Yin (1990), classifies selection of a research method or strategy based upon three important criterions.

  1. Research Question: like what, why, how and when. We answer “what” by asking questions like how many or how much. Further the question of what helps us unravel the phenomena. The question “why” informs us on the reasons or causality of observed phenomenon. Lastly, understanding the causality through specific methods or techniques is resolved through the question “how”.
  2. Control of events: Whether the researcher is capable of controlling the settings. In most of the cases, it’s not feasible.
  3. Contemporary Events: where the research problem could directly be addressing a real time scenario or past social issue.

While there are various research methods such as survey, experimental, case study etc, in our case, when the research focuses on “why and how”; the research is expected to be on a controlled basis and finally the research question focuses on a contemporary issue – then the most suitable research method would be “experimental design”. Similarly other research designs can be opted, by putting them under the test of above mentioned criterion

Selecting an appropriate research method

Source: case study research method, Robert K. Yin

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