A meta-analysis is a type of study with the greatest level of generalisability. Studies that adopt this approach are characterised by a large sample size obtained by merging multiple samples. This is in contrast to a primary research study with a much smaller sample size or lower external validity in the case of laboratory experiments. Depending on the objective, a meta-analysis can also exclude studies that have little internal or external validity or weight them differently.
As a rule, generalisability is dependent on the scope of the study and the sample type. As these are criteria that are scrutinised as part of a peer review process, academic journals that are peer reviewed provide the studies with the highest assumed generalisability.
Case studies, familiar in the fields of psychology or medicine, are the opposite of a meta-analysis. They work with a minimal number of cases. The research results they present can thus not be generalised.

Generalisability is only possible if there is transparency and replicability, meaning that there is the possibility for the study to be repeated exactly.

Göthlich, S. E. (2003). Fallstudien als Forschungsmethode: Plädoyer für einen Methodenpluralismus in der deutschen betriebswirtschaftlichen Forschung [Case studies as a research method: A plea for a plurality of methods in German business research]. Manuscripts from the Institutes of Business Administration at the University of Kiel, no. 578, University of Kiel, Institute of Business Administration, Kiel. http://hdl.handle.net/10419/147639)

Last modified: Wednesday, 5 January 2022, 4:55 PM