Case Study vs. Descriptive Approach To Research

Difference Between Case Study and Descriptive Approach To Research

Descriptive approach and case study are two aspects that are entirely different for research carried out in a given field. It is important to know that these two aspects are different in terms of their study and presentation.

A case study is carried out in many fields and it is quite commonly seen in the social sciences and humanities. It consists in a kind of deep study conducted in the activities of a single group or person or event for that matter. In fact a case study can be descriptive or explanatory in character. Single event or case is considered for the study and is investigated over a period of time by sticking to a protocol. In case study the set number of variables will be completely examined.

Descriptive approach uses statistical study more than analysis and survey. The descriptive approach is the foundation to perform an investigational study. Use of frequencies, averages and statistical calculations is involved. Mathematical probability and statistics plays a key role in the approach of descriptive research study. In short we can say that the descriptive approach takes care of anything that can be counted and studied. This is the main difference between a case study and a descriptive approach.

A case study is a research strategy, while the descriptive approach is not considered a research strategy, but as part of research. The empirical investigation is the main part of case study while statistical calculations play a major role in statistical calculations. The case study contributes to the qualitative research while the descriptive approach is responsible for the quantitative research.

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  • Tom Lund

    Incorrect. There is such a thing as qualitative descriptive studies, which does not rely on statistics or averages (see Sandelowski 2000; 2010). As such that cannot be the defining difference between the two approaches. It is, however, and adequate description of the difference between case study and QUANTITATIVE descriptive study.