The case study method, and in particular the multiple–case studies design, offers LIS researchers a proven tool for achieving a deep understanding of a specific phenomenon—-for example, the information-seeking behavior of a particular user group. Although the case study method has been dismissed by critics who question the rigor of the approach, numerous studies over the past twenty years have demonstrated that the case study method can be used successfully to probe beneath the surface of a situation and to provide a rich context for understanding the phenomena under study. This article summarizes the application of the multiple–case studies design, in which a literal and theoretical replication strategy is used to identify consistent patterns of behavior and to uncover new and/or divergent themes. The motivation behind arts administrators' decisions to seek information is investigated using this approach and examples are given of sample selection, data collection, and analysis. Specific issues associated with the case study method are identified and practical steps used to address them are suggested.


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pp. 4-21
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