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Case studies continued to be used during this time, however usually as a method within quantitative studies or referred to as descriptive research to study a specific phenomenon (MERRIAM, 2009).At the same time, case study research was often criticized for its inability to support generalizability and thus considered to provide limited validity and value as a research design (JOHANSSON, 2003; MERRIAM, 2009; STEWART, 2014).Central to these variations is the underpinning ontological and epistemological orientations of those involved in the evolution of case study research.
As a result, surveys, experiments, and statistical methods anchored in quantitative approaches were favored and considered more rigorous than qualitative designs (JOHANSSON, 2003).
The dominance of research using experimental designs continued through the 1960s and 1970s with quantitative empirical results considered to be gold standard evidence.
Sociologists and anthropologists investigated people's lives, experiences, and how they understood the social and cultural context of their world, with the aim of gaining insight into how individuals interpreted and attributed meaning to their experiences and constructed their worlds (JOHANSSON, 2003; SIMONS, 2009).
Such investigations were conducted in the natural setting of those experiences with results presented descriptively or as a narrative (MERRIAM, 2009).
 A second generation of case study researchers emerged with the advent of grounded theory methodology (GLASER & STRAUSS, 1967).
Grounded theory "merged qualitative field study methods from the Chicago School of Sociology with quantitative methods of data analysis" (JOHANSSON, 2003, p.8), resulting in an inductive methodology that used detailed systematic procedures to analyze data.For the researcher new to using case study, such variety can create a confusing platform for its application. Introduction Case study research has grown in reputation as an effective methodology to investigate and understand complex issues in real world settings.In this article, we explore the evolution of case study research, discuss methodological variations, and summarize key elements with the aim of providing guidance on the available options for researchers wanting to use case study in their work. Foundational Concepts 3.1 Definitions and descriptions 3.2 Methodology or method 3.3 Philosophical orientation 3.4 Philosophical variation 3.4.1 YIN: Realist—postpositivist 3.4.2 MERRIAM: Pragmatic constructivist 3.4.3 STAKE: Relativist—constructivist/interpretivist 4. Case study designs have been used across a number of disciplines, particularly the social sciences, education, business, law, and health, to address a wide range of research questions.case study; method; methodology; nursing research; qualitative; research design; research Table of Contents 1. Consequently, over the last 40 years, through the application of a variety of methodological approaches, case study research has undergone substantial development.Change and progress have stemmed from parallel influences from historical approaches to research and individual researcher's preferences, perspectives on, and interpretations of case study research. Similarly, the uptake of case study research in the political sciences, particularly during the 1980's and 1990’s, led to a more integrated methodological approach with the aim of theoretical development and testing (GEORGE & BENNETT, 2005).The integration of formal, statistical, and narrative methods in a single study, combined with the use of empirical methods for case selection and causal inference, demonstrated the versatility of case study design and made a significant contribution to its methodological evolution (ibid.).This context led to a philosophical division in research approaches: those supporting positivism and quantitative approaches and those aligned with qualitative methods embedded in constructivist and interpretivist paradigms. Antecedents of modern day case study research are most often cited as being conducted in the Chicago School of Sociology between the 1920-1950s (STEWART, 2014).Similarly, case studies in international relations integrated rigorous, standardized methods with statistical and formal methods, including qualitative comparative analysis and process tracing to improve understanding of world politics (BENNETT & ELMAN, 2007; GERRING, 2004; LEVY, 2007).According to GEORGE and BENNETT (2005) "scholars have formalized case study methods more completely and linked them to underlying arguments in the philosophy of science" (p.6).