Case Study –is a very effective method in improving individual’s ability to analyze a situation, establish premises, arrive at valid conclusions, decide on courses of action and visualize consequences and results • A case usually narrates the development of a situation over an extended period of time • The analyst projects himself into the situation and visualizes it as though he is personally involved • If the case involves two or more persons, the case analyst assumes in sequence the role of each person.
• This is done only for better understanding of the human relations aspect but also to learn whether each person acts in the better manner while the situation was developing • Accordingly, the case analysts will now reduce the likely impact any decision one party would have on the others • The case analyst follows the narrated development by identifying and evaluating the more important factors and information needed for valid judgments • Relevant data are carefully analyzed not only to determine whether there is a problem but also to find out the company’s position in the industry – what others are doing and how they are faring and the need for collective action for collective benefits.
• As more cases are studied, a broad ‘exposure’ to different situations is ‘experienced’ by the student, thereby promoting the development of talent executive ability and self-confidence • Case study is most useful as an exercise in analysis and decision making • A case is also very informative because it presents much information peculiar to business practices and conditions Tips in Case Study Analysis Preparation 1. Read the assigned case thoroughly and completely.
• If possible, put the case aside for a period of time. • Then carefully re-read the case once or twice or even thrice • Try to get an accurate picture in your mind as to what is really going on in that particular situation 2. Make notes or summaries of pertinent information before proceeding with your analysis • Lawyers call this ‘briefing’ a case
• The procedure may be necessary in preparing management cases if the information has been thoroughly assimilated • A principal difficulty at this stage is to sort out the important information from the data of little significance 3. Formulate in writing a precise statement of the problem • This is an analytical step, not a descriptive one • It does not help much to write down a rehashed version of problem-type statements lifted from the case data.
• Try to state the problem in such a way to show that individual or individuals must take some sort of action and why some kind of action must be taken at this particular time 4. Select the several alternative decisions or courses of action which can be taken • These are hypothesis which require investigation.
5. Raise the question which demands an answer • These are crucial questions which are the heart of your analysis 6. Tentatively weigh the evidence and select the hypothesis which can best be supported 7. Organize the evidences so as to substantiate your case • Be sure to state your conclusions clearly -o0o- Format/Structure in Case Analysis.
1. Define the problem Problem – is something that deviates from the normal • What is the main problem the manager has to overcome? • What is or should be normal in the case and what is the deviation? • Are there any sub-problems that contribute to the main problem? • What are the issues at stake in the case?
• It is to be noted that an obvious problem is not always the real problem, just as a symptom is not the disease itself 2. Identify areas for consideration • Areas are usually business or economic factors that are important and have a bearing on the problem or could affect possible solutions • Students should put their ‘thinking cap’ on, identify what he considers relevant and state his reason for considering a particular factor relevant or important • It is not enough merely to give a listing of actors indicated in the case-anybody can do that. • The student should be able to state why it is relevant and important and why another factor is not 3. Determine alternative courses of action.
• There are two or three or more courses of action that could solve the problem or lead eventually to a solution • The student should state the pros and cons or each course of action • He should marshal the arguments for and against each • He should also give the possible consequences of taking each course of action • The teacher should caution the student against solving a problem by creating another – perhaps bigger – problem 4. Choose the course of action that leads to a solution • Among the alternatives previously identified, which course of action would solve the problem best?
• Sometimes the action chosen may not directly solve the problem but could lead to a possible solution • This should be recognized as valid and often, the realistic way to attack a problem • An ‘obvious’ solution is not necessarily the correct one GUIDELINES IN ANALYSING BUSINESS CASES Objectives of the Case Method 1. To make the student become more efficient and accurate in finding the cause and effect of business problems. 2.
To train the student become more imaginative in formulating efficient and effective solutions 3. To help the student apply his own special experience and to handle new situations if he has little or no experience 4. To develop his skill in interacting, cooperating and fostering closer working relations with his group members Basic Characteristics of a Good Case Analysis 1. It is based on particular situational facts 2. There is good understanding and identification of the central problem.
3. The solution must be highly creative and have the makings of being practical and workable under the given circumstances 4. The student’s position must be supported and defensible. Suggested Outline in Solving Business Cases 1. Time Context.
• Specify the time context (month and year) if the case fact is explicit about it • The time context should tell us when the problem was observed which requires the necessity of an action • A business problem requiring an action in pre-martial law days will have a different action if it were to be tackled today • In short, a business problem will have different solutions under different political and economic environment.
2. Viewpoint • In solving business problems, the student must specify the viewpoint he is taking • It is always based on the manager’s viewpoint • The president of a company will most likely have a different approach or solution from those of other company officers 3.
Statement of the problem • This imbalances is caused by a change of one kind or another • A problem could be answered by the question – “what is wrong that needs correcting? ” • A business case may contain a variety of issues or problems, from the trivial to the significant, from the irrelevant to the relevant • The student should focus his attention on the key or central problem • The elimination of the central problem will eventually result in the elimination of other peripheral problems • Specify what the problem is by describing it very accurately in terms of four dimensions: identity, location, time and extent 4. Areas of consideration/analysis.
• When the student has determined what he considers to be the central problems and has defined the objective, he must proceed to organize the facts around the possible causes of central problem • This requires the separation of the significant areas from the unimportant ones, and the relevant to the irrelevant • The analysis of each area must come from the personal opinion of the analyst and not from the case facts.
5. Alternative courses of action Alternatives –are collections of what appear to be at the moment the best means of meeting the individual objectives • There are possible solutions to the problem • In some cases, the alternatives are clear; in others, the student must formulate alternatives appropriate to the problem at hand • The student must not remain content with pre-determined alternatives • He must strive for new and better solutions
• Alternatives must be mutually exclusive • Significantly, an alternative must be able to stand alone • Appraise the alternatives and weigh their individual strength and weaknesses • The student must make a tentative choice of the alternative which seems best to him • Assess the possible adverse consequences of the alternative decision or recommendation.
• Look for potential areas where trouble may occur if the recommendation or decision is implemented • For each prospective critical area, the student must evolve corresponding preventive and contingency actions • If prospective serious areas could not be prevented, review other alternatives for final action 6. Recommendation.
• This is the final decision or recommended course of action • The student must be decisive • He must not avoid making a final choice of the alternative which seems best to him • Inaction or a status quo position means indecision • Among the given alternatives, only one best alternative should be recommended 7. Conclusion/Detailed Action Plan • Make a detailed action plan to ensure the success of the decision or recommendation • Of each prospective serious trouble area, the student should set up corresponding preventive and contingency action • If prospective serious trouble areas could not be prevented, review other alternatives for final action Characteristics of Good Action Plan 1. It is systematic.
• Plans of action should be properly enumerated from the first plan to the last plan 2. It is realistic • The plan must be capable of being carried out • An unrealistic plan causes frustration and is self-defeating 3. It is flexible • A good plan should be flexible enough to be changed when change is called for Elements Of an Effective Case Presentation A.
Planning the presentation • Good planning assures quality and quality presentations are the only kind you and your audience are interested in • Failure to plan may cause you to be ineffective and may result in your presentation being less than top quality Four Basic Steps in Case Presentation 1. Determining what you expect to accomplish.
• This gives you a target at which to direct your presentation time and efforts • Set the accomplishments down and keep your mind to it at all times 2. Considering means to secure audience interest • Basically focus on the audience’s interest, not yours • Be sure the entire presentation is audience-oriented 3. Anticipating questions you may be asked after the presentation.
• There will be many • If you are caught off-guard, your total presentation will suffer and collapse • Have your answers ready 4. Gathering facts to answer anticipated questions • Research work is paramount • This step becomes simpler once you set down anticipated questions • There are many resources of fact-gathering B.
Making the actual presentation and the defense Seven (7) Basic Steps in Making Presentations 1. Always begin your presentation with the attitude that you are presenting to a very important audience • Give your audience the red carpet treatment Seven (7) Basic Steps in Making Presentations (contd) 2. Get your audience attention and hold it throughout.
3. Watch your verbal language • Words are your main communication • Use words that suggest action • Use forceful, simple and specific words, not generalistic • Pay attention to euphony Euphony –are words that are pleasing to the ears, effect produced by words so combined to please the ear 4. Watch your body language.
• Your posture, your physical attitude, your gestures can often do more to help you convince persuasively than words • Avoid scratching, yawning or slumping • Seek eye to eye contact with your audience 5. Use visual aids • They dramatize the presentation and dramatization is strong aide in convincing your audience 6. Cover the business case completely.
7. Answer the audience’s questions satisfactorily • Questions must always be laid to rest Rules When Answering Questions 1. Ask the person to restate the question (if it is not very clear to you) 2. Listen attentively 3. Ask for an explanation of the question (he will often restate it in a different way which is helpful) 4. Listen intently and do not interrupt 5. Use facts to answer the question -o0o- /abet-081112.
Subject: Business case,
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 September 2016
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