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Case Study Guidelines - Resource.pdf

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Matthew Archibald

Case Study Guide THE CASE SOLUTION FORMAT Since your case is, in fact, a form of business report, it should be carefully prepared using a series of headings and sub-headings. Furthermore, it should be concise and to the point. Be careful, though, that you do not fall into the trap of analyzing the problem on a superficial basis. In addition, carefully check your completed work for proper grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling. Your case must also be presented in a professional and visually appealing manner. Requirements The following are the required deliverables for every case study that you submit for grading: 1. Title Page A title page is an opportunity to create a visually appealing first impression on your reader. It is also a medium by which important information is communicated to the reader of the case. The following points of information are required on the title page of the case:  Name or Title of the case  Names and student numbers of all who produced the case  Date  Course Code and Section  Professor’s name  Teaching Assistant’s name When producing a title page, make sure to include all the required information, in addition to making it look professional. 2. Ex ecutive Summa ry The weighting of the executive summary is five (5) percent. The executive summary is a tool used by writers to give a synopsis of the entire report. There are many reasons for incorporating an executive summary, the most important of which is timeManagers and executives do not have the time to read through entire documents, and must rely on those that prepare the documents to summarize the information in a useful fashion on to one page (MAXIMUM!). The format for an executive summary is included on the following page. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY To: Manager / Executive / C.E.O. From: Name(s) Subject: Title of the Case Date: Date of case submission Critical Assumptions Problem: Primary/Central Problem • Short and precise! • No mention of satellite problems Alternatives:  Mention all relevant, viable alternatives Facts Considered: 1) 2) 3)… • These are facts directly from the case • These are not assumptions Recommendation: • A brief paragraph stating immediate, short-term and long-term goals to solve the primary problem Important Note: • Exec Summary must be one page max. • Sentences in point form are necessary. • Always write the Exec Summary after you have written your whole case. 3. CriticalAssumptions Critical assumptions are weighted at five (5) percent. As previously mentioned, it is sometimes to cope with real life business situations when faced with incomplete information. The lack of information can provide opportunities for students, but it can also provide pitfalls in which they can easily get caught. In order to handle the incomplete information, preparers need to identify critical assumptions that they make to fill in the blanks that they believe are present. One challenge is coming up with logical critical assumptions that will add credibility and depth to the case. Do Not Assume the Case Away Because students come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences, their perspectives of the Do not build your entire cases presented will vary widely. argument on assumptions because rarely are these arguments based on factual information. Assumptions: ƒ ƒ Flow from the info in provided in the case. ƒ State facts that brought you to the assumption. Formatting Tips: ƒ Use bullets. ƒ All assumptions must be in full sentence format. 4. ProblemAnalysis The problem analysis section is weighted at 20 percent. One of the most important aspects in producing a quality case is problem formulation. The entire goal of the case format is to identify the primary problem(s) and to recommend methods by which these problems can be solved; if you do not properly identify the primary problem, then you are going to have alternatives that may not be relevant or helpful in solving the case. Every case that is presented to you will have problems present, and there will be room for improvement each and every time. What you need to do is use the facts presented in the case and your assumptions based on these facts to identify all the problems that exist. Satellite problems are the secondary problems that exist. They are either a cause or a result of the primary problem, and they are based on the facts of the case. Frequently, satellite problems will be explicitly stated in the case. Be sure to identify these ….based on the satellite problems in sentence format (if the satellite facts of the case…. problem is taken directly from the case, remember to use footnotes or end notes), and be sure to elaborate on why they are problems (do not assume that the reader will understand why it is a problem). By analyzing the satellite problems, you will be able to arrive at the primary problem. .…sa tellite problems will be explicit ly sta ted in the case…. Satellite Problem s: ƒ Lead you to the Primary Problem. ƒ Usually Stated directly in the case. Use bullets. All points must be in sentence form. The primary problem is the most important part of the case. You must be concise and to the point to show your understanding of what is plaguing the organization and/or the people involved in the case. When looking at satellite problems ask yourself “Why?” to determine if it is a cause or a result of the primary problem(s). . ƒ Primary Problem: ƒ ƒ Weighted at 10 percent. Based on clarity and understanding of the situation. Ask yourself “why?” Formatting Tips ƒ In paragraph format. Primary problem should be precise. ƒ Do not write a page in length!!! …pinp oint the basis for wh ich the goal of your case will be buil t on…. Implication s are split into two sections; Implications on the organization and Implications on the personnel with a total weighting of five (5) percent. By identifying the implications of the problems, you show an understanding of what is happening and what can happen if these problems are not solved. Implications are a look to the future at potential problems that can occur, and we ask you to separate your analysis in to the Organization and the Personnel involved. The implications on the organization look at the entity / entities involved in the case, and you need to identify what might happen to the organization if the problems persist. The implications on the personnel look at the impact of the problems on all the people that are involved in the case. Whereas the primary and satellite problems identified above are based on the facts of the case, the implications will be your interpretation of the facts. This is your opportunity to show a thorough understandi
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