28 PART I Anticipating Change
CASE ANALYSIS GUIDELINES
WHY USE CASES?
Case studies allow a learning-by-doing approach.The
material in the case provides the data for analysis and
decision making. Cases require you to diagnose and
make decisions about the situation and to defend
those decisions to your peers.
OBJECTIVES OF THE CASE METHOD
1. Helping you to acquire the skills of putting
textbook knowledge about management into
2. Getting you out of the habit of being a receiver of facts, concepts, and techniques, and into the habit of diagnosing problems, analyzing and evaluating alternatives, and formulating workable plans of action. 3. Training you to work out answers and solutions for yourself, as opposed to relying upon the authoritative crutch of the professor or a
4. Providing you with exposure to a range of
firms and managerial situations (which might
take a lifetime to experience personally), thus
offering you a basis for comparison when you
begin your own management career.
HOW TO PREPARE A CASE
1. Begin your analysis by reading the case once
2. On the second reading, attempt to gain full
command of the facts, organizational goals,
objectives, strategies, policies, symptoms of
problems, problems, basic causes of problems,
unresolved issues, and roles of key individuals.
3. Who are the key players in this situation?
What are their roles and their styles?
4. Arrive at a solid evaluation of the organization, based on the information in the case. Developing the ability to evaluate organizations and size up their situations is the key to case
5. Decide what you think the organization needs
to do to improve its performance and to set
forth a workable plan of action.
vited to mix in with employees at the weekly beer
“What a great place to work!” several people told
Bill. The spirit of Quantum continually amazed Bill.
Stan and Erin knew how to keep things hopping and
yet hold morale at an enthusiastic level. To counter
the frantic work pace of 16-hour days and six-day
weeks, Quantum had a beer bust every Friday afternoon. Everyone was invited, from Stan and Erin to the part-time janitor who worked nights.
No ties, no suit coats, first names only: this was a
great way to encourage the team concept. Lately
though, Bill Carter had been having second thoughts
about serving alcohol at a company-sponsored party.
He made up his mind to speak to CEO Stan Albright
about it and started toward the pool where Stan and
Erin were holding a lively discussion with three employees. Just then, John Hooker, a new programmer in
An Experiential Approach to Organization Development, Seventh Edition, by Donald R. Brown and Don Harvey. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc.
It’s 4:30 on a Friday afternoon and the weekly beer
bust is in full swing at Quantum Software’s Seattle
headquarters. The sun shines on the volleyball court
and beyond; the patio sparkles over a dazzling view of
Lake Washington. Every week most of the employees drop in to unwind and relax at the beer bust for an hour as a reward for extra effort.
Quantum Software was founded three years ago
by Stan Albright and Erin Barber based upon an idea
they came up with in college for forming a business
aimed at developing and selling computer software
specifically oriented to the needs of independent oil
businesses. Few of these firms grow large enough to
do their own data-processing systems. Quantum has
grown to more than 200 employees and $95 million in
sales over the past three years. One Friday afternoon,
Bill Carter, the corporate attorney, dropped in to attend a business meeting.After the meeting, he was in-
Organization Development and Reinventing the Organization
software development, lost his balance and fell on the
snack table, sending finger sandwiches...
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