Steps4AnalyzingCaseStudies

Topics: Case study, Scientific method Pages: 17 (989 words) Published: February 27, 2015
4-1

Case Studies Module Overview
Why use case studies
Learning objectives of case studies
Steps in analyzing a case
Common errors made in case study analysis
Sample Board Plans

Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

4-2

Case Studies
A useful learning tool  used in management
education to give student a feel for the
complexities if the real work and how the
theories, models and research being studied
can be used in practice.

Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

4-3

Learning Objective
To diagnose what the problems or issues in the
case are, and why they have occurred, to
consider a variety of solutions; and to justify
what you believe to be the best solution.

Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

4-4

Steps in Analyzing Case Studies
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Gain an overview of the case
Establish what has happened (specify objectives)
Determine the causes
Develop possible solutions
Evaluate these solutions
Formulate recommendations (write up solutions)

Alternative: 1. What is the business problem; 2. What
factors affect the problem; 3. How would your team solve
the problem? Justification.
Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

4-5

1. Gain an overview of the case
Ask students to read the case quickly to gain
familiarity with major events and characters
and to note what seems to be the central
problem(s).
It’s a good idea to ask the
students to read the case to
be discussed prior to coming
to class….but in practice this
seldom happens.
Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

4-6

1. Gain an overview of the case
Note that case studies often contain
substantial information with information
presented in sometimes chaotic order.
Case studies usually present information
chronologically.

Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

4-7

2. Establish what has happened
or the Business Problem
Ask students to go over the case in greater
detail to establish a clear picture of what has
happened. Establish the who, what, where,
and when of the situation.

Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

4-8

2. Establish what has happened
or the Business Problem
NB: There is at least one fundamental business
problem in every case.
The problem may be “How to collect money
from a deadbeat customer” but the issue may
be broader “ How can they reduce accounts
receivable aging to 30 days or less?

Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

Specify an objective for the
managers involved

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Once the business problem(s) have been
identified students should think about the
outcomes they would most hope to see for the
company.
Let students know they are Consultants on the
case.
Quantify the desired results if possible. “We
wish to reduce A/R aging by 15%.

Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

3. Determine the causes and
issues
Ask students to consider a variety of possible
causes or issues to see how well they are
supported by the facts of the case and how
well they explain what has happened.
Try to separate symptoms from problems.
Rank order the critical problems/issues

Compiled by Darren Paproski - Adapted from
the University of Technology Sydney Writing

4-10

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4. Develop possible solutions
Students should develop several possible
solutions to the problem(s).
Different solutions may need to be considered,
depending upon whether the aim is:
to have prevented what has already happened
to salvage the present situation
to avoid similar problems in the future....
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