methods to Answering A Case study
- A case study is a detailed description of a situation that is studied and discussed by the students or trainees.
- Cases are designed to develop higher-order thinking skills, such as the ability to
- Criticize information
- Skim through the text to gain an idea about the topic
- If questions are provided along with the case, read the questions first to know where the main emphasis is
- Re-read the text thoroughly to identify main issues within the text
- Begin by introducing the case i.e. giving a brief history of the case
- E.g. This is a case of Acer, a Taiwanese computer company, which discusses the challenges and opportunities faced by the company during its global expansion. The analysis below will identify the organizational behavior mistakes the company undertook. The conclusion will focus on recommendations based on the factors of organizational behavior.
- When answering a question or analyzing a specific section of the text, use excerpts from the text and defend your opinion with reference to what you have learned in the course.
- E.g. “Acer hired expatriates to fill in managerial roles which resulted in the destruction of the organizational culture at Acer.” Organizational culture is defined as the shared beliefs, rituals, values, norms and basic assumption by the people (groups and individuals) at an organization. With respect to this definition, the employees at Acer were used to the family-oriented organizational, while the new managers enforced a rigid, stern management style. This resulted in conflict and lack of motivation.
- Include facts and main ideas
- “The CEO had seven siblings” – while it may be a fact, it is irrelevant to the analysis unless otherwise needed to state a point
- “The CEO obsessed on employee satisfaction” – fact and main idea
- Case studies are not a collection of opinions; rather they are models of real-life situations.
- Your facilitator or instructor is looking for you to demonstrate that you know how and when to use course-related concepts presented in text chapters or recommended readings.
- Check for conflicting opinions and make some judgments about the validity of all the data and information provided.
- Some cases have contradictory opinions. You may be required to solve such conflicts.
- Support your diagnosis and opinions with reasons and evidence
- Prepare answers that include reasons from both the case and text chapters/readings to support your diagnosis
- Develop appropriate conclusions and a set of recommendations
- As managers or managers-to-be you will be required to convert sound analysis into sound action that will produce desired results.
- Support your recommendations by evidence, reasons and arguments.
Steps to begin answering a case:
What Not To Do!
- Do not re-write the case as a summary, ever!
- Do not answer a case study like you answer study questions
- Do not write a story out of the case study!