Case Study Research Methods and Consulting Techniques – BUSI 830

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This doctoral level course examines the qualitative method used in business research, with a focus on case studies. Students will also explore current trends in effective business consulting techniques.


BUSI 701, 710, and 820


BUSI 830, building upon the advanced concepts and techniques learned in the preceding courses, provides an advanced perspective on case study research and business consulting methods.  Many generally characterized as ‘qualitative research projects’ are in fact case studies for applied business consulting research projects that go well beyond the traditional ethnographical, phenomenological, interview-based, or grounded theory research.  It is crucial researchers understand most qualitative research projects regardless of cognate have at least a hint of mixed methodologies by way of some quantitative descriptive statistical data and associated tools for research triangulation.  This course brings the DMAIC Approach to bear on such a challenge and should provide the final piece of the major research methodologies to prepare the student for their Applied Research Concept (BUSI885) and subsequent Project courses (BUSI987-BUSI990).

The mission of the DBA program is to provide an opportunity for qualified students to attain academic, professional, and practical competence—within the Christian worldview—which prepares students for opportunities, and corresponding additional responsibilities beyond the master's degree level. The DBA program emphasizes practical and real-world applications in both the course work and the major applied doctoral research project requirements. The vision of the DBA program is to produce graduates with intellectual and professional competencies in the following areas:

  • the ability to demonstrate the capacity for reflective and analytical business thinking;
  • the ability to draw together relevant concepts and theories from different business disciplines in order to gain a better understanding of the organizational context in which particular problems or opportunities arise;
  • the ability to analyze problems and issues arising in business and management contexts, utilizing relevant theories, concepts,
  • and empirical findings;
  • the ability to identify and analyze questions and issues in business; and
  • the ability to design, implement, and successfully conclude empirical research

Each of the above will be considered in light of biblical principles, and be integrated within the Christian worldview.

The DBA program philosophy supports both the program mission and vision, and is as follows. Doctoral programs in business focus intensively on preparing candidates for academic careers and to conduct highly specialized academic research, i.e., the development of new theory in business and other related business fields. Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programs focus on the application of theory rather than on the development of new theory. While also intended to prepare graduates for academic careers, the DBA, by virtue of its focus on application of theory, has more practical application in managerial settings than the PhD.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between the various types of Case Study-based research methods (namely, Exploratory, Descriptive, and Explanatory) (Analysis, DBA PLO 1).
  2. Understand and apply the rudimentary elements of the Lean Six Sigma capabilities in the DMAIC approach to Case Study Research. (Synthesis, DBA PLO 1).
  3. Synthesize scholarly Case Study literature relevant to qualitative research. (Evaluation, DBA, PLO 2).
  4. Formulate a ‘single-company’, multiple-case case study useful in business consulting environments. (Synthesis, DBA PLO 3).
  5. Develop a (DMAIC) Case Study that demonstrates a synthesis of multiple research methods. (Synthesis, DBA PLO 3).
  6. Reconcile philosophical assumptions and course concepts with a biblical worldview. (Synthesis, DBA PLO 4)

Course Assignment

Textbook Readings

Course Requirement Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module 1.

Case Studies (7)

Introduction to Case Studies Project

            This project is a broad overview of Case Study methodology and begins to differentiate between the other qualitative research methodologies.  Specifically, you will identify the relevant situation for doing a case study; explain the two-fold definition of case study inquiry; define the case(s) to be studied; describe the components of case study design; identify the case study design (single or multiple, holistic, or embedded cases); and test the design against four criteria for maintaining the quality of a case study and use of tactics; and address cases that are not readily bounded.


Lean Six Sigma in Case Studies Project

            In this module we will examine Lean Six Sigma (LSS) in Case Studies and where you will begin to notice the application to business solutions.  This look is by all means not exhaustive, rather a broad stroke with a self-propagated LSS toolkit.  There is no cookie-cutter design to a previously narrowly focused case study approach.  However, the application of  LSS in Case Studies indicates the potential to use case studies in a broader sense.  In fact, many case studies will have a hint of quantitative and mixed methods within the overarching qualitative methods of case study research. The application of LSS in case studies to business solutions requires an acute perspective which we hope to develop throughout this course.  The reading from Yin (2018) describes preparing to collect case study evidence, but the lion’s share of this module’s learning comes from Hall & Scott (2016) and George et al. (2005).


Exploratory Case Study Project

            In this module we will examine Exploratory Case Studies, preparing, and collecting case study evidence (Yin, 2018).  At this point in a case study, you have a plan and design and are ready to begin the data collection data process.  I use the term process very deliberately as there are many steps for which integrity and accountability cannot be over stated. We also get to practice the first of three types, sometimes characterized as ‘transitional’ – the Exploratory Case Study.


Descriptive Case Study Project

                        In this module we look to analyzing case study evidence and the Descriptive Case Study.  Analyzing data is more than plugging some collected raw evidence into a computer and reading the computer printout.  In fact, setting-up what data to analyze and then how to analyze are some of the most challenging aspects and warrant significant planning and design.  The descriptive case study is one that is focused and detailed, in which propositions and questions about a phenomenon are carefully scrutinized and articulated at the outset. This articulation of what is already known about the phenomenon is called a descriptive, and therefore may or may not have much data to analyze.  Strengths of Descriptive Case Studies are they are efficient for rare cases or cases with a long latency period for results. They are less costly and less time-consuming; they are advantageous when the ‘rare case’ data is expensive or hard to obtain.  The real challenge with a descriptive case study is that it does not attempt to address any particular research question. It thus has to be justified on the claim that something about this particular case will generate a genuine addition to knowledge.  Analysis then, begins with the data and how we see it.


Explanatory Case Study Project

                        In this module we continue the challenges of analyzing case study evidence.  This analysis goes to another level.  You should “attend to all evidence collected, investigate, plausible rival interpretations, address the most significant aspect of your case study, and demonstrate a familiarity with the prevailing thinking and literature about the case study topic” (Yin, 2018, p. 164).  This task requires you to: review the data again to ensure you haven’t overlooked or minimized some piece, think way ‘outside the box’, re-focus the research questions and propositions, study current research trends and philosophies, and do more qualitative literary research.  This is like going back to the beginning because regardless of how well-planned, designed, collected, or analyzed, chances are you missed something that just may be the analysis breakthrough you were searching for.  Finally, we shift gears to the third type of case study the Explanatory.  Using both qualitative and quantitative research methods, Explanatory Case Studies not only explore and describe phenomena (deductive) but can also be used to explain causal relationships and to develop theory and can build on Exploratory Case Studies.


Multiple-Case Case Study & Business Solutions Methods Project

            In this module we will discuss the final stage – share or reporting of your case study.  Reporting covers a variety of subtopics: audience, display of the evidentiary conclusion, the report itself, and of course how to strike a balance of data overload versus just enough for a reader to draw their own conclusions from the data included in the report.  While we have covered the main types of case studies a special variant warrants a bit more study – the multiple-case case study.  Many business problems warranting a case study are of the complexity and breadth that a single holistic case can not address the issues and yet the cases are connected, related, and perhaps interdependent.  There is a heavier emphasis on integrating the Lean Six Sigma in this case as nearly all business solutions method swill require some quantitative or mixed methods elements.  The Zhang et al. (2015) article provides an excellent real-world perspective of a business employing the multiple-case case study with Lean Six Sigma research.


DMAIC Case Study (DRAFT) Project

            In this preparatory project, you will develop a significant DRAFT of the Module/Week 8 FINAL business-facing DMAIC-based case study (See Module/Week 8 for overview).  You may submit your DRAFT as many times as desired for the SafeAssign originality checker.  The more substance you provide in this DRAFT, the more feedback you can receive.


DMAIC Case Study (FINAL) Project

In this final module you will synthesize the qualitative research methodology of Case Study research (and applications) (Yin, 2018) as well as the practical use of Lean Six Sigma (Hall & Scott, 2016; George et al., 2005) to develop a business-facing DMAIC-based case study integrated with Lean Six Sigma tools and biblical worldviews.  Also, the seven article readings and your own supporting research has provided a variety of example designs to include single-case holistic to multiple-case embedded case studies.  The emphasis of this project is the DMAIC Case Study process.

Knowledge-Check Test

Based on the Measurable Learning Outcomes above, this course will have a final exam test to ensure we are meeting the Program Learning Outcomes