caseTips - Cases are included in many courses in...

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Cases are included in many courses in Administrative Studies to give students an appreciation of the hard realities of business and the constraints involved in decision making. By exposure to a variety of situations and diverse problems, the student can experience, to some degree, the challenges and dilemmas of the decision maker. Cases are usually based on real situations. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, the persons, the companies, and the locations involved are typically disguised. When assigning case analyses, instructors expect that students will: study the information provided in each case, attempt to diagnose the nature of the problem or problems involved, search for alternative ways in which the problems can be resolved, recommend and justify the course of action that is most likely to be effective. The justification should rely, to a large extent, on theoretical principles. Sometimes students feel disappointed because the cases sometimes do not appear to be “dramatic.” However, because the cases do represent the realities of organizations, they are often likely to be somewhat mundane, at least to the outside observer. Most of the incidents are based on events that were actually faced by managers and their subordinates on a day-to- day basis. Very often, cases do not contain all the information that the student would like to have. This is often done intentionally, or at least knowingly, by the case writer. In real life, a manager must frequently make decisions on the basis of limited information. Sometimes students exert much energy searching for the “correct answer” or the “one best solution” without realizing that, in case studies, the stress is not on the “right” or “wrong” answer. Instead, the emphasis is on the student’s ability to take into account all the variables that might have a bearing on the situation and then find an answer that is feasible – and the best among a limited number of alternatives. Rarely are there situations for which there is only one solution. Most real problems confronted by managers are multifaceted, involving such factors as motivation, culture, structure, technology, communication, and inter-personal concerns. In dealing with an organizational problem, a student has to be able to comprehend all its aspects, including the complex personal interrelationships involved. The overall learning objectives of a case study can include the following: To improve a student’s ability to think logically and imaginatively; To improve his or her ability to communicate; To provide an opportunity for experiential learning particularly when it involves group work; To develop analytical ability and personal involvement in problem solving; To reinforce theoretical learning in the course and provide the opportunity to evaluate critically previously learned theories; To bring about an awareness of the constraints in decision making; and To integrate the knowledge and skills gained studying the diverse areas within an administrative studies or business program.
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caseTips - Cases are included in many courses in...

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