Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assist those in the relatively new field of place management to undertake sound and appropriate research for which there is a current need. Approach: This paper identifies and provides an interpretation of key terms associated with research in the social and behavioural sciences and then recommends the case study methodology as being appropriate for research in place management. Findings: Based on a review of the literature this paper offers a viewpoint about the meaning and application of the terms ‘methodology’, ‘methods,’ ‘ways’, ‘strategies’ and ‘approaches’ when they are applied to research. Research implications: The work contributes to assisting new researchers generally and specifically those researchers and practitioners involved in place management. Practical implications: The paper is of use to practitioners in that it identifies some areas of research and would be of assistance at the very least in the commissioning and interpreting of research reports. Originality/value of paper: The paper is of value to new researchers seeking to comprehend the varying interpretations of research terminology and to assist with academic research and best practice in place management.