Multi-Site Case Study Methodology Research

Julia L. Sharp, Catherine Mobley, Cathy Hammond, Cairen Withington, Sam Drew, Sam Stringfield, and Natalie Stipanovic

The flexibility of mixed methods research strategies makes such approaches especially suitable for multisite case studies. Yet the utilization of mixed methods to select sites for these studies is rarely reported. The authors describe their pragmatic mixed methods approach to select a sample for their multisite mixed methods case study of a statewide education policy initiative in the United States. The authors designed a four-stage sequential mixed methods site selection strategy to select eight sites in order to capture the broader context of the research, as well as any contextual nuances that shape policy implementation. The authors anticipate that their experience would provide guidance to other mixed methods researchers seeking to maximize the rigor of their multisite case study sampling designs.

Sharp, J. L., Mobley, C., Hammond, C., Withington, C., Drew, S., Stringfield, S., & Stipanovic, N. (2012). A mixed methods sampling methodology for a multisite case study. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 6(1), 34-54.

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The Multi-Site Study is a qualitative research approach that we designed to gain an in-depth knowledge of an organizational phenomenon that had barely been researched: strategic scanning. It combines several approaches to case study research, borrowing from the positivist tradition, the interpretative approach and the qualitative research corpus. It involves the observation and analysis of several sites using namely cross-case comparisons and explanation building techniques to analyze data. The following report primarily explains the thought process that led to the research decision, a description of the process itself is then presented, followed by an illustration and discussion of the results obtained and finally, a note of reflection on the entire experience.

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Recommended APA Citation

Audet, J., & d'Amboise, G. (2001). The Multi-Site Study: An Innovative Research Methodology. The Qualitative Report, 6(2), 1-18. Retrieved from

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