Flyvbjerg (2006) Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research


This article examines five common misunderstandings about case-study research: (a) theoretical knowledge is more valuable than practical knowledge; (b) one cannot generalize from a single case, therefore, the single-case study cannot contribute to scientific development; © the case study is most useful for generating hypotheses, whereas other methods are more suitable for hypotheses testing and theory building; (d) the case study contains a bias toward verification; and (e) it is often difficult to summarize specific case studies. This article explains and corrects these misunderstandings one by one and concludes with the Kuhnian insight that a scientific discipline without a large number of thoroughly executed case studies is a discipline without systematic production of exemplars, and a discipline without exemplars is an ineffective one. Social science may be strengthened by the execution of a greater number of good case studies.

Citation B. Flyvbjerg (2006). Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research. Qualitative Inquiry, vol. 12 no. 2, pp. 219–245. DOI

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

archivePrefix = {arXiv},
arxivId = {1304.1186},
author = {Flyvbjerg, B.},
doi = {10.1177/1077800405284363},
eprint = {1304.1186},
isbn = {1011771077800},
issn = {1077-8004},
journal = {Qualitative Inquiry},
number = {2},
pages = {219--245},
pmid = {22518518},
title = {{Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research}},
volume = {12},
year = {2006}

Key ideas


Case Study Research, INF6001W, case selection, case study, critical cases, validity in case studies