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How to Do Case Studies

Autor:   •  October 5, 2017  •  1,101 Words (5 Pages)  •  219 Views

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3. Organize your writing so that the reader can identify a well-stated problem, an organized solution, a set of conclusions or a summary of actions being recommended.

4. Avoid statements of opinions or argumentative matters unless you are sure that they cannot be contested in the context in which you have used them. Your analysis must be supported primarily by facts and situations supplied by you in the case itself, not the generalizations you have picked up in various places.

5. An almost universal weakness in case analysis is that the writer fails to analyze the outcome or possible effects of suggestions made. If for example, you suggest that new equipment be purchased, you should also show that you have thought about

(a) how to find the working capital to invest in this equipment,

(b) the location and space needed for the equipment,

(c) the manpower to operate the equipment, etc.

6. Spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure are vital in every piece of writing you do. Your evaluator will judge you heavily on this score, so the sooner you master this skill, the better. Treat your case assignment as would a problem assigned by your employer.


1. Define the problem in the case. - Each case represents a real-life situation. Buried in each case is a multitude of business and management problems. There may be more than one major problem presented, but each case problem should be explicitly placed in order of importance. Defining the problem of a case is often the most difficult job facing the business student. It should be done very carefully, for the entire analysis depends on the problem definition.

2. Set your objectives for problem solution. - Once you have defined the problem in the case (and to help you define it, if it is especially complex), the student must decide “what he wants to do”. He must set explicit objectives that he wants his decisions or actions to be accomplished. Without such objectives, it would be impossible to tell a “good” decision from a “bad” one.

3. Outline alternative courses of action. - Once the problem has been outlined, and the specific objectives have been isolated, the alternative solutions should be examined. Each alternative will have its strengths and weaknesses, and these should be made explicit. None will be “perfect”, but by keeping the objectives and standards in mind, one or two approaches can be chosen. There is no right or wrong problem solution, the merits of the case analysis depends on the depth of analysis as well as the decision reached.

In any case, one will have to make assumptions about facts that are explicitly outlined in the case. The fewer assumptions that have been made in the case analysis, the better the analysis is. If you must make assumptions, they should be explicit. In no case should a course of action revolve solely around an assumption. If one uses an assumption to support the entire case, it can’t be strong.

4. Come to a conclusion. - Each one should decide upon a course of action before coming to class. The very process of making a decision and preparing to defend it should open the student’s eyes to the strengths and weaknesses of his analysis. It is most important that decisions be directed at the problem as defined and it is equally important that the consequences of the conclusions be carefully examined.


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