to testimonials in that they provide audiences with an account of previous customer experiences with the brand. However, testimonials are typically basic interviews that function as little more than positive reviews. Case studies are more in-depth and concern the entire process that the customer went through. Basically, it’s a depiction of their buyer journey and how your business helped to fulfill their needs from beginning to end. This allows for an element of storytelling that’s much more engaging

What are the Benefits of Using Case Studies?

Although case studies require a lot more effort to put together than the typical testimonial, it’s well worth the time and resources required. Many businesses will even produce their case studies as video content that their audiences can watch. The following are just a few of the benefits of creating case studies:

Build brand trust

Case studies are extremely effective in building trust because of the very fact that they represent the viewpoint of your previous customers. Instead of you telling your audience how great your brand is and how effective your products or services are, you’re having your customers do it for you. Not only do audiences trust other consumers more than they trust companies, but by allowing your previous customers to tell their stories, they are basically endorsing your brand, which gives your business more credibility.

Engage through storytelling

Simply having customers tell the audience that your product is great is just a basic customer testimonial. It’s not that interesting, nor is it very engaging. Case studies are more concerned with telling the story of the customer. The customer is the hero, their problem is the conflict and your brand’s solution is the resolution. The use of storytelling helps to make a brand much more relatable and will allow your audience to see how you fulfilled that customer’s need at every stage of the buyer journey.

Click here to learn about the differences between storytelling and storybranding.

Identify brand evangelists

To find the subjects of your case studies, you’ll need to speak to several clients or customers and request that they participate. Those that are willing are your brand evangelists. They are offering to tell their story because they believe in your brand. Knowing who your brand evangelists are is helpful because they can help improve your brand reputation through word-of-mouth marketing.

Assist your sales team

Having an assortment of case studies available on your site can be hugely beneficial to your sales team. This is because they can recommend prospects to watch specific case studies of previous customers who may have had similar problems. This, in turn, can help them close deals.

As you can see, case studies can be very beneficial to your marketing efforts. Don’t forget to read up on the important case study questions you should ask, and be sure to take a look at some of the marketing tools that we offer for download at Stevens & Tate.

Learn The StoryBranding Process

Dan Gartlan helps companies of all kinds drive their business initiatives and achieve their goals with strategic marketing programs that deliver results. As President of Stevens & Tate Marketing, he has over 20 years experience across various industries, and continues to share his expertise to build brands nationwide.


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What Is a Case Study?

An in-depth study of one person, group, or event

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

case study benefits

Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter.

case study benefits

Verywell / Colleen Tighe

Benefits and Limitations

Types of case studies, how to write a case study.

A case study is an in-depth study of one person, group, or event. In a case study, nearly every aspect of the subject's life and history is analyzed to seek patterns and causes of behavior. Case studies can be used in various fields, including psychology, medicine, education, anthropology, political science, and social work.

The purpose of a case study is to learn as much as possible about an individual or group so that the information can be generalized to many others. Unfortunately, case studies tend to be highly subjective, and it is sometimes difficult to generalize results to a larger population.

While case studies focus on a single individual or group, they follow a format similar to other types of psychology writing. If you are writing a case study, it is important to follow the rules of APA format .  

A case study can have both strengths and weaknesses. Researchers must consider these pros and cons before deciding if this type of study is appropriate for their needs.

One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult to impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study:

On the negative side, a case study:

Researchers may choose to perform a case study if they are interested in exploring a unique or recently discovered phenomenon. The insights gained from such research can help the researchers develop additional ideas and study questions that might be explored in future studies.

However, it is important to remember that the insights gained from case studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect relationships between variables. However, case studies may be used to develop hypotheses that can then be addressed in experimental research.

Case Study Examples

There have been a number of notable case studies in the history of psychology. Much of  Freud's work and theories were developed through the use of individual case studies. Some great examples of case studies in psychology include:

Such cases demonstrate how case research can be used to study things that researchers could not replicate in experimental settings. In Genie's case, her horrific abuse had denied her the opportunity to learn language at critical points in her development.

This is clearly not something that researchers could ethically replicate, but conducting a case study on Genie allowed researchers the chance to study phenomena that are otherwise impossible to reproduce.

There are a few different types of case studies that psychologists and other researchers might utilize:

The three main case study types often used are intrinsic, instrumental, and collective. Intrinsic case studies are useful for learning about unique cases. Instrumental case studies help look at an individual to learn more about a broader issue. A collective case study can be useful for looking at several cases simultaneously.

The type of case study that psychology researchers utilize depends on the unique characteristics of the situation as well as the case itself.

There are also different methods that can be used to conduct a case study, including prospective and retrospective case study methods.

Prospective case study methods are those in which an individual or group of people is observed in order to determine outcomes. For example, a group of individuals might be watched over an extended period of time to observe the progression of a particular disease.

Retrospective case study methods involve looking at historical information. For example, researchers might start with an outcome, such as a disease, and then work their way backward to look at information about the individual's life to determine risk factors that may have contributed to the onset of the illness.

Where to Find Data

There are a number of different sources and methods that researchers can use to gather information about an individual or group. Six major sources that have been identified by researchers are:

Section 1: A Case History

This section will have the following structure and content:

Background information : The first section of your paper will present your client's background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.

Description of the presenting problem : In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with.

Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.

Your diagnosis : Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the client's symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis.

Section 2: Treatment Plan

This portion of the paper will address the chosen treatment for the condition. This might also include the theoretical basis for the chosen treatment or any other evidence that might exist to support why this approach was chosen.

This section of a case study should also include information about the treatment goals, process, and outcomes.

When you are writing a case study, you should also include a section where you discuss the case study itself, including the strengths and limitiations of the study. You should note how the findings of your case study might support previous research. 

In your discussion section, you should also describe some of the implications of your case study. What ideas or findings might require further exploration? How might researchers go about exploring some of these questions in additional studies?

Here are a few additional pointers to keep in mind when formatting your case study:

A Word From Verywell

Case studies can be a useful research tool, but they need to be used wisely. In many cases, they are best utilized in situations where conducting an experiment would be difficult or impossible. They are helpful for looking at unique situations and allow researchers to gather a great deal of information about a specific individual or group of people.

If you have been directed to write a case study for a psychology course, be sure to check with your instructor for any specific guidelines that you are required to follow. If you are writing your case study for professional publication, be sure to check with the publisher for their specific guidelines for submitting a case study.

Simply Psychology. Case Study Method .

Crowe S, Cresswell K, Robertson A, Huby G, Avery A, Sheikh A. The case study approach . BMC Med Res Methodol . 2011 Jun 27;11:100. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-100

Gagnon, Yves-Chantal.  The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook . Canada, Chicago Review Press Incorporated DBA Independent Pub Group, 2010.

Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods . United States, SAGE Publications, 2017.

By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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Home » Pros and Cons » 12 Case Study Method Advantages and Disadvantages

12 Case Study Method Advantages and Disadvantages

A case study is an investigation into an individual circumstance. The investigation may be of a single person, business, event, or group. The investigation involves collecting in-depth data about the individual entity through the use of several collection methods. Interviews and observation are two of the most common forms of data collection used.

The case study method was originally developed in the field of clinical medicine. It has expanded since to other industries to examine key results, either positive or negative, that were received through a specific set of decisions. This allows for the topic to be researched with great detail, allowing others to glean knowledge from the information presented.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using the case study method.

List of the Advantages of the Case Study Method

1. it turns client observations into useable data..

Case studies offer verifiable data from direct observations of the individual entity involved. These observations provide information about input processes. It can show the path taken which led to specific results being generated. Those observations make it possible for others, in similar circumstances, to potentially replicate the results discovered by the case study method.

2. It turns opinion into fact.

Case studies provide facts to study because you’re looking at data which was generated in real-time. It is a way for researchers to turn their opinions into information that can be verified as fact because there is a proven path of positive or negative development. Singling out a specific incident also provides in-depth details about the path of development, which gives it extra credibility to the outside observer.

3. It is relevant to all parties involved.

Case studies that are chosen well will be relevant to everyone who is participating in the process. Because there is such a high level of relevance involved, researchers are able to stay actively engaged in the data collection process. Participants are able to further their knowledge growth because there is interest in the outcome of the case study. Most importantly, the case study method essentially forces people to make a decision about the question being studied, then defend their position through the use of facts.

4. It uses a number of different research methodologies.

The case study method involves more than just interviews and direct observation. Case histories from a records database can be used with this method. Questionnaires can be distributed to participants in the entity being studies. Individuals who have kept diaries and journals about the entity being studied can be included. Even certain experimental tasks, such as a memory test, can be part of this research process.

5. It can be done remotely.

Researchers do not need to be present at a specific location or facility to utilize the case study method. Research can be obtained over the phone, through email, and other forms of remote communication. Even interviews can be conducted over the phone. That means this method is good for formative research that is exploratory in nature, even if it must be completed from a remote location.

6. It is inexpensive.

Compared to other methods of research, the case study method is rather inexpensive. The costs associated with this method involve accessing data, which can often be done for free. Even when there are in-person interviews or other on-site duties involved, the costs of reviewing the data are minimal.

7. It is very accessible to readers.

The case study method puts data into a usable format for those who read the data and note its outcome. Although there may be perspectives of the researcher included in the outcome, the goal of this method is to help the reader be able to identify specific concepts to which they also relate. That allows them to discover unusual features within the data, examine outliers that may be present, or draw conclusions from their own experiences.

List of the Disadvantages of the Case Study Method

1. it can have influence factors within the data..

Every person has their own unconscious bias. Although the case study method is designed to limit the influence of this bias by collecting fact-based data, it is the collector of the data who gets to define what is a “fact” and what is not. That means the real-time data being collected may be based on the results the researcher wants to see from the entity instead. By controlling how facts are collected, a research can control the results this method generates.

2. It takes longer to analyze the data.

The information collection process through the case study method takes much longer to collect than other research options. That is because there is an enormous amount of data which must be sifted through. It’s not just the researchers who can influence the outcome in this type of research method. Participants can also influence outcomes by given inaccurate or incomplete answers to questions they are asked. Researchers must verify the information presented to ensure its accuracy, and that takes time to complete.

3. It can be an inefficient process.

Case study methods require the participation of the individuals or entities involved for it to be a successful process. That means the skills of the researcher will help to determine the quality of information that is being received. Some participants may be quiet, unwilling to answer even basic questions about what is being studied. Others may be overly talkative, exploring tangents which have nothing to do with the case study at all. If researchers are unsure of how to manage this process, then incomplete data is often collected.

4. It requires a small sample size to be effective.

The case study method requires a small sample size for it to yield an effective amount of data to be analyzed. If there are different demographics involved with the entity, or there are different needs which must be examined, then the case study method becomes very inefficient.

5. It is a labor-intensive method of data collection.

The case study method requires researchers to have a high level of language skills to be successful with data collection. Researchers must be personally involved in every aspect of collecting the data as well. From reviewing files or entries personally to conducting personal interviews, the concepts and themes of this process are heavily reliant on the amount of work each researcher is willing to put into things.

These case study method advantages and disadvantages offer a look at the effectiveness of this research option. With the right skill set, it can be used as an effective tool to gather rich, detailed information about specific entities. Without the right skill set, the case study method becomes inefficient and inaccurate.

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What Is a Case Study? | Definition, Examples & Methods

Published on May 8, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on January 30, 2023.

A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject, such as a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. Case studies are commonly used in social, educational, clinical, and business research.

A case study research design usually involves qualitative methods , but quantitative methods are sometimes also used. Case studies are good for describing , comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem .

Table of contents

When to do a case study, step 1: select a case, step 2: build a theoretical framework, step 3: collect your data, step 4: describe and analyze the case.

A case study is an appropriate research design when you want to gain concrete, contextual, in-depth knowledge about a specific real-world subject. It allows you to explore the key characteristics, meanings, and implications of the case.

Case studies are often a good choice in a thesis or dissertation . They keep your project focused and manageable when you don’t have the time or resources to do large-scale research.

You might use just one complex case study where you explore a single subject in depth, or conduct multiple case studies to compare and illuminate different aspects of your research problem.

Once you have developed your problem statement and research questions , you should be ready to choose the specific case that you want to focus on. A good case study should have the potential to:

Unlike quantitative or experimental research , a strong case study does not require a random or representative sample. In fact, case studies often deliberately focus on unusual, neglected, or outlying cases which may shed new light on the research problem.

However, you can also choose a more common or representative case to exemplify a particular category, experience or phenomenon.

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While case studies focus more on concrete details than general theories, they should usually have some connection with theory in the field. This way the case study is not just an isolated description, but is integrated into existing knowledge about the topic. It might aim to:

To ensure that your analysis of the case has a solid academic grounding, you should conduct a literature review of sources related to the topic and develop a theoretical framework . This means identifying key concepts and theories to guide your analysis and interpretation.

There are many different research methods you can use to collect data on your subject. Case studies tend to focus on qualitative data using methods such as interviews , observations , and analysis of primary and secondary sources (e.g., newspaper articles, photographs, official records). Sometimes a case study will also collect quantitative data.

The aim is to gain as thorough an understanding as possible of the case and its context.

In writing up the case study, you need to bring together all the relevant aspects to give as complete a picture as possible of the subject.

How you report your findings depends on the type of research you are doing. Some case studies are structured like a standard scientific paper or thesis , with separate sections or chapters for the methods , results and discussion .

Others are written in a more narrative style, aiming to explore the case from various angles and analyze its meanings and implications (for example, by using textual analysis or discourse analysis ).

In all cases, though, make sure to give contextual details about the case, connect it back to the literature and theory, and discuss how it fits into wider patterns or debates.

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Case study: How Kyle, Texas, benefits from rideshare

22 hours ago / Canada

case study benefits

On-demand transportation is a boon for small towns 

Historically, too many small towns have been left out of the public transit conversation. Fixed-route services such as rail or bus, and other forms of dedicated transportation options such as microtransit, can be prohibitively expensive for small communities to operate and sustain long-term. The City of Kyle in Texas faced similar challenges and partnered with Uber to provide a highly accessible transit option for its small but growing population.

A city on the rise 

Kyle is fast growing city about 20 minutes southwest of Austin, the state capital. Kyle’s population nearly doubled in the last decade, from 28,000 in 2010 to almost 52,000 in 2021. Recently, Amazon moved into Kyle Crossing Business Park and has created more than 1,130 full-time and part-time jobs. This, among other socioeconomic factors, has contributed to the city’s rapid population, economic growth, and quickly changing landscape.  

Says Jerry Hendrix, Kyle’s Interim City Manager: “When I arrived 16 years ago, Kyle’s population was about 20,000 and there was no traffic light. The growing town knew it needed a transportation alternative, but that change is hard.”  

Kyle, like many cities and small towns on the rise in Central Texas, can be characterized as a low-density, reasonably affluent, family-oriented town, with many people owning cars. These characteristics make it difficult for city managers to provide traditional public transportation services for citizens that really benefit from it. 

Uber Kyle $3.14 

Every time the City explored a new public transportation option, they found it to be overly expensive and/or limited in coverage and therefore not sustainable. After years of searching for the right partner, the City found a fit with Uber Transit . By leveraging the Uber platform already available in the city, Kyle could provide an affordable choice that allows riders the freedom to travel within City limits whenever and wherever they want.

case study benefits

By moving away from a transportation philosophy centered on dedicated vehicles and moving toward a model that capitalizes on alternative services, Kyle has done more with less. The Uber Kyle $3.14 service provides subsidized transportation options to Kyle residents and visitors. It costs the City the same as or less than traditional transportation services, which would have only served a fraction of the city’s population and geographic area. The rider fare is a unique $3.14 because Kyle is affectionately—and officially—known as the Pie Capital of Texas, where, the City says, “all things pie or Pi reign supreme.”

How it works 

To drive awareness of the City of Kyle’s informative app, residents and visitors are required to use it to claim the subsidy with Uber each month. Once riders accept the voucher within the City of Kyle app, it is activated in the rider’s account within the Uber app. The rest of their experience is identical to requesting any trip with Uber: select a destination and get connected to a driver. If the trip qualifies for the subsidy, the discount will appear and be applied.

case study benefits

City of Kyle app showing the Uber Kyle $3.14 program

For eligible trips within city limits, riders pay the first $3.14 and receive a subsidy of up to an additional $10. Riders are responsible for any charges beyond the first $13.14 ($3.14 fare + $10 subsidy). 

While most trips are fulfilled by drivers on the Uber app, for riders with disabilities, the City provides access to on-demand transportation in wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) through a contract with Maruti Transportation Group , a local paratransit provider. Riders who require a WAV can select MT Connect, the WAV option within the Uber app, or request a ride by calling the MT Connect call center. Providing MT Connect service within the Uber app is made possible through a technology integration between Uber and Maruti. The same price rules apply for trips fulfilled using standard and accessible vehicles.  

How it’s going

Once the program was established, getting the word out to the public was the most important task. Kyle staff used every method available, including a PR campaign that led to news stories. The City found that social media, especially Facebook, and word of mouth were particularly effective in informing people. 

Despite launching the Uber Kyle $3.14 program during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has experienced healthy growth. In October 2021—just one year after launch— the program expanded from the initial limit of 8 trips per month to the current 10 trips per month. After receiving several requests from veterans and other citizens who have no other dependable local public transportation option, the City also expanded the program to select locations outside its limits. The program now subsidizes  1 round-trip per month from Kyle to the Austin Veterans Administration for $3.14, and 2 one-way trips per month to or from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for 31.4% of the ride cost.

By the numbers

Agency stats*

Service area

Advice to other transit agencies

The City of Kyle, which considered several other providers before choosing Uber Transit, emphasizes the importance of finding the right partner. One key was finding a partner that could help them remain ADA compliant by providing a Rider’s Choice program. In Kyle, innovation is something the city is built on; “Leading Edge” is one of its core values. Other cities and small towns that are experiencing growth the way Kyle is could explore new transportation service delivery options that make better use of existing non dedicated resources. 

The triple bottom line: look for transportation options that meet the needs of residents today, improve accessibility, and contain costs.

“I don’t know why more [cities/agencies] don’t adopt this. If you have a bus system, you have to pay for a large system whether or not people are using it.” —Jerry Hendrix, Interim City Manager, Kyle, Texas

Many small towns struggle with the funding and ridership demand needed to provide traditional transit services, leaving locals and visitors with few options for getting around. While Uber is not the end-all, be-all solution, Uber Transit can be a practical partner for emerging cities where public transportation is not yet available. Providing accessible and stress-free transportation is an important growth lever for all cities and is one way local governments can address job insecurity in their communities. 

Additionally, a study by EBP US (formerly Economic Development Research Group) found that out-of-town visitors take 11.6% of Uber trips in the US, 26.7% of visitors report spending more during their stay because using Uber enabled them to visit additional locations, and 14% of US Uber trips let riders see destinations they couldn’t access without Uber. So if you envision your city becoming the next “[Insert noun here] Capital,” consider how Uber might fit into your city fabric.

*October 1-31, 2022.

More information

If you are a mobility manager interested in harnessing Uber’s technology please visit  for more information.

Posted by Lucia Phan

Category: Transit

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What is it?

Case study is a research methodology, typically seen in social and life sciences. There is no one definition of case study research. 1 However, very simply… ‘a case study can be defined as an intensive study about a person, a group of people or a unit, which is aimed to generalize over several units’. 1 A case study has also been described as an intensive, systematic investigation of a single individual, group, community or some other unit in which the researcher examines in-depth data relating to several variables. 2

Often there are several similar cases to consider such as educational or social service programmes that are delivered from a number of locations. Although similar, they are complex and have unique features. In these circumstances, the evaluation of several, similar cases will provide a better answer to a research question than if only one case is examined, hence the multiple-case study. Stake asserts that the cases are grouped and viewed as one entity, called the quintain . 6  ‘We study what is similar and different about the cases to understand the quintain better’. 6

The steps when using case study methodology are the same as for other types of research. 6 The first step is defining the single case or identifying a group of similar cases that can then be incorporated into a multiple-case study. A search to determine what is known about the case(s) is typically conducted. This may include a review of the literature, grey literature, media, reports and more, which serves to establish a basic understanding of the cases and informs the development of research questions. Data in case studies are often, but not exclusively, qualitative in nature. In multiple-case studies, analysis within cases and across cases is conducted. Themes arise from the analyses and assertions about the cases as a whole, or the quintain, emerge. 6

Benefits and limitations of case studies

If a researcher wants to study a specific phenomenon arising from a particular entity, then a single-case study is warranted and will allow for a in-depth understanding of the single phenomenon and, as discussed above, would involve collecting several different types of data. This is illustrated in example 1 below.

Using a multiple-case research study allows for a more in-depth understanding of the cases as a unit, through comparison of similarities and differences of the individual cases embedded within the quintain. Evidence arising from multiple-case studies is often stronger and more reliable than from single-case research. Multiple-case studies allow for more comprehensive exploration of research questions and theory development. 6

Despite the advantages of case studies, there are limitations. The sheer volume of data is difficult to organise and data analysis and integration strategies need to be carefully thought through. There is also sometimes a temptation to veer away from the research focus. 2 Reporting of findings from multiple-case research studies is also challenging at times, 1 particularly in relation to the word limits for some journal papers.

Examples of case studies

Example 1: nurses’ paediatric pain management practices.

One of the authors of this paper (AT) has used a case study approach to explore nurses’ paediatric pain management practices. This involved collecting several datasets:

Observational data to gain a picture about actual pain management practices.

Questionnaire data about nurses’ knowledge about paediatric pain management practices and how well they felt they managed pain in children.

Questionnaire data about how critical nurses perceived pain management tasks to be.

These datasets were analysed separately and then compared 7–9 and demonstrated that nurses’ level of theoretical did not impact on the quality of their pain management practices. 7 Nor did individual nurse’s perceptions of how critical a task was effect the likelihood of them carrying out this task in practice. 8 There was also a difference in self-reported and observed practices 9 ; actual (observed) practices did not confirm to best practice guidelines, whereas self-reported practices tended to.

Example 2: quality of care for complex patients at Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics (NPLCs)

The other author of this paper (RH) has conducted a multiple-case study to determine the quality of care for patients with complex clinical presentations in NPLCs in Ontario, Canada. 10 Five NPLCs served as individual cases that, together, represented the quatrain. Three types of data were collected including:

Review of documentation related to the NPLC model (media, annual reports, research articles, grey literature and regulatory legislation).

Interviews with nurse practitioners (NPs) practising at the five NPLCs to determine their perceptions of the impact of the NPLC model on the quality of care provided to patients with multimorbidity.

Chart audits conducted at the five NPLCs to determine the extent to which evidence-based guidelines were followed for patients with diabetes and at least one other chronic condition.

The three sources of data collected from the five NPLCs were analysed and themes arose related to the quality of care for complex patients at NPLCs. The multiple-case study confirmed that nurse practitioners are the primary care providers at the NPLCs, and this positively impacts the quality of care for patients with multimorbidity. Healthcare policy, such as lack of an increase in salary for NPs for 10 years, has resulted in issues in recruitment and retention of NPs at NPLCs. This, along with insufficient resources in the communities where NPLCs are located and high patient vulnerability at NPLCs, have a negative impact on the quality of care. 10

These examples illustrate how collecting data about a single case or multiple cases helps us to better understand the phenomenon in question. Case study methodology serves to provide a framework for evaluation and analysis of complex issues. It shines a light on the holistic nature of nursing practice and offers a perspective that informs improved patient care.

Competing interests None declared.

Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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Case Study Research Method in Psychology

Saul Mcleod, PhD

Educator, Researcher

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education.

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Olivia Guy-Evans

Associate Editor for Simply Psychology

BSc (Hons), Psychology, MSc, Psychology of Education

Olivia Guy-Evans is a writer and associate editor for Simply Psychology. She has previously worked in healthcare and educational sectors.

Case studies are in-depth investigations of a single person, group, event, or community. Typically, data is gathered from various sources and by using several different methods (e.g., observations & interviews ).

In This Article

What are Case Studies?

The case study research method originated in clinical medicine (the case history, i.e., the patient’s personal history). In psychology, case studies are often confined to the study of a particular individual.

The information is mainly biographical and relates to events in the individual’s past (i.e., retrospective), as well as to significant events which are currently occurring in his or her everyday life.

The case study is not itself a research method, but researchers select methods of data collection and analysis that will generate material suitable for case studies.

Case studies are widely used in psychology, and amongst the best known were the ones carried out by Sigmund Freud, including Anna O and Little Hans .

Freud (1909a, 1909b) conducted very detailed investigations into the private lives of his patients in an attempt to both understand and help them overcome their illnesses. Even today, case histories are one of the main methods of investigation in abnormal psychology and psychiatry.

This makes it clear that the case study is a method that should only be used by a psychologist, therapist, or psychiatrist, i.e., someone with a professional qualification.

There is an ethical issue of competence. Only someone qualified to diagnose and treat a person can conduct a formal case study relating to atypical (i.e., abnormal) behavior or atypical development.

The procedure used in a case study means that the researcher provides a description of the behavior. This comes from interviews and other sources, such as observation.

The client also reports detail of events from his or her point of view. The researcher then writes up the information from both sources above as the case study and interprets the information.

The research may also continue for an extended period of time, so processes and developments can be studied as they happen.

Amongst the sources of data the psychologist is likely to turn to when carrying out a case study are observations of a person’s daily routine, unstructured interviews with the participant herself (and with people who know her), diaries, personal notes (e.g., letters, photographs, notes) or official document (e.g., case notes, clinical notes, appraisal reports).

The case study method often involves simply observing what happens to or reconstructing ‘the case history’ of a single participant or group of individuals (such as a school class or a specific social group), i.e., the idiographic approach .

The interview is also an extremely effective procedure for obtaining information about an individual, and it may be used to collect comments from the person’s friends, parents, employer, workmates, and others who have a good knowledge of the person, as well as to obtain facts from the person him or herself.

Most of this information is likely to be qualitative (i.e., verbal description rather than measurement), but the psychologist might collect numerical data as well.

The data collected can be analyzed using different theories (e.g., grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, text interpretation, e.g., thematic coding).

All the approaches mentioned here use preconceived categories in the analysis, and they are ideographic in their approach, i.e., they focus on the individual case without reference to a comparison group.

Interpreting the information means the researcher decides what to include or leave out. A good case study should always clarify which information is the factual description and which is an inference or the researcher’s opinion.

Case studies allow a researcher to investigate a topic in far more detail than might be possible if they were trying to deal with a large number of research participants (nomothetic approach) with the aim of ‘averaging’.

Because of their in-depth, multi-sided approach, case studies often shed light on aspects of human thinking and behavior that would be unethical or impractical to study in other ways.

Research that only looks into the measurable aspects of human behavior is not likely to give us insights into the subjective dimension of experience, which is important to psychoanalytic and humanistic psychologists.

Case studies are often used in exploratory research. They can help us generate new ideas (that might be tested by other methods). They are an important way of illustrating theories and can help show how different aspects of a person’s life are related to each other.

The method is, therefore, important for psychologists who adopt a holistic point of view (i.e., humanistic psychologists ).


Because a case study deals with only one person/event/group, we can never be sure if the case study investigated is representative of the wider body of “similar” instances. This means the conclusions drawn from a particular case may not be transferable to other settings.

Because case studies are based on the analysis of qualitative (i.e., descriptive) data, a lot depends on the psychologist’s interpretation of the information she has acquired.

This means that there is a lot of scope for observer bias , and it could be that the subjective opinions of the psychologist intrude in the assessment of what the data means.

For example, Freud has been criticized for producing case studies in which the information was sometimes distorted to fit particular behavioral theories (e.g., Little Hans ).

This is also true of Money’s interpretation of the Bruce/Brenda case study (Diamond, 1997) when he ignored evidence that went against his theory.

How to reference this article:

McLeod, S. A. (2019, August 03). Case study method . Simply Psychology.

Diamond, M., & Sigmundson, K. (1997). Sex Reassignment at Birth: Long-term Review and Clinical Implications. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine , 151(3), 298-304

Freud, S. (1909a). Analysis of a phobia of a five year old boy. In The Pelican Freud Library (1977), Vol 8, Case Histories 1, pages 169-306

Freud, S. (1909b). Bemerkungen über einen Fall von Zwangsneurose (Der “Rattenmann”). Jb. psychoanal. psychopathol. Forsch ., I, p. 357-421; GW, VII, p. 379-463; Notes upon a case of obsessional neurosis, SE , 10: 151-318.

Further Information

Digital Preservation Handbook

Explore the Handbook


Business cases, benefits, costs, and impact

case study benefits

Illustration by Jørgen Stamp CC BY 2.5 Denmark

Any change in the economic environment may mean that many organisations are challenged to reduce overall expenditure and to maximise efficiencies. At the same time organisations are preserving increasing amounts of digital material. Reuse of models can form a part of the response to this challenge. The long term management - preservation - of digital materials is an expensive and complex activity. It cannot reliably be done without the investment of resources and expenditure.

The challenges for an organisation are to create business models that:

Other organisations have already created templates for business cases and models for the calculation of cost and benefit, so reusing some or parts of these models can not only save time but be used as justification for the adoption of particular strategies.

Business cases

The business case is a tool for advocating and ensuring that an investment is justified in terms of the strategic direction of the organisation and the benefits it will deliver. It typically provides context, benefits, costs and a set of options for key decision makers and funders. It can also set out how success will be measured to ensure that promised improvements are delivered.

It is essential that any business model or proposal that is created supports the wider aims and objectives of the parent organisation. It is equally important that key stakeholders, such as budget holders, are consulted and given early sight of the plans and offered the opportunity to comment and provide input. Early exposure of plans can to some extent mitigate situations in which plans might otherwise be rejected outright.

However, presenting a business case for preserving any material at an early stage is no guarantee that it will be accepted. Whilst there is no sure fire template, some or all of the following steps may be useful if a plan is rejected. Within an organisation there may be set procedures and policies regarding the making and presentation of business cases and these should be followed. Early communication of business planning can help identify topics or areas that could present problems when the plan is formally presented.

Identify options and be pragmatic

The point of business planning is to be aspirational and to create services or products that have value and benefit. Not everyone sees the benefits in preservation over the long term where costs are an ongoing issue or where resources are required to be committed for the long term. Business planning is often an exercise in pragmatism. It might be more effective to make a number of smaller more focussed business plans than one single large proposal. Using their knowledge of an organisation the author of a business plan must ensure that any plan is realistic and within the means of the organisation. Strategic planning provides the framework within which business plans are written. Any strategic objective can be achieved in a number of ways, e.g. less money but more time, fewer staff but longer timeframe etc. A pragmatic response offers decision makers a preferred option and why it is preferred and a small range of other alternative options in the business case. It is often helpful to include the "costs/dis-benefits of inaction" as an option against which other actions can be evaluated.

If at first you don't succeed

Work with stakeholders to identify reasons why a business plan was rejected. Talk to those involved in decision making and seek specific feedback. Was the cost component too expensive? Were the plans too ambitious? Is it felt the business case was poorly written or presented? Does the timeframe not fit with organisational plans?

Response : Work with stakeholders to address key concerns. Be clear to address each issue. Explain the reasons why a business plan was presented and what it is aiming to achieve. Focus on benefits, especially those that address the key strategic goals of the parent organisation. Focus on short as well as longer term benefits of the business plan. One approach is to create business plans that are 'SMART', that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

When circumstances change

The hard work in business planning is getting to the point where a plan is accepted. However, circumstances can change. If a business plan is not implemented or previously agreed funding withdrawn, the implications can be severe. Again, communication with key stakeholders is essential and can reveal why something may have changed.

Response : Part of business planning involves having a range of options that can be offered in the event of problems arising with funding a preferred option. Having a well-structured business plan from which proposals can be deleted can help in making an alternative case for phased or alternative implementations requiring fewer resources. In such a case a business plan might quickly be re-drafted in more acceptable terms and resources made available. Having a focus on why resources were not made available gives an opportunity for a business case to be re-presented with more emphasis on benefits and positive impact.

Creating business cases

The following steps should be considered when writing and delivering a business case.

For a generic digital preservation business case template and more information, see the Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit

Benefits are associated with costs and also with risks (see Risk and change management ). If risks are mitigated these become a type of benefit. The purpose of the acquisition of any digital material is that it is used. The uses to which digital material is put represents a benefit to those users. If an organisation needs to understand costs associated with digital materials then it must also understand benefits. Benefits can be used to justify costs through the development of business plans.

Measuring benefits is often quite challenging, especially when these benefits do not easily lend themselves to expression in quantitative terms. Often a mixture of approaches will be required to analyse both qualitative and quantitative outcomes and present the differences made. To assist institutions, the Keeping Research Data Safe project created a KRDS Benefits Framework and a Benefits Analysis Toolkit ( KRDS, 2011 ). These aim to help institutions identify the full scope of benefits from management and preservation of research data and to present them in a succinct way to a range of different stakeholders (e.g. when developing business cases or advocacy). The toolkit is also easily applicable to the benefits of digital preservation to other classes of digital materials.

case study benefits

The KRDS Benefits Framework uses three dimensions to illuminate the benefits investments potentially generate. These dimensions serve as a high-level framework within which thinking about benefits can be organised and then sharpened into more focused value propositions using the Toolkit. It helps you identify what changes you are trying to deliver, what are the outcomes, who benefits, and how long it will take to realise those benefits.

A business case will normally look at not just the establishment cost for the digital preservation solution, but the all-in cost, including project/program management costs and other activities being undertaken to support implementation such as training and publicity. However digital preservation costs are often the most critical element.

Why understand digital preservation costs?

These are a few reasons why an organisation might want to estimate digital preservation costs:

What is lifecycle cost modelling?

A number of research and development projects have sought to model digital preservation costs across the lifecycle from creation and ingest through to preservation and ultimately access. The large number of projects makes understanding this work, finding which results are most applicable to a particular situation, choosing a model, and putting it into practice a significant challenge. The 4C Project surveyed, analysed and assessed this work and provides guidance on getting the most from it:

Challenges with cost modelling

Cost modelling has been identified as a particularly challenging activity, with a number of difficult aspects, such as:

For this reason, modelling digital preservation costs across the lifecycle is an activity that should be approached with caution. Cost modelling will always be an approximation and so you need to decide the amount of time you are willing to put in to gain a less approximate answer.

Managing costs

It is possible to manage costs through careful planning. One way is through good process design. The ways in which digital material is created or acquired, managed and disseminated attract costs. Those costs are at the discretion of the organisation and can be managed. The end to end process from acquisition to dissemination must be designed to ensure that all activities are as efficient as possible. All steps should be designed in such a way as to minimise the need for resources, whilst maximising efficiency. Whilst efficiencies work well at scale, an efficient process doesn't have to be a high volume process. Automation of systematic steps can also save time and deliver effective consistent processes. The initial costs of process design and implementation can be offset by longer term returns.

Impact is typically the measurement of benefits particularly to the wider public and society undertaken after a business case project has delivered.

For small projects and business cases, impact may be just a simple set of measures such as downloads or number of website requests against which success can be benchmarked easily.

For larger projects and programmes, it may be part of a more thorough evaluation to justify the resources expended. It can include a mixture of quantitative and qualitative measures and will normally be undertaken by external specialists working with staff from the repository. They employ methods from economics and management and information science, for example cost-benefit analysis or contingent valuation, and traditional social science methods such as interviews, surveys and focus groups.

Measurement involves choosing metrics or indicators and requires careful planning and agreement about what to measure and how. Metrics often employ readily countable things such as downloads, or scales metrics that are not truly numeric, such as rating scales or categories of variables. Typically there is a trade-off between what ideally should be measured (e.g. users and use) and proxy measures which are easy to capture and measure (e.g." unique visitors" and web downloads).

Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information

The Blue Ribbon Task Force investigated sustainable digital preservation and access from an economic perspective. This final report, identifies problems intrinsic to all preserved digital materials, and proposes actions that stakeholders can take to meet these challenges to sustainability. It developed action agendas that are targeted to major stakeholder groups and to domain-specific preservation strategies. (2010, 116 pages).

The Value and Impact of Data Sharing and Curation: A synthesis of three recent studies of UK research data centres

This synthesis summarises and reflects on the combined findings from a series of independent investigations into the value and impact of three well established UK research data centres or services (the Economic and Social Data Service, the Archaeology Data Service, and the British Atmospheric Data Centre). The studies adopted a number of approaches to explore the value and impacts of research data services and the data sharing and archiving that they have enabled. Data collection involved focused user and depositor surveys, and data centre financial and operational data (e.g. user registrations, dataset deposits and downloads), supplemented by in-depth interviews. Not all impacts can be captured and quantified; therefore they have used these economic approaches with others, such as the KRDS Benefits Framework, to illustrate wider benefits. (2014, 26 pages).

Jisc Guide: Digitising your collections sustainably

Provides a starting point for considering the issues necessary to create and build a business model that will support sustainability of digitisation and digital collections.

4C Project Collaboration to Clarify the Costs of Curation

The European Union funded 4C project aimed to help organisations across Europe to invest more effectively in digital curation and preservation. A series of reports and resources were produced and are available from its outputs and deliverables page. These include the Digital Curation Sustainability Model , an Evaluation of Cost Models and Needs & Gaps Analysis, a Report on Risk, Benefit, Impact and Value, and a Draft Economic Sustainability Reference Model. The evaluation of costs models report evaluates ten available cost models including, KRDS and LIFE. Another major output was the Curation Costs Exchange (CCEx), a community owned platform which helps organisations of any kind assess the costs of curation practices through comparison and analysis. The CCEx aims to provide real information about costs to help make more informed investments in digital curation. The CCEx was launched in 2014 by 4C and is now maintained and governed by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) with help from nestor and The Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation (NCDD).

Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit

This Toolkit provides an in depth guide to writing a business case that is focused on digital preservation activities. It's targeted at practitioners (and their managers) who are working with digital resources and would like to obtain funds to expand their digital preservation activities. The Toolkit is primarily aimed at those seeking further funds from within their organisation, but could also provide useful information for those writing a bid for project funds from an external funding body. It includes a Step by step guide to building a business case and a Template for building a business case. Created by the Jisc funded SPRUCE Project in 2013 the toolkit wiki is hosted by the DPC.

Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) Benefits Toolkit

Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) is a series of cost/benefit studies, tools and methodologies that focus on the challenges of assessing costs and benefits of curation and preservation of research data. Although focussing on research data, the tools are easily customised to apply to other areas of digital preservation. Available outputs include a KRDS Factsheet, a KRDS User Guide, a KRDS Activity Cost Model, and a KRDS Benefits Analysis Toolkit as well as supplementary materials and reports. The KRDS projects between 2008 and 2011 were funded by Jisc.

20 Cost Questions for Digital Preservation

The MetaArchive Cooperative has produced a set of 20 questions to "assist institutions with their comparative analysis of various digital preservation solutions". This work marks a move away from the development of detailed predictive costing models towards a more general approach that seeks to identify and understand key cost drivers rather than the actual costs themselves.

DSHR's Blog

David Rosenthal is a frequent blogger on the topic of storage costs, often considering the impact of the evolution of storage technology on preservation costs and on cloud storage.

A Digital Asset Sustainability and Preservation Cost Bibliography

A bibliography that "ranges broadly, from articles on "contingent valuation," "ecosystem valuation" and the general "costs" of knowledge, to those that directly address the cost issues associated with digital preservation and stewardship".

Digital Preservation and Data Curation Costing and Cost Modelling

A list of digital preservation cost models and cost modelling initiatives.

case study benefits

The Cost of Inaction Calculator Rationale

This is a great information video from AVPreserv on the cost of inaction and the business case rationale for digital preservation. It is focussed on Audio-Visual material but it worth listening to and thinking laterally about the underlying rationale whatever type of digital material you hold. (8mins 41sec)

Case studies

case study benefits

KRDS Benefits Toolkit case studies

There are 4 case studies providing worked examples of completed worksheets from project partners as follows:


The background to this case study is provided in the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) dissemination workshop presentation. Worked examples are available of the ADS Benefits Framework Worksheet (PDF) and the ADS Value-chain and Impact Worksheet (Excel 97-2003).

Health: Population Cohort Studies

The background to this case study is provided in the Medical Research Council Cohort Studies dissemination workshop presentation. A worked example is available of the Cohort Studies Value-chain and Impact Worksheet (Excel 97-2003).

Research Data Citation: SageCite

The background to this case study is provided in the SageCite dissemination workshop presentation. A worked example is available of the SageCite Benefits Framework Worksheet (PDF).

Social Sciences: UK Data Archive (UKDA)

The background to this case study is provided in the UKDA dissemination workshop presentation. A worked example is available of the UKDA Benefits Impact Worksheet (PDF).

There are four case studies as follows sourced from activities conducted as part of SPRUCE Project Awards:

Bishopsgate library case study

A collections audit and business case focused on taking the first steps of digital preservation.

Institute of education case study

A review of approach and generation of a business case for digital administrative record keeping.

Northumberland estates case study

Assessment of digital repository solutions and an associated business case for digital preservation.

Lovebytes case study

A trial of media stabilisation and content preservation along with a business case to move to a production status.


Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS), 2011. Digital Preservation Benefits Analysis Toolkit . Available:


University Gardens, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ

+44 (0) 141 330 2252

info (at)

Planning for Operations

Applying Analysis Tools in Planning for Operations - Case Study #1 - Operations Strategy Impact Reference and Deployment Guidance

More and more, transportation system operators are seeing the benefits of strengthening links between planning and operations. A critical element in improving transportation decision-making and the effectiveness of transportation systems related to operations and planning is through the use of analysis tools and methods. This brochure is one in a series of five intended to improve the way existing analysis tools are used to advance operational strategies in the planning process. The specific objective of developing this informational brochure series was to provide reference and resource materials that will help planners and operations professionals to use existing transportation planning and operations analysis tools and methods in a more systematic way to better analyze, evaluate, and report the benefits of needed investments in transportation operations.

Figure 1. Analytical Methods/Tools and Related Case Studies Developed Under this Project

Figure 1 - flow chart - The figure shows that the four case studies represent a variety of the traffic analysis tool types.

The series of brochures includes an overview brochure and four case studies that provide practitioners with information on the feasibility of these practices and guidance on how they might implement similar processes in their own regions. The particular case studies were developed to illuminate how existing tools for operations could be utilized in innovative ways or combined with the capabilities of other tools to support operations planning (The use of the term “Tools” in this context is meant not only to include physical software and devoted analytical applications, but is also intended to encompass more basic analysis methods and procedures as well). The types of tools considered when selecting the case studies included:

Additional information on these existing tool types is presented in the overview brochure to this series.

In selecting the case studies to highlight in this brochure series, a number of innovative analysis practices and tool applications were considered. Ultimately, four different case studies were selected from among many worthy candidates. Each of these case studies represents an innovative use of one or more of the tool types listed above. Figure 1 presents the topics of the case studies and maps them to the related tool. Although individual case studies were not developed for each tool category, this should not be considered as a measure of indictment of the ability of any tool type to be used in innovative ways to support operations planning – there simply weren’t project resources to identify and document all the innovative practices being used. Likewise, the selection of a particular case study representing a specific tool should not be construed as the only manner in which to apply the particular tool. Instead, the case studies represent a sampling of the many innovative ways planners and operations personnel are applying these tools currently.

Case Study Introduction

This particular case study focused on compiling information on various operations strategies into an easily accessible format in order to promote a greater understanding of the strategy impacts. As previously shown in Figure 1, this case study is most reflective of “sketch planning tools.” The information compiled and organized focused on the following two separate areas:

The guidance provided in this study is intended to bridge a common knowledge gap faced by many deploying agencies and aims to answer the questions: “what situations are most conducive to operational strategy deployments” and “what are the likely impacts of the strategies under consideration.” By providing this information, this study is intended to aid planners and operational personnel in conducting preliminary analysis and screening of the need for operations strategies and in comparing the relative impacts of various strategies.

This specific case study was unique among the four conducted under this project in that it did not involve the direct participation of a particular state, regional, or local agency. Instead, this case study was led by Cambridge Systematics with support from Noblis, Inc., which conducted literature searches and research of the impacts and deployment guidance.

Case Study Objectives

A significant effort has been made by Federal, state, and local transportation agencies in quantifying and documenting the impacts and benefits associated with the deployment of various operations strategies. Many of these impact studies have been compiled in national, cross-cutting database repositories such as the U.S. DOT ITS Benefits Database ( ), and other libraries maintained by agencies and research institutions. These impact studies have also served as the basis for developing recommended impact ranges for different strategies used in several operations analysis tools developed by Federal, state, and regional agencies. While these resources provide extremely useful and detailed information to practitioners, the amount of documentation and quantity of information can be overwhelming, thus limiting practitioners from quickly obtaining a high-level understanding of the range of impacts associated with particular strategies. Simple questions, such as “What is the average impact on safety of adding ramp metering?” cannot be easily answered without scanning multiple documents.

In addition to the information on the likely benefits of operations strategies, some agencies have begun to develop guidelines for identifying conditions where operations strategies are warranted. The development of these guidelines is still in its infancy and these often take the form of suggested thresholds or rules-of-thumb regarding deployment conditions that are favorable to particular strategies. Over time it is expected that this deployment guidance will become more common and more detailed as the thresholds are vetted against real-world conditions.

The purpose of this case study was to assemble this impact data and deployment guidance into a spreadsheet format that was readily accessible and could easily be customized by practitioners. Two separate spreadsheets were developed:

Each spreadsheet was developed in a simple format that may be freely modified by individual practitioners to add new data as it is discovered, or to serve as a repository for their own customized impact ranges or deployment guidelines. The spreadsheets are available for download at the following link

The ultimate objective of developing these spreadsheets was to provide a valuable reference source for this information in order to improve access to the data by planners and operational staff, and provide this in a format that could be easily used and updated by these individuals.

How Can This Information Be Used?

The summary information presented in the Impacts Summary provides a valuable reference source for information on the order of magnitude impacts observed in other regions that have deployed particular operations strategies. This data is provided in a format that can be easily used and updated by individual practitioners to develop their own impact repositories.

To illustrate how this data and the Impacts Summary can be used by practitioners to improve their planning for operations, several hypothetical applications are discussed below that show how the tool could have been applied in several previously conducted studies.

Example 1 – OKI ITS Benefits Study

In the early 2000s, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments undertook a major study to estimate the benefits of the current and future planned ITS deployments in the Cincinnati region. The region decided to conduct the analysis using the FHWA ITS Deployment Analysis System (IDAS) software. The IDAS tool estimates impacts of ITS deployments using default impact rates for different strategies based on national averages of impacts observed in other regions.

Prior to implementing the analysis, OKI wanted to assess the appropriateness of the default rates based on national averages for application in the Cincinnati region (i.e., to determine if the national averages were reflective of the conditions in Cincinnati). To accomplish this, a comprehensive literature review was undertaken to find particular studies that had been conducted in regions of similar size, geography, and climate. Findings from these studies were then compared with the default national averages to assess if particular impacts should be adjusted in the analysis. Studies that were found from more similar regions (e.g., Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis) were given more weight in this assessment while studies of impacts from widely differing regions (e.g., Los Angeles) were given less weight. The result of this activity was adjusted impact factors for a wide range of ITS deployments that OKI felt were more representative of the Cincinnati region than the default national averages.

Had the Impacts Summary spreadsheet been available at the time, this research and adjustment process could have been greatly streamlined. The researchers could have first consulted the spreadsheet to identify similar regions where impact findings were available. The impacts from these regions could have been quickly compared with the findings from other regions to assess whether there were discernable differences in impacts based on these regional characteristics, and any difference could have been investigated by utilizing the reference notations in the spreadsheet to obtain the full study documentation for studies that were particularly interesting. Use of the Impacts Summary spreadsheet in this way would have eliminated weeks of time and effort from this example application.

Example 2 – Florida DOT ITS Benefits Repository

The Florida DOT (FDOT) recently conducted the development of an ITS Benefits Repository. This effort was undertaken to identify and document standardized estimates of impacts that could then be used similarly in all ITS planning studies statewide. This will ensure a more level, apples-to-apples comparison of ITS project funding requests received from different regions of the State.

The Florida DOT effort utilized the ITS benefits library in the FHWA’s IDAS Tool, which is set up similarly to the Impacts Summary, but not in an as user-friendly format. The information regarding impacts observed in other regions was compared with averages as well as the engineering judgment of FDOT staff regarding impacts of particular strategies. Once a standard impact value had been agreed upon, it was documented back into a spreadsheet format for archiving. The final spreadsheet was then distributed to all ITS plan ners and operations personnel in the State.

Other regions could conduct a similar exercise utilizing the Impacts Summary worksheet. This would provide access to a greater amount of information than is currently available in the IDAS tool, and would not require the purchase of any software. The Impacts Summary spreadsheet could be easily modified by any agency to serve as an archive of their own standardized impacts, simply by adding a “our preferred value” column to any strategies the agency wants to document. The spreadsheet format also aids in distribution of the customized repository or any updates.

Case Study Procedures

This section briefly summarizes the procedures followed in developing the guidance for practitioners. Subsequent sections provide greater detail on how practitioners can best use the developed guidance. The following steps were used in developing this guidance:

Develop Format

The study team first reviewed the format of some of the existing resources providing information on the observed or potential benefits of various operations strategies. Resources reviewed included the U.S. DOT ITS Benefits Database and the FHWA’s ITS Deployment Analysis (IDAS) tool.

Based on the need to develop a simple and accessible reference, a spreadsheet format was selected. The study team decided to categorize similar strategies (e.g., signal coordination) on individual worksheets within the spreadsheet and to differentiate variations of the strategies (e.g., pre-set timing versus traffic actuated signal coordination) in the various rows of the worksheet. Columns in the worksheet were used to categorize various performance measures impacted by the particular strategies. For consistency, all the worksheets in the spreadsheet were formatted similarly so that the performance measure column headings are the same on all sheets, regardless of whether or not there were observed impact data available for the particular strategy. Both the Impacts Summary and the Deployment Guidelines spreadsheets were developed using this format; however, the Deployment Guidelines spreadsheet does not include the performance measures categorization.

Identify Strategies and Performance Measures

Next, the research team identified the strategies and categories of strategies to be included in the spreadsheets and developed a list of performance measures that could be impacted by the various strategies. The IDAS tool provided the initial basis for identifying and categorizing the various operations strategies. The strategy categorization used in IDAS was initially based on the ITS National Architecture’s Market Packages; however, many of the Market Packages were further disaggregated to identify specific strategies that were more consistent with the way that practitioners typically deployed them. Over 60 individual strategies are identified in IDAS, grouped into 12 major categories as shown in Table 1. All of the IDAS identified strategies, with the exception of the “Generic Deployments” which are specific to the IDAS tool, were used to develop the preliminary list of strategies for this project.

Table 1. Operations Strategies in IDAS

Arterial Traffic Management Systems

Freeway Management Systems

Advanced Public Transit Systems

Incident Management Systems

Electronic Payment Systems

Railroad Grade Crossing Monitors

Emergency Management Services

Regional Multimodal Traveler Information Systems

Regional Multimodal Traveler Information Systems (continued)

Commercial Vehicle Operations

Advanced Vehicle Control and Safety Systems

Supporting Deployments

Generic Deployments

Additionally, several new operations strategies not currently available in IDAS were identified to supplement the list based on feedback from practitioners. These strategies include the following:

Once the various strategies were identified, a list of performance measure categories was developed. These performance measure categories were based on impact categories listed in the ITS JPO’s ITS Benefits Database and in the IDAS software. Merging the performance measure categories in these two resources resulted in the following impact categories:

Conduct Research

Research was then conducted to identify studies that could be used to populate the cells of the spreadsheets. For the Impacts Summary, data was first compiled from the internal IDAS benefits library and the ITS Benefits Database. This data was updated through searches of more recently conducted impact studies and through additional research. This additional research was particularly useful in compiling impact information for some strategies that had not been previously included in IDAS or the ITS Benefits Database, such as Congestion Pricing and Work Zone Management. For consideration in the Impacts Summary the identified data minimally must include the following:

The identification of the impact in the spreadsheet is generally terse, for example the following entry summarizes one regions observed safety impacts of ramp metering: “Minneapolis St. Paul – Average number of peak period accidents decreased by 24 percent.” These entries were kept brief because the goal of this Impacts Summary was to provide a quick reference guide for practitioners, not to provide a detailed assessment of each impact study. Therefore, the research team did not attempt to compile data at the comprehensive level of detail of the ITS Benefits Database or other similar sources.

For the Deployment Guidelines spreadsheet, research was conducted to identify state or local agencies that have developed guidelines or thresholds for identifying problem locations or conditions that are appropriate for deployment of various operations strategies. This research included contacting a number of state DOTs known to be investigating these types of guidelines. Information regarding guidelines, thresholds, or warrants for determining the potential for operations strategy deployment proved much more difficult to compile than the impact data. The development of these types of guidelines is still in its infancy and there are very few agencies that currently have any formalized and documented guidance; however, a greater number of agencies reported that these types of guidelines were currently under development or at least under consideration, so it is hoped that more data on these guidelines will be available in the near future. Guideline information that was identified was compiled along with any supporting documentation, when available.

Organize Materials

The compiled data were then used to populate the appropriate spreadsheet cells. For the Impacts Summary worksheet, identified impacts were mapped to the appropriate category (worksheet), strategy (row), and performance measure (column). To further assist the user, strategies with many entries for a specific performance measure were further organized to disaggregate the impacts identified in domestic locations from those observed in international deployments. Additionally, those impacts estimated through the use of modeling or simulation studies were segregated from empirical results observed in “before-and-after” studies.

To provide additional guidance to the user, the default impact values identified in the IDAS analysis tool were also entered into the spreadsheet for appropriate strategies. These IDAS default values from the tool are based on an average of impact values observed in nationwide studies and provide users with a suggested value to use as a starting point in their own investigations. These default impact values from IDAS are provided in the spreadsheet for a similar purpose–to provide an average value to serve as a starting point for practitioners to initiate their investigation of strategy impacts. The same caveats that apply to these default values in IDAS also apply to the spreadsheet including, the user is strongly encouraged to view these national average values in light of the impacts experienced by individual jurisdictions and make adjustments to more closely fit their own regional conditions and environment. All IDAS default values identified in the spreadsheet are specifically denoted as such, as shown in Figure 2, which presents a sample view of the Impacts Summary spreadsheet.

Figure 2. Sample View of Impacts Summary Structure

Figure 2 - spreadsheet screenshot - The figure shows a partial view from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet showing some of the contents of the impact summary spreadsheet developed for this case study.

For cells where no suitable impact data were identified, an entry of “No Data Available” was made.

Additionally, for all data entered, a reference is provided to the source document where the data were obtained. For ease of use, the reference columns are hidden when the spreadsheet is first opened, but this data may be easily viewed by the user if they are interested in investigating the specifics regarding any particular data entry.

For the Deployment Guidelines spreadsheet, all compiled guidelines and thresholds were mapped to the appropriate worksheet and row for the particular strategy. Given the general lack of data for this subject, the identified guidelines are provided in a single column with any source information provided in an adjacent column, as shown in Figure 3. No attempt was made to further disaggregate these guidelines according to particular conditions or the threshold performance measures used, although the spreadsheet format provides for this possibility in the future if more information becomes available.

Figure 3. Sample View of Deployment Guidelines Structure

Figure 3 - spreadsheet screenshot - The figure shows a partial view from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet showing some of the contents of the deployment guidelines spreadsheet developed for this case study.

Develop User Guidance

The final step in developing the Impacts Summary and Deployment Guidelines resources was to develop instructions and user guidance for their application. In order to provide a simple resource that could be easily distributed as a single file, the instructions for use were incorporated as a separate worksheet in both resources. This user guidance is also provided in Appendix B of this report.

Data in the Spreadsheets

Table 2 provides a quick-look summary of the data contained in the Impacts Summary spreadsheet. This table provides a cross reference of those strategies and performance measures where data was available at the time of publication of this document.

Table 3 provides a further synthesis of the data contained in the Impacts Summary spreadsheet by highlighting general ranges of impacts noted in the individual data points ( The individual data points that were used in estimating the general ranges presented in Table 3 are presented in the Impacts Summary spreadsheet. These individual data points also identify the region in which the impact was observed and provide a reference for this information. The ranges presented in Table 3 are only intended as a general overview of the more detailed data contained in the spreadsheet tool and in many cases are not inclusive of outliers observed in the collected data). Note that not all the data points for all strategies and impact categories (as identified in Table 2) are presented in this table. Publication logistics only allow a brief summary of the wealth of information in the actual spreadsheets. This data also represents a snapshot in time of the available data on the impacts of these operations strategies. New deployments and evaluation efforts are constantly being completed that provide additional data points for these impacts. The spreadsheet provides the opportunity for practitioners to update the impact information with new data as it is discovered; however, the summary information in this static publication is not anticipated to reflect any future updates to the spreadsheet.

Table 2. Quick-Look Reference to “Impact Summary” Data

Table 3. High-level Synthesis of Impacts Summary Spreadsheet Data

Case Study Outcomes

This case study resulted in the development of two separate resources: 1) Impacts Summary – summarizing the likely impacts of various operations strategies, and 2) Deployment Guidelines – summarizing deployment guidance that has been developed to date. Each data set was developed in a simple spreadsheet format that may be freely modified by individual practitioners to add new data as it is discovered, or to serve as a repository for their own customized impact ranges or deployment guidelines.

The Impacts Summary contains a high-level identification of the impacts associated with various operations strategies disaggregated by performance measures impacted. The impacts identified in the resource represent observed impacts from before-and-after studies of previous deployments in other U.S. and international locations, results from simulation and modeling studies, and the recommended default impact values from the FHWA’s IDAS tool. The resource is intended to provide a quick guide to the overall range of impacts associated with various strategies; however, references to the source documentation is provided to allow the user to conduct further, more detailed investigation of any of the values.

Recent changes to the U.S. DOT ITS Benefits Database, implemented in parallel with the development of this Impacts Summary, have replicated some of the quick reference capabilities provided by the spreadsheet – providing users the much needed ability to more quickly view summaries of impact findings. The Internet-based format of the ITS Benefits Database provides advantages to the user in that it is continually updated and can provide direct links to the data source documentation. These changes to the ITS Benefits Database do not, however, eliminate the need for a resource like the Impacts Summary. This Impacts Summary provides advantages to potential users, including the following:

The Deployment Guidelines spreadsheet likewise provides a valuable, quick-check resource for investigating deployment guidance and rules-of-thumb in use by other agencies. The usefulness of this resource is currently restricted, however, due to the limited amount of data that is currently available. The open format of this resource does provide the opportunity to update the repository in the future in the event that more information and guidelines become available. Many agencies contacted as part of the research effort indicated that they currently were considering or actively developing these types of guidelines.

The two resources developed as part of this case study effort represent high-level summaries of the currently available information. More importantly, however, the resources provide a basic framework for presenting the information that may be adopted, modified, and updated by individual agencies to serve as customized repositories for this type of information in order to better support their own planning for operations efforts.

Appendix A – Spreadsheet Instructions

This appendix contains the instructions for using the Impacts Summary [DRAFT Impact Summary v1.xls] and Deployment Guidelines [DRAFT Deployment Guidelines v1.xls] resources. These instructions are also provided on the INTRODUCTION sheet of the respective spreadsheets.

Impact Summary

This spreadsheet was developed as a case study conducted as part of the FHWA project “Improving the Application of Existing Methods to Advance Transportation Operations.” This Impacts Summary spreadsheet is intended to provide users with a high-level, quick reference of the impacts associated with various operations strategies. Many of the impact values presented in this resource were summarized from studies compiled in national, cross-cutting database repositories such as the U.S. DOT ITS Benefits Database [ ], and other libraries maintained by agencies and research institutions, as well as from several operations analysis tools such as the FHWA ITS Deployment Analysis System (IDAS) tool [ ]. This resource is not intended to replace these other resources. Instead, the information in this spreadsheet is intended to provide a high-level summary of available impact measures and help guide users in investigating these other data sources. The spreadsheet format of the resource also allows users to add their own data to create a customized repository.

The Impacts Summary is organized as a series of 17 individual worksheets, each representing a general category of operations strategies, including the following:

Within each strategy category (each worksheet) there may be multiple individual strategies presented. These strategies are identified down the left-hand side of each worksheet and can be viewed by scrolling down through the sheet.

For each individual strategy, impacts are identified and mapped to a number of performance measure categories, including the following:

The performance measures are represented by the columns in the sheet. Within the cells representing a specific strategy (rows) and performance measure category (columns) there may be multiple impact findings noted, based on the number of data points available. In cases where there are many impact data points identified, these are generally arranged as:

In situations where no relevant data were identified for a particular strategy and performance measure, a statement of “No Data Available” was entered in the cell.

Although not shown in the default spreadsheet, references to the source data for each entry are provided. This material is located in the two columns immediately to the right of each entry in a performance measure column. By default, these columns are initially hidden. The user can unhide these columns to view this supplemental data. For example, if the user would like to learn more information regarding an entry in the Travel Time & Speed Impact column (typically column “D”), the user should unhide the two columns immediately to the right of the performance measure column (columns “E and F” in this example). A sample view of the references is shown in the figure below.

Figure 4. Example Screen Showing Unhidden Reference Columns

Figure 4 - spreadsheet screenshot - The figure shows a partial view from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet showing some of the contents of the impact summary spreadsheet developed for this case study.

Deployment Guidelines

This spreadsheet was developed as a case study conducted as part of the FHWA project “Improving the Application of Existing Methods to Advance Transportation Operations.” This Deployment Guidelines spreadsheet is intended to provide users with a high-level, quick reference of specific thresholds or rules-of-thumb that have been developed by other agencies to help practitioners identify conditions that warrant deployment of particular operations strategies. The spreadsheet format of the resource also allows users to add their own data to create a customized repository.

To populate this Deployment Guidelines spreadsheet, research was conducted to identify state or local agencies that have developed guidelines or thresholds for identifying locations or conditions that are appropriate for deployment of various operations strategies. This research included contacting a number of state DOTs known to be investigating these types of guidelines. Currently (2008), there is still very limited information regarding guidelines, thresholds, or warrants for determining the potential for operations strategy deployment. The development of these types of guidelines is still in its infancy and there are very few agencies that currently have any formalized and documented guidance; however, a greater number of agencies reported that these types of guidelines were currently under development or at least under consideration. It is hoped that more data for these types of guidelines will be available in the near future.

The Deployment Guidelines spreadsheet is organized as a series of 12 individual worksheets, each representing a general category of operations strategies, including the following:

For each individual strategy, identified guidelines are presented in the Deployment Guidance column. Within the cells representing a specific strategy (rows) there may be multiple guidelines noted, based on the number of data points available. In most cases, however, there are limited or no guidelines currently available. Empty cells are provided as a placeholder for any future guidelines that may be identified. References to the original source documentation are provided in the Document Name/Study/Specifics column, and the location of the agency developing the guidelines is presented in the Location column.

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Transform Frontline Managers into Effective Leaders

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Manufacturing, restaurants, 1-9 employees, 10–49 employees, 50-250 employees, 250-1,000 + employees.

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Synergy Services Case Study

Last Updated: March 9, 2023 | Read Time: 5 min

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Synergy Services Successfully Implements Paycor in Just 2 Months

“Paycor’s implementation process is incredibly well thought out and specifically designed for us, not cookie cutter. The training program is very thorough, and I appreciated the combination of one-on-one training along with group trainings and self-paced program.” Joni Schwan, Human Resources Director

Prior to Paycor

Synergy Services, based in the Kansas City, Mo. area, serves people experiencing domestic violence. HR Director, Joni Schwan, worked with the organization’s previous payroll provider to design a customized solution; however, as they prepared to go live after a 1½-year implementation, the company notified her they were out of the payroll business. With the looming loss of their payroll provider and limited HR functionality, Synergy needed a rapid resolution.


Partnership with Paycor

Joni evaluated several providers and Paycor quickly rose to the top. Their new payroll and HR solution was implemented in just two months. Joni says, “I liked having a timeline laid out in front of me; but also knowing we had flexibility, that it wasn’t so rigid that we had to do A before C, was great!” Their new system also includes recruiting, which was set up so quickly that Synergy tripled the number of applications they received the first month.

Solutions & Key Features


“The implementation team really knew what they’re doing, and the follow up was amazing. After each meeting I got an email with takeaways and instructions for what we needed to do next, and it was always very clear.” – Joni Schwan, Human Resources Director

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Case Study Benefits | Storytelling to Make Your Business Shine

Case studies are a fantastic piece of content to add to your  digital marketing strategy . What makes this type of content so different? They bring your audience directly into the customer’s journey with engaging content. They are part sales, part testimonial, and part storytelling. While they take skill to produce, a well-written case study benefits your business brand and marketing goals.  

One of the reasons that case studies offer such great ROI is because they are honest. The reality is that the best marketing efforts are sincere. What the case study does a little bit different than other content is it showcases your customer journey, from start to finish. Your audience gets to see how your customers benefitted from your products or services. And it’s written in an engaging way that keeps them entertained.  

The case study is effective because it doesn’t rely on gimmicks or fancy sales pitches. In fact, a case study doesn’t even read as marketing. Instead, it gives your audience an inside scoop on the success story you were able to help a client realize.  

What is a case study?  

While testimonials are helpful, a case study gives you a way to control the messaging for a fuller picture. This way, your team can ask questions from the customer and include data that showcases a positive ROI. With a testimonial, the customer gives a statement or perhaps answers questions. It’s not as engaging and doesn’t show the whole journey.  

In a case study, you tell the entire story from start to finish so the audience can clearly see how the process worked. You can add quotes from the subject of your case study and data to help your audience understand their savings, improved productivity, or increased profits. The case study is effective because your decision-maker is engaged emotionally. But they can also see clear data that showcases how their business would benefit from partnering with yours.  

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What case study benefits make them worth the effort?  

There are many benefits to using a case study. When they’re done well, the case study gives concrete examples that your target audience can see. When deciding on the client to feature in your case study, you should consider the  target audience . For example, if you want to target more companies in the healthcare industry, make sure your case study features a company in that industry. If your key audience intends to fix a specific problem, say productivity, make sure your case study showcases ROI for productivity. You get the idea. The main benefit is that the case study can be tailored to depict the whole journey for your ideal customer.  

What type of benefits do you receive from a case study? They bolster your other  marketing campaigns  in a few ways.  

Storytelling tips to make your case study engaging  

We said earlier that it takes a good deal of skill to create a case study. This is true. You need to gather information, identify the best company to spotlight, ask them to agree to be interviewed. Then you need to take all of that information and turn it into an engaging journey.  

Here are some tips to make sure your case study brings in a high ROI:  

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Are you looking for a marketing firm in Arizona to help with your case studies?  

Case studies are challenging to create but completely worth the effort for your brand. If you want your case study to engage the audience and truly highlight what your company does best, it’s essential to get this content asset right.  

At StatGrow, we offer a full range of content and digital marketing solutions, including professionally created case studies. When we work with clients, we take time to assess their business and understand their mission, to capture the essence of what makes them unique. Contact us today and let us take the lead on developing a case study that truly showcases your business to increase your conversions and your customer base.  

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Science of The Total Environment

Organic conversion tea farms can have comparable economic benefits and less environmental impacts than conventional ones—a case study in china.

Organic-conversion tea farms (OCTF) reduced inputs and increased manual harvesting.

The environmental impacts of OCTF were 42 % lower than conventional farms (CTF).

OCTF had comparable economic profits to CTF and a similar total cost to organic tea farms (OTF) but 31 % lower profits.

OCTF and OTF showed higher eco-efficiency than CTF but not technical efficiency.

Lack of experience concerning the organic conversion period and its associated challenges have made it difficult for conventional farmers to convert to organic farming. In this study, using a combined life cycle assessment (LCA) with data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach, we investigated farming management strategies, and environmental, economic, and efficiency impacts of organic conversion tea farms (OCTF, N = 15) compared to conventional (CTF, N = 13) and organic (OTF, N = 14) tea farms in Wuyi County, China for a year-round (2019). We found that the OCTF reduced inputs (cost) and applied more manual harvesting (increased added value) to pull through the conversion period. According to the LCA results, OCTF showed a similar integrated environmental impact index compared with OTF but significantly ( P  < 0.05) lower than CTF at both midpoint and endpoint levels. In terms of economic assessment, OTF showed the highest total revenue (18.7 thousand $ ha −1  yr −1 ) and profit significantly (13.7 thousand $ ha −1  yr −1 ) ( P  < 0.05) among the farm types. In contrast, OCTF and CTF did not show significant differences in relation to these economic indicators ( P  > 0.05). The total cost and cost-profit ratio did not show significant differences among the three farm types. Considering the DEA analysis, there were no significant differences in the technical efficiency of all farm types. However, the eco-efficiency of OCTF and OTF was significantly higher than that of CTF. Therefore, conventional tea farms can survive the conversion period with competitive economic and environmental benefits. In this regard, policies should promote organic tea cultivation and agroecological practices to enhance the sustainable transformation of tea production systems.

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The case study approach

BMC Medical Research Methodology volume  11 , Article number:  100 ( 2011 ) Cite this article

The case study approach allows in-depth, multi-faceted explorations of complex issues in their real-life settings. The value of the case study approach is well recognised in the fields of business, law and policy, but somewhat less so in health services research. Based on our experiences of conducting several health-related case studies, we reflect on the different types of case study design, the specific research questions this approach can help answer, the data sources that tend to be used, and the particular advantages and disadvantages of employing this methodological approach. The paper concludes with key pointers to aid those designing and appraising proposals for conducting case study research, and a checklist to help readers assess the quality of case study reports.

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The case study approach is particularly useful to employ when there is a need to obtain an in-depth appreciation of an issue, event or phenomenon of interest, in its natural real-life context. Our aim in writing this piece is to provide insights into when to consider employing this approach and an overview of key methodological considerations in relation to the design, planning, analysis, interpretation and reporting of case studies.

The illustrative 'grand round', 'case report' and 'case series' have a long tradition in clinical practice and research. Presenting detailed critiques, typically of one or more patients, aims to provide insights into aspects of the clinical case and, in doing so, illustrate broader lessons that may be learnt. In research, the conceptually-related case study approach can be used, for example, to describe in detail a patient's episode of care, explore professional attitudes to and experiences of a new policy initiative or service development or more generally to 'investigate contemporary phenomena within its real-life context' [ 1 ]. Based on our experiences of conducting a range of case studies, we reflect on when to consider using this approach, discuss the key steps involved and illustrate, with examples, some of the practical challenges of attaining an in-depth understanding of a 'case' as an integrated whole. In keeping with previously published work, we acknowledge the importance of theory to underpin the design, selection, conduct and interpretation of case studies[ 2 ]. In so doing, we make passing reference to the different epistemological approaches used in case study research by key theoreticians and methodologists in this field of enquiry.

This paper is structured around the following main questions: What is a case study? What are case studies used for? How are case studies conducted? What are the potential pitfalls and how can these be avoided? We draw in particular on four of our own recently published examples of case studies (see Tables 1 , 2 , 3 and 4 ) and those of others to illustrate our discussion[ 3 – 7 ].

What is a case study?

A case study is a research approach that is used to generate an in-depth, multi-faceted understanding of a complex issue in its real-life context. It is an established research design that is used extensively in a wide variety of disciplines, particularly in the social sciences. A case study can be defined in a variety of ways (Table 5 ), the central tenet being the need to explore an event or phenomenon in depth and in its natural context. It is for this reason sometimes referred to as a "naturalistic" design; this is in contrast to an "experimental" design (such as a randomised controlled trial) in which the investigator seeks to exert control over and manipulate the variable(s) of interest.

Stake's work has been particularly influential in defining the case study approach to scientific enquiry. He has helpfully characterised three main types of case study: intrinsic , instrumental and collective [ 8 ]. An intrinsic case study is typically undertaken to learn about a unique phenomenon. The researcher should define the uniqueness of the phenomenon, which distinguishes it from all others. In contrast, the instrumental case study uses a particular case (some of which may be better than others) to gain a broader appreciation of an issue or phenomenon. The collective case study involves studying multiple cases simultaneously or sequentially in an attempt to generate a still broader appreciation of a particular issue.

These are however not necessarily mutually exclusive categories. In the first of our examples (Table 1 ), we undertook an intrinsic case study to investigate the issue of recruitment of minority ethnic people into the specific context of asthma research studies, but it developed into a instrumental case study through seeking to understand the issue of recruitment of these marginalised populations more generally, generating a number of the findings that are potentially transferable to other disease contexts[ 3 ]. In contrast, the other three examples (see Tables 2 , 3 and 4 ) employed collective case study designs to study the introduction of workforce reconfiguration in primary care, the implementation of electronic health records into hospitals, and to understand the ways in which healthcare students learn about patient safety considerations[ 4 – 6 ]. Although our study focusing on the introduction of General Practitioners with Specialist Interests (Table 2 ) was explicitly collective in design (four contrasting primary care organisations were studied), is was also instrumental in that this particular professional group was studied as an exemplar of the more general phenomenon of workforce redesign[ 4 ].

What are case studies used for?

According to Yin, case studies can be used to explain, describe or explore events or phenomena in the everyday contexts in which they occur[ 1 ]. These can, for example, help to understand and explain causal links and pathways resulting from a new policy initiative or service development (see Tables 2 and 3 , for example)[ 1 ]. In contrast to experimental designs, which seek to test a specific hypothesis through deliberately manipulating the environment (like, for example, in a randomised controlled trial giving a new drug to randomly selected individuals and then comparing outcomes with controls),[ 9 ] the case study approach lends itself well to capturing information on more explanatory ' how ', 'what' and ' why ' questions, such as ' how is the intervention being implemented and received on the ground?'. The case study approach can offer additional insights into what gaps exist in its delivery or why one implementation strategy might be chosen over another. This in turn can help develop or refine theory, as shown in our study of the teaching of patient safety in undergraduate curricula (Table 4 )[ 6 , 10 ]. Key questions to consider when selecting the most appropriate study design are whether it is desirable or indeed possible to undertake a formal experimental investigation in which individuals and/or organisations are allocated to an intervention or control arm? Or whether the wish is to obtain a more naturalistic understanding of an issue? The former is ideally studied using a controlled experimental design, whereas the latter is more appropriately studied using a case study design.

Case studies may be approached in different ways depending on the epistemological standpoint of the researcher, that is, whether they take a critical (questioning one's own and others' assumptions), interpretivist (trying to understand individual and shared social meanings) or positivist approach (orientating towards the criteria of natural sciences, such as focusing on generalisability considerations) (Table 6 ). Whilst such a schema can be conceptually helpful, it may be appropriate to draw on more than one approach in any case study, particularly in the context of conducting health services research. Doolin has, for example, noted that in the context of undertaking interpretative case studies, researchers can usefully draw on a critical, reflective perspective which seeks to take into account the wider social and political environment that has shaped the case[ 11 ].

How are case studies conducted?

Here, we focus on the main stages of research activity when planning and undertaking a case study; the crucial stages are: defining the case; selecting the case(s); collecting and analysing the data; interpreting data; and reporting the findings.

Defining the case

Carefully formulated research question(s), informed by the existing literature and a prior appreciation of the theoretical issues and setting(s), are all important in appropriately and succinctly defining the case[ 8 , 12 ]. Crucially, each case should have a pre-defined boundary which clarifies the nature and time period covered by the case study (i.e. its scope, beginning and end), the relevant social group, organisation or geographical area of interest to the investigator, the types of evidence to be collected, and the priorities for data collection and analysis (see Table 7 )[ 1 ]. A theory driven approach to defining the case may help generate knowledge that is potentially transferable to a range of clinical contexts and behaviours; using theory is also likely to result in a more informed appreciation of, for example, how and why interventions have succeeded or failed[ 13 ].

For example, in our evaluation of the introduction of electronic health records in English hospitals (Table 3 ), we defined our cases as the NHS Trusts that were receiving the new technology[ 5 ]. Our focus was on how the technology was being implemented. However, if the primary research interest had been on the social and organisational dimensions of implementation, we might have defined our case differently as a grouping of healthcare professionals (e.g. doctors and/or nurses). The precise beginning and end of the case may however prove difficult to define. Pursuing this same example, when does the process of implementation and adoption of an electronic health record system really begin or end? Such judgements will inevitably be influenced by a range of factors, including the research question, theory of interest, the scope and richness of the gathered data and the resources available to the research team.

Selecting the case(s)

The decision on how to select the case(s) to study is a very important one that merits some reflection. In an intrinsic case study, the case is selected on its own merits[ 8 ]. The case is selected not because it is representative of other cases, but because of its uniqueness, which is of genuine interest to the researchers. This was, for example, the case in our study of the recruitment of minority ethnic participants into asthma research (Table 1 ) as our earlier work had demonstrated the marginalisation of minority ethnic people with asthma, despite evidence of disproportionate asthma morbidity[ 14 , 15 ]. In another example of an intrinsic case study, Hellstrom et al.[ 16 ] studied an elderly married couple living with dementia to explore how dementia had impacted on their understanding of home, their everyday life and their relationships.

For an instrumental case study, selecting a "typical" case can work well[ 8 ]. In contrast to the intrinsic case study, the particular case which is chosen is of less importance than selecting a case that allows the researcher to investigate an issue or phenomenon. For example, in order to gain an understanding of doctors' responses to health policy initiatives, Som undertook an instrumental case study interviewing clinicians who had a range of responsibilities for clinical governance in one NHS acute hospital trust[ 17 ]. Sampling a "deviant" or "atypical" case may however prove even more informative, potentially enabling the researcher to identify causal processes, generate hypotheses and develop theory.

In collective or multiple case studies, a number of cases are carefully selected. This offers the advantage of allowing comparisons to be made across several cases and/or replication. Choosing a "typical" case may enable the findings to be generalised to theory (i.e. analytical generalisation) or to test theory by replicating the findings in a second or even a third case (i.e. replication logic)[ 1 ]. Yin suggests two or three literal replications (i.e. predicting similar results) if the theory is straightforward and five or more if the theory is more subtle. However, critics might argue that selecting 'cases' in this way is insufficiently reflexive and ill-suited to the complexities of contemporary healthcare organisations.

The selected case study site(s) should allow the research team access to the group of individuals, the organisation, the processes or whatever else constitutes the chosen unit of analysis for the study. Access is therefore a central consideration; the researcher needs to come to know the case study site(s) well and to work cooperatively with them. Selected cases need to be not only interesting but also hospitable to the inquiry [ 8 ] if they are to be informative and answer the research question(s). Case study sites may also be pre-selected for the researcher, with decisions being influenced by key stakeholders. For example, our selection of case study sites in the evaluation of the implementation and adoption of electronic health record systems (see Table 3 ) was heavily influenced by NHS Connecting for Health, the government agency that was responsible for overseeing the National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT)[ 5 ]. This prominent stakeholder had already selected the NHS sites (through a competitive bidding process) to be early adopters of the electronic health record systems and had negotiated contracts that detailed the deployment timelines.

It is also important to consider in advance the likely burden and risks associated with participation for those who (or the site(s) which) comprise the case study. Of particular importance is the obligation for the researcher to think through the ethical implications of the study (e.g. the risk of inadvertently breaching anonymity or confidentiality) and to ensure that potential participants/participating sites are provided with sufficient information to make an informed choice about joining the study. The outcome of providing this information might be that the emotive burden associated with participation, or the organisational disruption associated with supporting the fieldwork, is considered so high that the individuals or sites decide against participation.

In our example of evaluating implementations of electronic health record systems, given the restricted number of early adopter sites available to us, we sought purposively to select a diverse range of implementation cases among those that were available[ 5 ]. We chose a mixture of teaching, non-teaching and Foundation Trust hospitals, and examples of each of the three electronic health record systems procured centrally by the NPfIT. At one recruited site, it quickly became apparent that access was problematic because of competing demands on that organisation. Recognising the importance of full access and co-operative working for generating rich data, the research team decided not to pursue work at that site and instead to focus on other recruited sites.

Collecting the data

In order to develop a thorough understanding of the case, the case study approach usually involves the collection of multiple sources of evidence, using a range of quantitative (e.g. questionnaires, audits and analysis of routinely collected healthcare data) and more commonly qualitative techniques (e.g. interviews, focus groups and observations). The use of multiple sources of data (data triangulation) has been advocated as a way of increasing the internal validity of a study (i.e. the extent to which the method is appropriate to answer the research question)[ 8 , 18 – 21 ]. An underlying assumption is that data collected in different ways should lead to similar conclusions, and approaching the same issue from different angles can help develop a holistic picture of the phenomenon (Table 2 )[ 4 ].

Brazier and colleagues used a mixed-methods case study approach to investigate the impact of a cancer care programme[ 22 ]. Here, quantitative measures were collected with questionnaires before, and five months after, the start of the intervention which did not yield any statistically significant results. Qualitative interviews with patients however helped provide an insight into potentially beneficial process-related aspects of the programme, such as greater, perceived patient involvement in care. The authors reported how this case study approach provided a number of contextual factors likely to influence the effectiveness of the intervention and which were not likely to have been obtained from quantitative methods alone.

In collective or multiple case studies, data collection needs to be flexible enough to allow a detailed description of each individual case to be developed (e.g. the nature of different cancer care programmes), before considering the emerging similarities and differences in cross-case comparisons (e.g. to explore why one programme is more effective than another). It is important that data sources from different cases are, where possible, broadly comparable for this purpose even though they may vary in nature and depth.

Analysing, interpreting and reporting case studies

Making sense and offering a coherent interpretation of the typically disparate sources of data (whether qualitative alone or together with quantitative) is far from straightforward. Repeated reviewing and sorting of the voluminous and detail-rich data are integral to the process of analysis. In collective case studies, it is helpful to analyse data relating to the individual component cases first, before making comparisons across cases. Attention needs to be paid to variations within each case and, where relevant, the relationship between different causes, effects and outcomes[ 23 ]. Data will need to be organised and coded to allow the key issues, both derived from the literature and emerging from the dataset, to be easily retrieved at a later stage. An initial coding frame can help capture these issues and can be applied systematically to the whole dataset with the aid of a qualitative data analysis software package.

The Framework approach is a practical approach, comprising of five stages (familiarisation; identifying a thematic framework; indexing; charting; mapping and interpretation) , to managing and analysing large datasets particularly if time is limited, as was the case in our study of recruitment of South Asians into asthma research (Table 1 )[ 3 , 24 ]. Theoretical frameworks may also play an important role in integrating different sources of data and examining emerging themes. For example, we drew on a socio-technical framework to help explain the connections between different elements - technology; people; and the organisational settings within which they worked - in our study of the introduction of electronic health record systems (Table 3 )[ 5 ]. Our study of patient safety in undergraduate curricula drew on an evaluation-based approach to design and analysis, which emphasised the importance of the academic, organisational and practice contexts through which students learn (Table 4 )[ 6 ].

Case study findings can have implications both for theory development and theory testing. They may establish, strengthen or weaken historical explanations of a case and, in certain circumstances, allow theoretical (as opposed to statistical) generalisation beyond the particular cases studied[ 12 ]. These theoretical lenses should not, however, constitute a strait-jacket and the cases should not be "forced to fit" the particular theoretical framework that is being employed.

When reporting findings, it is important to provide the reader with enough contextual information to understand the processes that were followed and how the conclusions were reached. In a collective case study, researchers may choose to present the findings from individual cases separately before amalgamating across cases. Care must be taken to ensure the anonymity of both case sites and individual participants (if agreed in advance) by allocating appropriate codes or withholding descriptors. In the example given in Table 3 , we decided against providing detailed information on the NHS sites and individual participants in order to avoid the risk of inadvertent disclosure of identities[ 5 , 25 ].

What are the potential pitfalls and how can these be avoided?

The case study approach is, as with all research, not without its limitations. When investigating the formal and informal ways undergraduate students learn about patient safety (Table 4 ), for example, we rapidly accumulated a large quantity of data. The volume of data, together with the time restrictions in place, impacted on the depth of analysis that was possible within the available resources. This highlights a more general point of the importance of avoiding the temptation to collect as much data as possible; adequate time also needs to be set aside for data analysis and interpretation of what are often highly complex datasets.

Case study research has sometimes been criticised for lacking scientific rigour and providing little basis for generalisation (i.e. producing findings that may be transferable to other settings)[ 1 ]. There are several ways to address these concerns, including: the use of theoretical sampling (i.e. drawing on a particular conceptual framework); respondent validation (i.e. participants checking emerging findings and the researcher's interpretation, and providing an opinion as to whether they feel these are accurate); and transparency throughout the research process (see Table 8 )[ 8 , 18 – 21 , 23 , 26 ]. Transparency can be achieved by describing in detail the steps involved in case selection, data collection, the reasons for the particular methods chosen, and the researcher's background and level of involvement (i.e. being explicit about how the researcher has influenced data collection and interpretation). Seeking potential, alternative explanations, and being explicit about how interpretations and conclusions were reached, help readers to judge the trustworthiness of the case study report. Stake provides a critique checklist for a case study report (Table 9 )[ 8 ].


The case study approach allows, amongst other things, critical events, interventions, policy developments and programme-based service reforms to be studied in detail in a real-life context. It should therefore be considered when an experimental design is either inappropriate to answer the research questions posed or impossible to undertake. Considering the frequency with which implementations of innovations are now taking place in healthcare settings and how well the case study approach lends itself to in-depth, complex health service research, we believe this approach should be more widely considered by researchers. Though inherently challenging, the research case study can, if carefully conceptualised and thoughtfully undertaken and reported, yield powerful insights into many important aspects of health and healthcare delivery.

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We are grateful to the participants and colleagues who contributed to the individual case studies that we have drawn on. This work received no direct funding, but it has been informed by projects funded by Asthma UK, the NHS Service Delivery Organisation, NHS Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme, and Patient Safety Research Portfolio. We would also like to thank the expert reviewers for their insightful and constructive feedback. Our thanks are also due to Dr. Allison Worth who commented on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

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Division of Primary Care, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Sarah Crowe & Anthony Avery

Centre for Population Health Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Kathrin Cresswell, Ann Robertson & Aziz Sheikh

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Authors' contributions

AS conceived this article. SC, KC and AR wrote this paper with GH, AA and AS all commenting on various drafts. SC and AS are guarantors.

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Crowe, S., Cresswell, K., Robertson, A. et al. The case study approach. BMC Med Res Methodol 11 , 100 (2011).

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  1. Staffing Case studies 8 to 12

  2. Case Studies

  3. HR Consulting Case Studies

  4. Testimonials Versus Case Studies

  5. Issues in Pakistan Economy

  6. Case Study 1


  1. How To Write a Case Study: Definition, Tips and Example

    Here are a few benefits of using case studies: Increased customer loyalty: By writing case studies with narratives that showcase a customer's journey, your audience may feel loyalty towards your brand or company, since they might relate to the story told in the study.

  2. 5 Benefits of the Case-Based Study Method

    This study method ultimately serves as a great way for students to test their overall understanding and ability to use the concepts taught in class when faced with a real issue. 5. Improve critical thinking and decision making

  3. Using Case Studies to Teach

    Advantages to the use of case studies in class. A major advantage of teaching with case studies is that the students are actively engaged in figuring out the principles by abstracting from the examples. This develops their skills in: Problem solving. Analytical tools, quantitative and/or qualitative, depending on the case.

  4. What are the benefits and drawbacks of case study research?

    Benefits Their flexibility: case studies are popular for a number of reasons, one being that they can be conducted at various points in the research process. Researchers are known to favour them as a way to develop ideas for more extensive research in the future - pilot studies often take the form of case studies.

  5. The Strengths and Weaknesses of Case Studies

    Advantages of Case Studies Intensive Study Case study method is responsible for intensive study of a unit. It is the investigation and exploration of an event thoroughly and deeply. You get a very detailed and in-depth study of a person or event. This is especially the case with subjects that cannot be physically or ethically recreated.

  6. 12 Case Studies of Companies that Revised How They Compensate ...

    So salaries, wages, benefits and perks will cost them more—perhaps a lot more—in the year ahead. The way CEOs and CHROs can make sure the G 12 Case Studies of Companies that Revised How They ...

  7. Case Study and Employee Benefits

    Flimp Communications recently released a new employee video communications case study report that highlights results from 40 employee benefits annual enrollment campaigns conducted with 27 large US employers using interactive video postcards. Employee Benefits 52 Join 336,000+ Insiders Sign Up for our Newsletter Sign Up

  8. Case Study Method

    List of the Advantages of the Case Study Method 1. It requires an intensive study of a specific unit. Researchers must document verifiable data from direct observations when using the case study method. This work offers information about the input processes that go into the hypothesis under consideration.

  9. Benefits of case studies

    Case studies are a good way to boost your SEO ranking. The storytelling nature makes it easy to intertwine keywords that are related to your product - this will make your website rank higher in Google searches that contain some of the keywords.

  10. Top Benefits of Using Case Studies For Your Business

    What are the Benefits of Using Case Studies? Although case studies require a lot more effort to put together than the typical testimonial, it's well worth the time and resources required. Many businesses will even produce their case studies as video content that their audiences can watch.

  11. Case Study: Definition, Examples, Types, and How to Write

    One of the greatest advantages of a case study is that it allows researchers to investigate things that are often difficult to impossible to replicate in a lab. Some other benefits of a case study: 1 Allows researchers to collect a great deal of information Give researchers the chance to collect information on rare or unusual cases

  12. Case Study Design: Examples, Steps, Advantages & Disadvantages

    Benefits of case study research include: Ability to see a relationship between phenomena, context, and people. Flexibility to collect data through various means. Ability to capture the context...

  13. What the Case Study Method Really Teaches

    The case method creates high-powered incentives for students to prepare. Students typically spend several hours reading, highlighting, and debating cases before class, sometimes alone and...

  14. 12 Case Study Method Advantages and Disadvantages

    List of the Advantages of the Case Study Method 1. It turns client observations into useable data. Case studies offer verifiable data from direct observations of the individual entity involved. These observations provide information about input processes. It can show the path taken which led to specific results being generated.

  15. What Is a Case Study?

    Case studies are good for describing, comparing, evaluating and understanding different aspects of a research problem. Table of contents When to do a case study Step 1: Select a case Step 2: Build a theoretical framework Step 3: Collect your data Step 4: Describe and analyze the case When to do a case study

  16. Case study: How Kyle, Texas, benefits from rideshare

    If the trip qualifies for the subsidy, the discount will appear and be applied. City of Kyle app showing the Uber Kyle $3.14 program. For eligible trips within city limits, riders pay the first $3.14 and receive a subsidy of up to an additional $10. Riders are responsible for any charges beyond the first $13.14 ($3.14 fare + $10 subsidy).

  17. Compensation and benefits

    Compensation Packages That Actually Drive Performance. Organizational Development Magazine Article. Boris Groysberg. Sarah L. Abbott. Michael Marino. Metin Aksoy. By aligning executives' financial ...

  18. What is a case study?

    Benefits and limitations of case studies If a researcher wants to study a specific phenomenon arising from a particular entity, then a single-case study is warranted and will allow for a in-depth understanding of the single phenomenon and, as discussed above, would involve collecting several different types of data.

  19. Case Study Research Method in Psychology

    Case studies are often used in exploratory research. They can help us generate new ideas (that might be tested by other methods). They are an important way of illustrating theories and can help show how different aspects of a person's life are related to each other.

  20. Business cases, benefits, costs, and impact

    The business case is a tool for advocating and ensuring that an investment is justified in terms of the strategic direction of the organisation and the benefits it will deliver. It typically provides context, benefits, costs and a set of options for key decision makers and funders.

  21. Applying Analysis Tools in Planning for Operations

    Case study number one is highlighted to represent the contents of this document and it primarily supports the sketch planning tool type and it also includes operations-oriented performance measures/metrics as a secondary tool type. ... Example 1 - OKI ITS Benefits Study. In the early 2000s, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of ...

  22. Case Study-Based Learning

    Case studies can be used in many ways, as team-building tools, and for skill development. You can write your own case study, but a large number are already prepared. Given the enormous benefits of practical learning applications like this, case studies are definitely something to consider adding to your next training session.

  23. Synergy Services Case Study

    Transform open enrollment and simplify the complexity of benefits admin. Benefits Advisor. Reduce tedious admin and maximize the power of your benefits program. ... Read these case studies to see why. HR Glossary. Learn a lot in a little bit of time with our HR explainers. Perspectives+.

  24. Case Study Benefits

    What case study benefits make them worth the effort? There are many benefits to using a case study. When they're done well, the case study gives concrete examples that your target audience can see. When deciding on the client to feature in your case study, you should consider the target audience. For example, if you want to target more ...

  25. Case Study Research Method

    A case study is a type of qualitative research that examines one particular case (or several cases) in-depth. It is often used for exploring a single phenomenon or event, such as a successful marketing campaign, a product, or a service. Case study researchers collect data through a variety of methods, such as interviews, document analysis, and ...

  26. Organic conversion tea farms can have comparable economic benefits and

    This case study is located in China, where farmers received limited financial support from the local government and no help from the central government to practice organic farming. We found that OCTF had comparable economic performance to CTF regardless of local government financial support, mainly thanks to the two strategies.

  27. The case study approach

    The case study approach allows in-depth, multi-faceted explorations of complex issues in their real-life settings. The value of the case study approach is well recognised in the fields of business, law and policy, but somewhat less so in health services research. Based on our experiences of conducting several health-related case studies, we reflect on the different types of case study design ...

  28. Providing the benefits of a modern connected life to South African

    To get the best benefits out of financial inclusion, financial literacy is essential. The Financial Educators Council defines financial literacy as "possessing the skills and knowledge on financial matters to confidently take effective action that best fulfils an individual's personal, family and global community goals." A report from the Punjabi University Patiala in India entitled ...