The case study is a key tool for qualitative researchers, facilitating the in depth exploration and understanding of participants’ views, experiences and perspectives. It can provide rich contextual detail, generate bottom up in vivo concepts, and help unravel the layers of complexity that can obscure research questions. A cheap and manageable option especially for student researchers, case study research is not however problem free. It is a time consuming approach, which relies on good relations between the researcher and their participants, an organised approach to time and work management, and a persistent approach to securing access to potential cases. Above all, the onus is on the researcher to provide a transparent and reflexive account of their methodological approach so that the reader might be convinced of their arguments.
Based on the author’s personal experience of case study research via current doctoral research on the Glasgow housing stock transfer, this paper aims to discuss and illustrate both the merits of adopting a case study approach and also the potential practical problems and difficulties that may be encountered.