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Dr.K.Narendranath Professor Department of Business Management Osmania University

We ought to be able to learn some things secondhand. There is not enough time for us to make all the mistakes ourselves.
Harriet Hall

A management case study can be described as a record off a business issue which actually has been faced by business executives , together with surrounding facts, opinions and prejudices upon which executive decisions have to depend. These real and particularized cases are presented to students for considered analysis, open discussion, and final decision to the type of action which should be taken.

Why cases are written?

Explore topic in real world setting
Demonstrate challenges in decision making Create venue for debate Foster integrative aspects

Current case pool

Harvard Business School Darden Business School Richard Ivey School of Business, Canada IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland

Distribution source Journals Articles on case pedagogy 2x2 2x2x2 How decision oriented cases differ from descriptive cases Chronological and complete data Field versus non field based cases Challenge for the case writer Developing leads Relationship between case writer and sponsor (competence/disguise/release/forthrightness)

Field tips
Explain project to everyone you talk Review the schedule (have some unoccupied time) Try to attend meetings Information voluntary offered Public information Confidential information Use of a tape recorder Pave way for the future Letters to all interviewees Dont let notes get cold.

Characteristics of a case A significant business issue Sufficient information on which to base conclusion No stated conclusions Complicating properties Information that includes noise Unstated information A nonlinear structure evidence scattered

What a reader must be able to do? Construct conclusion Filter out evidence or low value portions Furnish missing information through inferences Associate evidence and integrate 4Ps of student involvement SWIF Learning Requires PHD

Paper based
Decision Descriptive Non field based Field based Multimedia based

Stage 1: Preparation 1. Deciding when to write a case 2. Getting leads 3. Establishing contact
Stage 2: Prewriting 4. Collecting Data 5. Organizing the material Stage 3: Writing 6. Writing the case 7. Writing the teaching note Stage 4: Wrapping up 8. Obtaining a case release 9. Test teaching the case 10. Revising the case and teaching note

Narrative qualities of a written case study Opening Dialogue Description Emotion Confiding conversations Writing style Length

Teaching Notes Potential uses of the case Potential audience of the case Teaching objectives Suggested teaching approach/plan Synopsis of the case Immediate use(s) of the case Basic issue(s) Possible discussion questions Suggested student assignments Suggested additional readings or references Analysis Computer and multi-media support, if any Teaching themes and lessons from the case


Will the case produce the intended learning outcomes? Are the problem issue (s) presented in the case related to the learning outcomes? Is the case sufficiently complete, complex and focused? Does the case present a situation, problem or issue? Does the case appear to be realistic?

Are all the elements of a narrative style used in the case? Is there a sense of story?

Is the reader provided some vicarious experience of the actual events?

Have quotations been used effectively? Are headings and appendices used effectively? Has the writer made sound assertions, without over or under interpreting? Has it been well edited?

Are the events and actions in the case sequenced in a logical order? Are the events connected with appropriate transitional signals? Is the content in the case accurate, relevant and appropriate in terms of subject matter?

If there are external resources, are they appropriate?

Steps in case analysis

Step 1. Gaining familiarity with case facts and context

Step 2. Identifying symptoms of any problem in the case

Step 3. Recognising the problem

Step 4. Finding out causes & underlying factors of the problem

Step 5. Locating problems & long run solutions Step 6. Planning strategic actions Step 7. Visualising impact of implementation of strategic solutions.

1. Why would do that? 2. What other approaches did you consider and why did you choose the one you did? 3. How would you do that? 4. John, what is your response/reaction to Janes analysis and suggestions? 5. How would you explain that to grandma who never went to business school? 6. What has been overlooked in the discussion so far? 7. What could happen, and how would you address it, that might negate/derail your plan?

8. 9. 10. 11. 12.


What other resources/perspectives might be helpful in this situation? Whats the real problem/opportunity here? What are a couple of enduring principles that we can posit from our case discussion today? What assumptions are you making? In what ways does this case connect to a prior case we have discussed or another course you are taking or have taken? How would you know if your plan of action failed/succeeded in six months time?