How To Analyze A Case
In a case study there is no right or wrong answer. The following suggestions will help you to analyze case studies more effectively:
Read the case: The first step to a successful case solution is to read the case, carefully and with an eye for detail – more than once. Don’t rush through it. Look for the smallest of details. That is the only correct way to read intelligent conclusions. Look for case attachments and accompanying tables and numbers if available. Do not reach conclusions until all facts are considered. Your best defense against surprise is to read the case thoroughly.
Take notes: Unlike textbooks which are written in chapter, essay or reprint form, case studies might be arranged in chronological order. While textbooks may proceed in logical fashion, this is not necessarily so in case studies. At times, they may seem chaotic with many events happening at once – order and discipline may be missing and key issues are not always evident. Case studies may also contain substantial amounts of information in tubular form. To know what such data means you will have to read the tables and apply what you have learned. Your notes should focus on the details you will need to identify the business problems involved in the case, the issues critical to solving those problems, as well as resources available to the managers in the case. Those notes will be helpful in producing a case solution.
Look for (business) problem(s): Do not just rephrase the obvious problems stated in the case, but try to identify the real problems faced by the organization. In each case, at least one fundamental problem is present.
Specify an objective for the managers involved: Once you have identified one or more business problems present in the case, think about the outcome(s) you would most hope to see for the company and people you have read about. If you were asked to consult on this company’s problems – and that is the role most public relations students are...
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