Longitudinal research and the case study

Research through case study has been frequently including a longitudinal element. The researcher is seen as a participant of the particular organisation for months or years.

As an alternate the researcher may conduct interviews with people over a long period. Also, the researcher is able to infuse an additional longitudinal element by analysis of archival information and by retrospective interviewing.

Another way by which longitudinal element takes place is when a case which has been studied is returned to at a later stage. An interesting example of this is Burawoy’s (1979) study of a factory in Chicago. He claimed that was the same one as was originally studied by Roy in the 1950s. This only however shows a loose connection as the theoretical focus adopted by the two scholars was phenomenally different. On the contrary their research methods based on participant observation were quite similar.

A further example is longitudinal research based on social survey methods in addition to preliminary interviews with managers, union officials and also employees.

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