Case studies are interdisciplinary in scope; they cross many disciplines within organizations and expose the "manager" to many varied situations of day-to-day activities. Cases studies are a picture-in-time, much like an accounting profit and loss report for a past business quarter. They are, after all, real life situations.
Cases develop a manager’s analytical skills, because the results are quantitative and qualitative in nature and support their recommendations and decisions. They are also beneficial in helping the learning process of asking the right question(s).
Case studies place you (the student) in hypothetical Consultant position, requiring you to weigh the facts and options to recommend those critical decisions. As the consultant, you are to remain objective and refrain from making subjective claims. Opinions should be supported using concepts and terms from your text. If you use outside research, be sure to cite your sources IN the body of the paper as well as listing the source as a reference at the end of the paper.
A case study will have three common traits. They deal with real companies and situations, seldom have a solution, and contain loads of data. Your task as a consultant will be to review the respective data, locate the relevant information, arrange it in a practical and sequential order, and arrive at a solution or recommendation. You must remain objective throughout this process.
Since this is a formal analysis, you are to write in a style that reflects formal, collegiate level work. This will include an objective perspective, 3rd person voice, lack of contractions/slang/expressions. Any references should contain appropriate citing. Failure to do so will affect your grade.
There are many ways to look at a single case study. First, look for questions that need to be answered. Look for issues, constraints, potential problems and what needs to be changed that would perhaps strengthen the company, create growth, or increase profits.
There are numerous ways to organize and write a case study. For this course, a case study analysis should include a "Statement of the problem," "a Summary of the Facts," "Analysis," and "Recommendation(s)."
Statement of the Problem(s)
State in a few sentences the problem (or you may want to think about “issues” if the word problem causes you confusion) that exists within the case study. There may be multiple problems. Always keep your audience (a Board of Directors who may have hired you) in mind while formulating the problem statement; they may have opposing views on the situation.
Note that some cases do not have a recognizable “problem”. In these cases you may be asked to state what decisions you would make for the future of the company.
Summary of the Facts
Briefly, sum up the facts in the case that are relevant to the stated issue(s)/problem(s). It may include pertinent history or background