HELP! main points to include in the conclusion of my qualitative case study?

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    dear all,

     i need some help from experienced researchers on the following, please

    based on my findings and similar findings of earlier studies, can i theorise and include some implications in relation to the phenomenon studied

    thank you for any help you can give me


    Hi Nadiaa,

    Here are my suggestions:

    1. In your concluding sections of your research report you can discuss your results in relation to other results. This can be done in a simple system of noting areas in which findings appear to cohere with those findings from other studies, areas in which your findings contrast with previous findings, areas where you discerned certain patterns that have not been reported before, and areas where previous researchers reported findings and you did not.

    2. You can discuss your limitations in terms of the procedural choices you made in your study (e.g., who you studied). Please refrain from the “qualitative researcher’s lament” where you state that your qualitative methodology is a limitation because a quantitative/controlled study would have been better.

    3. You can discuss the implications of your findings for a variety of stakeholders depending on the nature of your study and results. For example, if you studied a clinical sample, then you could have some insights to share with clinicians. If you conducted an evaluative case study, then you might have something to share with the local administrators or policy makers first and maybe something to share in a more general matter to other administrators or policy makers. Of course you can always write about implications for future researchers. As for more generalized implications, that is a controversial area for some qualitative researchers. I favor an analytical approach to generalizability which is different than a probabilistic generalizability orientation. I wrote about this notion in a recent paper published in Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, 2010, Vol. 5, 1-11, entitled, “Getting Specific about Qualitative Research Generalizability.” Here’s the abstract:

     The question of generalizability or the usefulness of qualitative research results beyond the confines of the primary site, sample, and study has been hotly debated by qualitative researchers for decades. When examining this question of generalization the first surprising finding is there appears to be no general consensus about the definition, value, and process of gener­alizability across the world of qualitative research. Despite these apparent conflicts, there are useful strategies to utilize for those qualitative research­ers who hold that their findings can be transferable from the specific qual­itative research investigation to other particular situations.

    Besides my paper, try locating this one:

    Firestone, W. A. (1993). Alternative arguments for generalizing from data as applied to qualitative research. Educational Researcher, 22, 16-23.

    Robert Yin’s work is also good for supporting a generalizing to theory strategy.

    I hope this helps!

    Ron Chenail, PhD

    Editor, The Qualitative Report (


    We do not know the topic of your research work. Whatever you have discussed in your work must be taken into consideration for presenting your findings. Chapter wise conclusion with future prospect must be highlighted.   Please write the topic and contents of your reserch work.



    Dear doctor,

    thank you for your pointed response. it is really helpful. only, I have some trouble getting your third point . I mean, my case study investigating the language practices of a group of business professionals in a special business  situation follows an analytic approach. my small-scale study does not involve a large population. Can I nevertheless assume that my findings contribute to or inform different areas of study? ( and I personally feel they can )


    i am aware of the importance of including some suggestions for future research. my problem is to decide whether it is acceptable to include the implication or contribution or ramification (i hope they mean the same) of my findings for current areas of research. as i stated above, my case study analyses the verbal exchanges of a group of business professionals during their work meeting. the areas of study that my findings could inform are business communication studies, professional lingua franca, studies of workplace interaction, etc.

    what do you think?

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