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Case Writing


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Chapter6: Case Writing (Textbook, pdf, 158KB)

  • 6.1 What are cases?
  • 6.2 An Example of a Case
  • 6.3 Subjects of Case Studies and Case Methods
  • 6.4 Case Study/Case Method Design
  • 6.5 Composing Cases
  • 6.6 Case Usage
  • 6.7 Cases in Field Informatics

What is the relevance of Case Writing in Field Informatics

Let's focus on the communication process of the knowledge obtained from practice in the field. In recent times, there are more and more areas - information systems design for example - that require coordination between theoretical study and activity in the field. Not that a researcher keep to a laboratory,he/she one must confront the field and face these issues. One of these problems is knowledge transmission from researcher to researcher. This can be done by publishing a paper in a scholarly journal. However, if a researcher wants to publish some lessons obtained from the practice in the field, he/she often faces difficulties in showing why the lessons are significant. The other problem is knowledge transmission from researcher to practitioner. To develop practitioners in the field, the important thing is not simply knowing information, but also about acquiring knowledge that can be applied. To help resolve these two problems, this chapter focuses on cases, and outlines the methodology for case writing, using the introduction of a new system in the workplace as an example.


Case writing is an act of composing a case to convey some knowledge for a research question where the phenomenon and the context are difficult to separate from each other. Here, a case is a description about a real-life event really happened in a specific circumstance. To compose a good case and achieve appropriate knowledge communication, it needs (i) clarifying the intended use of the case, (ii) clarifying the subject which is suitable for description of the case, (iii) clarifying the process of case writing. About (i), it is classified into a communication situation of academic knowledge from research to researcher, and communication situation of practical knowledge from researcher to practitioner. About (ii), it is defined the suitable subject compared to the methodologies such as survey and experiment. About (iii), it divides into several steps such as clarifying the research question, clarifying a unit of analysis, examining the logic linking the data to the hypothesis, gathering the evidence, analyzing the evidence, composing a draft and reviewing by persons involved and explains the point of each steps. Then, we describe case usage and the possibility of case writing from the point of view of field informatics.

Case Study

This section illustrates a case analysis included in the case studies by depicting a scene of upgrading accounting software in a company. This describes correspondence in a department to changes of the in-company accounting system caused by revision about tax accounting of software. Using this, we explain about the adequacy as the object of case description and the point in the process of case writing.