PedNote - CASE ANALYSIS A PEDAGOGICAL NOTE Education...

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1 CASE ANALYSIS - A PEDAGOGICAL NOTE Education commences when what has been learned is forgotten! Education is caught, it is not taught! Barry Gorman, PhD, CA, TEP January, 2012
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2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Types of Knowledge 3 The Case Approach 6 Judging 10 Getting Started 12 Focus to Adopt 14 Sizing Up the Case 18 Prepare an Organization Profile 21 Problem Recognition 32 Assumptions 33 Conduct the Required Analysis 34 The Numbers 37 Alternatives 39 Recommendation 42 Implementation 44 Summary 44 The Report 45 Executive Summary 50 Table of Contents 53 Introduction 53 Exhibits / Appendices 54 Charts and Graphs 54 Bibliography 55 Hierarchy of Authoritative Literature 55
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3 TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE A. TECHNICAL - THE "HOW TO" LEVEL This level uses a learning approach where students are asked questions that direct them to the right answer, and requires recall of accumulated knowledge (often memorized). Technical knowledge requires technical understanding only. Technical knowledge is the state of the art today, or as much of it as we can assimilate. Technical knowledge rules out any sense of history, prior issues/problems, etc. related to the field. The professional accountant/manager must be capable of working in the world of tomorrow, therefore needs to know "how to learn", and "how to adapt to changing environments". Individuals who are unable to rise above the technical level need constant supervision, are generally unable to handle tasks on their own, and therefore become low level employees. Advancement in a business/profession is almost impossible unless one is prepared and able to solve problems in an unstructured "as it hits you" manner. In the case competition, this level corresponds to the “tactics” in the analysis. Students who concentrate on tactical issues generally do not do well in the competition. Street Reference – “The 1,000 Foot Level” B. ANALYTICAL - THE PROBLEM SOLVING LEVEL This level emphasizes the cognitive skills, that is: (a) knowledge, (b) comprehension (the ability to grasp all parts of a situation), (c) application (the ability to choose an appropriate technical tool from the store of knowledge in order to help solve a problem), (d) analysis, (e) synthesis (the ability to pull all of the pieces of a problem together and to recommend solutions), (f) evaluation (the ability to focus on the main issue(s) and not symptoms, and to weigh strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions), and (g) assessment (which might include a judgement as to the depth of a problem and the
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4 quality of alternative solutions). In the case competition, this level roughly corresponds to the strategy issues in the case. A large portion of your analysis/report will focus on these issues. Street Reference – “The 10,000 Foot Level” C. THE CONCEPTUAL LEVEL The conceptual level attempts to attain an understanding of the broad implications of the discipline. Of concern are such questions as: Can further knowledge be added to the existing store of knowledge? and, Can we find new answers to existing problems? A true
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