Describes the typical five-step case analysis process

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Reference no: EM131386957

What is a Case Study? Case Study Analysis?

The following document explains:

1 What a case study is and

2 Why professors use case studies to teach and apply business concepts The document also:

1 Describes the typical five-step case analysis process and

2 Provides a format professors use when assigning (to students/groups) and discussing (with the class) a case study


A case study presents an account of what happened to a business or industry during a given situation or over a number of years. It chronicles the events that managers dealt with, such as changes in the competitive environment or internal problems, and charts management's response, which usually involved changing the business- or corporate-level strategy or policy.

Cases prove valuable in a course for several reasons:

1. Cases provide you, the student, with experience of organizational problems that you probably have not had the opportunity to experience firsthand. In a relatively short period of time, you will have the chance to appreciate and analyze the problems faced by many different companies and to understand how managers tried to deal with them.

2. Cases illustrate what you have learned. The meaning and implication of this information are made clearer when they are applied to case studies. The theory and concepts help reveal what is going on in the companies studied and allow you to evaluate the solutions that specify companies adopted to deal with their problems. Consequently, when you analyze cases, you will be like a detective who, with a set of conceptual tools, probes what happened and what or who was responsible and then marshals the evidence that provides the solution.

Top managers enjoy the thrill of testing their problem-solving abilities in the real world. It is important to remember, after all, that no one knows what the right answer is. All that managers can do is to make the best guess. In fact, managers say repeatedly that they are happy if they are right only half the time in solving strategic problems. Management is an uncertain game, and using cases to see how theory can be put into practice is one way of improving your skills of diagnostic investigation.

3. Case studies provide you with the opportunity to participate in class and to gain experience in presenting your ideas to others. Instructors may sometimes call on students as a group to identify what is going on in a case and through classroom discussion the issues in and solutions to the case problem will reveal themselves. In such a situation, you will have to organize your views and conclusions so that you can present them to the class. Your classmates may have analyzed the issues differently from you, and they will want you to argue your points before they will accept your conclusions; so be prepared for debate. This is how decisions are made in the actual business world.

Instructors also may assign an individual, but more commonly a group, to analyze the case before the whole class. The individual or group probably will be responsible for a thirty- to forty- minute presentation of the case to the class. That presentation must cover the issues involved, the problems facing the company, and a series of recommendations for resolving the problems. The discussion then will be thrown open to the class, and you will have to defend your ideas.

Through such discussions and presentations, you will experience how to convey your ideas effectively to others. Remember that a great deal of managers' time is spent in these kinds of situations, presenting their ideas and engaging in discussion with other managers, who have their own views about what is going on. Thus, you will experience in the classroom the actual process of what goes on in a business setting, and this will serve you well in your future career.

If you work in groups to analyze case studies, you also will learn about the group process involved in working as a team. When people work in groups, it is often difficult to schedule time and allocate responsibility for the case analysis. There are always group members who shirk their responsibilities and group members who are so sure of their own ideas that they try to dominate the group's analysis. Most business negotiations take place in groups, however, and it is best if you learn about these problems now.

Following is the typical five-step case analysis process:

1 Define the case problem and write a problem statement

2 Analyze the facts and underlying assumptions

3 List possible alternatives to the assumptions in #2

4 Select a solution and prepare to defend it

5 Decide how to carry out your solution

Case analysis written reports include the above information in the following format:

I. Problem/Issue

1 History

2 Impact

3 Need

II. State given facts for each individual/group

1 How do the facts affect actions, behaviors, beliefs for each

2 Assumption for individual/group #1

3 Assumption for individual/group #2

Case Study/Research Article #1 Questions for:

Hostile Work Environment/Sexual Harassment

Most everyone has heard of sexual harassment in the workplace and most people know of someone who has been sexually harassed. However, "an even more subtle, and possibly more pervasive form of sexual harassment is to create or permit a 'hostile working environment.' This occurs when someone's behavior in the workplace creates an environment in which it is difficult for someone of a particular sex to work" (Noe, 78).

Although a large majority of complaints involve women being harassed by men, a growing number of claims have been filed by men. Author Michael Crichton wrote a book, Disclosure, about this topic; the book was made into a film by the same name in 1994 and starred Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. The film is about "office politics and intrigue in the computer industry in the mid-1990s. The main focus of the story, from which the film and book take their titles, is the issue of sexual harassment. The film invites viewers to critically examine topics such as the ease with which allegations of sexual harassment can destroy one's career and whether a double standard exists when such allegations are levied by men or women" (Wikipedia).

Read the case study ( in the other attachment ) and be prepared to discuss the answers to the following questions:

1. Identify and describe the problem(s) in the case study as you see them.

a. Is there any additional information you would have attempted to obtain from any other the individuals involved (directly or indirectly) in the incident? Why or Why not?

b. What, if anything, would you report to Anne since she asked about the case?

i. When would you report anything to Anne?

2. Outline the steps you would have followed if you had been leading the investigation.

3. List four (4) parts of this case that are the most critical in the decision making process.

Attachment:- case_study_-_hostile_working_environment.rar

Reference no: EM131386957

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