Handout Proper Case Study Format
The Statement of the Facts must accomplish the following: List the essential facts of the case, including page references, using proper business terminology when appropriate; Group the essential facts into logical categories; Eliminate any “non-essential” information from the case; Often in a case study there will be a series of problems, some of which will be interrelated and some which will be separate Issues. It Is often necessary to distinguish between problems and symptoms, and to Identify deep underlying problems or Issues using proper business terminology.
The Statement of Problems or Issues must accomplish the following: The obvious, surface problem – often a result of the primary problem, the general issue of the case; Example – YMCA Camps enrollment is declining and the camps are in financial difficulty. Identify the Primary (Root) Problem(s) The root cause of the immediate problem – when solved, the immediate problem should cease to exist; Example – YMCA marketing plan is not fully developed, corporate sponsorship network needs to be formed, employee satisfaction is poor, etc.
Identify the Secondary Problems These are the questions/issues that need to be solved in order to fix the primary problems; Example – Target market for YMCA camps is not clear, what corporate sponsors would match the image of the YMCA, what tactics could improve employee satisfaction, etc. Once all problems/issues are identified as specifically as possible, you must be sure to address them throughout your analysis, decision, and action plan! *Note: A case may not necessarily involve a problem or issue.
Instead, the case may involve an opportunity what can be taken advantage of. In that case, the case aroma remains the same; however this section details a Statement of Opportunities.This section of the report provides an analysis of exactly what is happening in the case and why it has happened/is happening.
This is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of why things are happening based on your knowledge of business theory!
The Analysis of the Situation must accomplish the following: Provide an analysis of the causes of the problems and issues in the case by identifying and explaining why the problems/issues in the case are occurring; Link business theory explain the problems/issues in the case through your explanation; Support the causes identified with evidence from the case. This section also identifies and outlines the decision criteria that will be used to evaluate alternative courses of action and make decisions. “Decision Criteria are the criterion upon which you will Judge whether or not your suggested Alternatives are good or not! The Outline of Decision Criteria must accomplish the following: Identify the objectives that the decision/best solution must meet to be effective; Demonstrate an understanding of what is important to the individuals and organization in the case.
The Identification and Evaluation of Alternatives must accomplish the following: Identify all realistic alternatives to solve the problems/issues of the case; Alternatives must be complete, realistic solutions to the problems/issues; Evaluate the pros and cons of each alternative in relation to the decision criteria.