22 May 2005

The Case Study Process (Part I)

The case study should be read thoroughly a couple of times at least before beginning work, preferably over a period of days. Sometimes particularly early on in case study work you will be given a question(s) to address. At later stages or at MBA level you may receive no guidance and be left to cope with a mountain of information to wade through to determine the key issues.

Broadly speaking there are five main stages to tackling a case study that must be undertaken by the group or individual. These are:-

- Understanding the situation: both internal to the organisation and externally

- Determining and Applying the appropriate concepts: to the case study facts as presented as well as information you may already have or gleaned elsewhere ( Newspaper Industry Reports, Keynote and Mintel Reports, Internet )

- Analysis of the Facts and Identification of the Key Issues and Problems

- Generation and Evaluation of Potential Options for courses of action to address these problems or issues

- Making a Recommendation or Decision on the most appropriate option with reasons.

- Presenting a Verbal or Written Report

Your intellectual development will be marked by your ability to think your way through these stages in a logical, structured and objective way in applying whatever concepts or theories you have been presented with. Repeated attempts at doing this become an iterative process that will consolidate your understanding and complete the learning process.

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