The principal idea of a case study includes putting students’ efforts together and solving issues. Developing and evaluation of the proposed algorithms of the solution are an expected result of the work. Afterward, the best option is selected and implemented in practice.
The method of situational analysis is used mostly in teaching economics and business sciences abroad. The case study course was applied firstly in 1870. Business problems and solutions of case studies join hands in the modern educational system. Not without purpose, this technique is actively used in business schools. Its introduction at the Harvard Business School began in 1920.
Common case study ideas and features
- Improving professional skills is the main idea of a course.
- The presence of a pluralism of truth in the disciplines for which the method is intended. The teaching task immediately deviates from the classical scheme. It is focused on the development of several solutions.
- The emphasis of training is transferred to the co-creation of a student and teacher. The democracy is a fundamental difference between this method and traditional ones. The student is equal to the teacher in the discussion.
- The undoubted advantage of situational analysis is not only the acquisition of knowledge and formation of practical The growth of the system of professional positions and attitudes is also important.
- The method involves applying theoretical knowledge in practice. It promotes the development of independent thinking among students, taking into account an alternative point of view and giving their own reasoning.
Principal steps involved in case study analysis
Analyzing case study issues, students receive a ready-made solution that can be applied in similar circumstances. Students increase their luggage of schemes, which they can apply to the existing situations. The process of resolving a case is a complex system and is carried out in several stages:
- Formation of didactic goals. At this stage, the place of a case is determined by the structure of the training course. The identification of knowledge, skills and social competencies of students is also necessary. The methodical goal is an illustration of a practical situation.
- Building a program map of the case. The map consists of certain abstracts which are embodied in the text. They are a frame that accumulates information and details to solve a problem.
- Drawing up of a scheme includes:
- Describing the situation given;
- Designation of the action, actors and their characteristics;
- An indication of the elements of the external factors.
- Gathering of the information on chosen issue. Information should be objective, sufficient and reliable for the preparation of theses.
- The building of a case study problem. The situation reflects the activities of the system presented in a case;
- Case solution involves the proposal of one or more options or sequences of action;
- An indication of the possible alternative dispute resolution during case studies, mechanisms for their prevention and solution.
- An analysis of the consequences of the adoption of a decision;
- Putting the decision into practice.
How to analyze a case study?
- Before starting the work, read the case several times. This step helps you to highlight general issues and ideas of the task. Don’t forget to pick out sections and significant phrases and make notes.
- Describe the origin and nature of the problem. By the large, you should gather any information that comes up to this topic. The more scientists’ quotes, statistics and facts you analyze, the more solid and reliable is your solution.
- The method of case analysis is mostly used in business schools. Describing of annual revenues gives an advanced view on the task. Therefore, to draft a successful resolution you are up to dissect the management structure, employee base and financial history of an enterprise.
- Highlight principal issues. In all likelihood, there will be a number of different factors. You are required to analyze which of them is a root of evil in a case study. Afterward, you focus on its solution.
- The next stage after identifying problems is the generation of alternative ways of further action. Some of them may be imperfect and quickly discarded during further consideration. Nevertheless, chief strategic directions must be found and analyzed.
- Evaluation of alternative ways of case resolving. Strategic directions should be deeply analyzed and characterized. The strengths and weaknesses should be figured out also. Analyzing of the profitability, company’s goals, behavior of competitors and marketing environment provides you with desired support during scribing of the solution.
- Decision-making or development of recommendations. In real conditions, indecisiveness can be fatal for a person or enterprise. Considering the case, students must choose and justify the way of solving the problem reasonably. The choice should be characterized by transparency, clarity of arguments and perfection of the analysis of facts.
How to use a case method in studying
Implementation of cases is usually based on two methods. The first is traditional Harvard system is an open discussion. An alternative method is an individual or group survey. During it, students make a formal assessment of the situation and offer an analysis of the presented case.
This method makes it easier for the teacher and allows students to minimize their training efforts. The procedure develops communication skills among students and teaches them to express their thoughts clearly. However, it’s less dynamic than the Harvard system. In an open discussion, the organization and control of participants are more complicated.