mba652 CASE ANALYSIS SINS

mba652 CASE ANALYSIS SINS - THE NOT-SO-SUBTLE SINS IN CASE...

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THE NOT-SO-SUBTLE SINS IN CASE ANALYSIS Gerald M. Hampton, College of Business Administration, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003; ghampton@nmsu.edu ABSTRACT This paper concerns four major sins students most often commit in case analysis. The sins are: (1) the failure to use the analytical framework of marketing, (2) the failure to define the problem correctly, (3) the failure to make a decision, and (4) the failure to be logical. INTRODUCTION As student demand for realism, relevance, and application continues, marketing professors will find the need to use cases and case analysis in many of their courses. Today a large number of suitable cases are available. There are marketing casebooks in such areas as marketing management, marketing research, consumer behavior, and integrated marketing communications. There has also been an increase in diversity of case type, including video cases, computer-based cases, experiential, as well as, sequential cases. What has remained fairly constant, however, are the problems faced by all of us who now use cases and those who soon will. While opinions differ, there are at least four major problems that must be solved in some fashion if one is to use cases effectively. First, there is the need to develop and structure a course so that it allows for logical integration of case materials, the use of marketing concepts and their application in specific situations. Second, one must develop a classroom style appropriate for teaching by the case method. Third, it is necessary to demonstrate to students that the case method has content and that they are learning something. Finally, there are the difficult tasks of evaluation and grading the students’ work, including class participation, presentations and written analysis. Authors have written extensively on the first three problems. There are numerous works giving helpful hints on how to teach concepts in different disciplines, course design, preparation of class outlines and the selection of case materials. A number of teaching approaches and techniques have been suggested ranging from a structured to an unstructured format. Ways to enhance learning and methods of demonstrating to students the usefulness of the case method have also been extensively discussed. Unfortunately, and in my opinion, the problem of how to evaluate students’ work has received considerably less attention. The purpose of this article is to present a basic treatment of the four common sins students most often make in case analysis. They are: (1) the failure to use the analytical framework of marketing, (2) the failure to define the problem(s) correctly, (3) the failure to make a decision, and (4) the failure to be logical in evaluation, analysis and decision making.
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While these four sins are certainly less serious than the capital vices of Pride, Avarice, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth, they do offer one framework that can facilitate the evaluation of a student’s case work. In addition to evaluation and grading, it
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This note was uploaded on 11/13/2011 for the course MBA 652 taught by Professor Brown during the Spring '08 term at Bellevue.

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mba652 CASE ANALYSIS SINS - THE NOT-SO-SUBTLE SINS IN CASE...

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