Guidelines+for+Written+Case+Analysis - GUIDELINES FOR...

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GUIDELINES FOR WRITTEN CASE ANALYSIS These guidelines have been prepared to assist you in analyzing cases and maximizing your case experience in the course. They should be particularly useful for those who have not yet been exposed to the case method. A case typically describes a company situation and a set of issues that must be resolved by managers. Information in the case includes facts, opinions, and prejudices concerning the situation. Good cases describe a major threat or opportunity facing management and the situation of a company under stress in a particular time period. They provide enough information to permit understanding and evaluation of both factual and judgmental information, the development of an explicit conclusion concerning actions that ought to be taken, and the reasons for those actions. Analysis should be confined to careful review of facts and opinions in the case (and seldom requires gathering additional information). Case analysis typically involves four major activities: (1) specification of the problems or opportunities being faced, (2) identification of the best alternatives available to solve the problem, (3) identification and discussion of the issues associated with each alternative, and (4) development of conclusions and recommendations based on the best alternative. These provide the structure for a case report. Every case report should address the following topics: I. Problems II. Alternatives III. Issues IV. Conclusions At the onset, it is important to understand that a written case report is not the same thing as a product development plan or a typical consultant report. A product development plan, for example, usually provides historical or background information. In a case report, the contents of the case provide this information and it is unnecessary to repeat or “rehash” it. On the other hand, a case report should provide the analytical framework on which a product development plan rests. It is this framework and the logic of analysis and reporting which must be mastered for successful case work. The report should present each of the above four sections so that the logic used in reaching conclusions and making recommendations is clear. Problems The problems are often barriers facing the organization which block, or threaten to block, the achievement of important objectives. In some cases, objectives may not be explicitly given in the case, and this lack of specificity can become an important part of problem analysis. A barrier is a set of conditions that threatens or hinders management from achieving objectives. It may derive from competitor actions, changes in the economic, political, or social environment, or difficulties arising from poor coordination of the functions. The problems should be stated in the form of a descriptive paragraph or statement.
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Guidelines+for+Written+Case+Analysis - GUIDELINES FOR...

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