This article will help you to solve a case study in Management. You can use these ways to solve any Human Resource Management, Marketing Management, Finance management or any other Management related Case study. Students of MBA, MMM, MPM, BBA and other management courses can use the same method to solve case studies.
The current corporate scenario urges the students to know about practical applicability of management concepts in day-to-day operations. To get such practical knowledge case study is one of the vital tool. It enables the students to
Understand the situation ,
Locate the problem
Analysis the case
Find out various available suggestions
Finally conclude appropriate solution.
Case studies are included in the Syllabus of management degrees in almost all Universities. But the pattern for solving these case studies varies from university to university. Students are not sure about which method they have to follow. This article makes you familiar with some methods to solve a case study in Management.
Case studies can be two types:
a) case study with questions
b) case study without questions
a) Case study with questions
Case will be given and some questions will be given at the end for which you have to answer after analyzing the case completely. In this method there won’t be much problem as the complete case details are given, problem will be in front of you. Here you just have to answer the questions given below.
The method to solve this type of cases is:-
• Start with an introduction wherein you will cover the complete case.
• Answer the questions one by one in a clear manner (*)
• The length of your answer must depend on the marks assigned for that question.
• Try to associate your answer with any of the concept or theory in the given subject
(for eg. If case is related to general management you can relate it with Principles of
management MBO etc).
And highlight that ( do this only when you are sure about the concept)
• Write a conclusion for the case for the main problem in the case.
(*) In case there is a question like “if you are the manager what would be your reaction in the given situation” .
you can answer in the following way:-
• list all the possible options in the given situation
• select the best option from your view-point
• conclude it like why that is the best option by mentioning the advantages of such option.
b) case study without questions:-
In this type of cases there won’t be any questions only complete case will be given. And the students get confused about what to do with such type of case type. The following are the ways in which a case can be solved and among those things whichever is applicable or possible in that you can include it in the solution and solve the case.
Give a detailed description about the case in two or three paragraphs and cover all the major issues in the case in your introduction.
Strength Weakness Opportunities and Thread. You have to list the strength weakness opportunity and thread of the company. Strength and weakness stands internal in which the company can have a control over that and Opportunity and Thread stands for External in which the company does not have any control.
Identify the Problems:
Find out major issues in the case and highlight those problems consider those problems as questions. Frame the problem in a proper way.
Find out the solutions:-
This is the part wherein you are going to give the solution for the case exactly. In the previous step you have framed the problems here you need to give solutions for each problem. Consider the problems as questions and start answering for each question.
You can answer the question straight away about what you feel. Like how you reply to your other theory questions the same way you have to answer for these questions. You can highlight the subheadings and quote some definition in the answer if any concept is involved in that
You can explain your answer by aligning the answer with any theory related to that. This method is not possible in all the cases. But if it related to employee motivation, International Trade Blocks, marketing strategy etc then you can align your answer with Maslow’s Hierarchy theory, Trade Blocks theory and BCG model etc.. This will fetch you more marks but one thing you need to be clear that you must know the theory completely.
This method will take you in a proper direction. As said earlier consider the problem as question. Take the question one by one. Find the possible solution for each question. And also write the advantages and disadvantages for that solution. If you have more than one options for the same problem list the option one by one along with the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Finally conclude the question by comparing the option and write the best option among the listed option and support your conclusion.
Eg. Refer this case MAKAR Gained profit by missed opportunity & lost wealth
In this case if the question is like
“what would have Makar done to save the company without removing the employees”
Give an Introduction
List down the options one by like
A. Expanding the business
B. Expanding the market
C. Lease a part of production plant to another company
D. Close the plant partially
Now take each option and write its advantage and disadvantage (Like)
And Continue for other options.
Finally conclude the best option and support your answer.
This method if written properly neatly and cleanly will fetch you more marks.
Hence you can follow any of the above said method to solve a case study in Management if no specific method is mentioned in the question paper. In each method give an introduction and complete with conclusion. And underline where ever required. And fetch more marks in Cases.
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As you discuss cases with your fellow students, you will learn that decision making is often a confrontational activity involving people with different points of view. Most important, you will learn how to work toward consensus while tolerating legitimate differences of opinion.
After completing a few case studies, you should find them an interesting and rewarding way to learn. You will soon discover, however, that case studies require an approach that is different from normal homework assignments. Each case can have more than one right answer depending on how the problem is defined and which assumptions are made. Students commonly spend several hours preparing the solution for a case assigned for classroom discussion. The time you spend working on case studies will be well spent because it will prepare you to confidently take on a position in agribusiness in which decision-making challenges face you each day. Success in your career will be the real reward for the work you do in preparing case studies.
The Seven Steps of Problem Analysis
Using an organized seven-stem approach in analyzing a case will make the entire process easier and can increase your learning benefits.
- Read the case thoroughly. To understand fully what is happening in a case, it is necessary to read the case carefully and thoroughly. You may want to read the case rather quickly the first time to get an overview of the industry, the company, the people, and the situation. Read the case again more slowly, making notes as you go.
- Define the central issue. Many cases will involve several issues or problems. Identify the most important problems and separate them from the more trivial issues. After identifying what appears to be a major underlying issue, examine related problems in the functional areas (for example, marketing, finance, personnel, and so on). Functional area problems may help you identify deep-rooted problems that are the responsibility of top management.
- Define the firm’s goals. Inconsistencies between a firm’s goals and its performance may further highlight the problems discovered in step 2. At the very least, identifying the firm’s goals will provide a guide for the remaining analysis.
- Identify the constraints to the problem. The constraints may limit the solutions available to the firm. Typical constraints include limited finances, lack of additional production capacity, personnel limitations, strong competitors, relationships with suppliers and customers, and so on. Constraints have to be considered when suggesting a solution.
- Identify all the relevant alternatives. The list should all the relevant alternatives that could solve the problem(s) that were identified in step 2. Use your creativity in coming up with alternative solutions. Even when solutions are suggested in the case, you may be able to suggest better solutions.
- Select the best alternative. Evaluate each alternative in light of the available information If you have carefully taken the proceeding five steps, a good solution to the case should be apparent. Resist the temptation to jump to this step early in the case analysis. You will probably miss important facts, misunderstand the problem, or skip what may be the best alternative solution. You will also need to explain the logic you used to choose one alternative and reject the others.
- Develop an implementation plan. The final step in the analysis is to develop a plan for effective implementation of your decision. Lack of an implementation plan even for a very good decision can lead to disaster for a firm and for you. Don’t overlook this step. Your teacher will surely ask you or someone in the class to explain how to implement the decision.
A well-written report would contain the following elements:
- Executive summary. This is a concisely written statement, less than one page, placed at the front of the report. It briefly summarizes the major points of the case and your solution. It should describe the major issue, the proposed solution, and the logic supporting the solution.
- Problem statement. Present the central issue(s) or major problem(s) in the case here. Do not rehash the facts of the case; assume that anyone reading the report is familiar with the case.
- Alternatives. Discuss all relevant alternatives. Briefly present the major arguments for and against each alternative. Be sure to state your assumptions and the impact of constraints on each alternative.
- Conclusion. Present the analysis and the logic that led you to select a particular solution. Also discuss the reasons you rejected the other alternatives.
- Implementation. Outline a plan of action that will lead to effective implementation of the decision so that the reader can see not only why you chose a particular alternative but how it will work.