About the Download

In early April, Carl Robins, the new campus recruiter for ABC, Inc., successfully recruited several
new hires in spite of having been at his new job for only six months; this was his first recruitment
effort.

He hired 15 new trainees to work for Monica Carrolls, the Operations Supervisor. He scheduled a
new hire orientation to take place June 15, hoping to have all new hires working by July.
On May 15, Monica contacted Carl about the training schedule, orientation, manuals, policy
booklets, physicals, drug tests, and a host of other issues, which Carl would coordinate for the
new hires. Carl assured Monica that everything would be arranged in time.
After Memorial Day, Carl was at his office and pulled out his new trainee file to finalize the
paperwork needed for the orientation on June 15. While going through the files, Carl became
concerned. Some of the new trainees did not have applications completed or their transcripts on
file, and none of them had been sent to the clinic for the mandatory drug screen. He then
searched the orientation manuals and found only three copies with several pages missing from
each.
Frustrated, he went for a quick walk. Upon his return to the office, he decided to check out the
training room for the orientation. There, he found Joe, from technology services, setting up
computer terminals. Carl reviewed the scheduling log and found that Joe had also reserved the
room for the entire month of June for computer training seminars for the new database software
implementation.
Carl panicked. He went back to his office, put his head on his desk, and thought to himself, “What
am I going to do?”
Below is a detailed description explaining how to prepare a case study analysis paper.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Typically written in narrative form, a case sets forth, in a factual manner, the events and
organizational circumstances surrounding a particular managerial situation. Placing the reader at
the scene of the action, the real events presented provide an opportunity to help evaluate
alternative courses of action.
Case analysis is used in academics to help you demonstrate your ability to evaluate situations
critically, to apply concepts you have learned in a class, to solve problems, and to communicate
your findings and conclusions. The purpose of this exercise is to introduce you to case studies
and the analysis process, and to a proper format for writing the case study analysis report.
Try not to worry about trying to find the “right answer” to a case. Usually, there is no single right
answer. Most cases are intentionally ambiguous and can be viewed from many different
perspectives. Several feasible solutions are usually available to any give case. The best solution
is the one you can best support with thoughtful analysis, logical arguments, and substantiating
evidence from your research or your own experience. Your goal in analyzing a case is to provide
an effective solution to the situation outlined and to support that solution with solid and persuasive
evidence.

Overview
Analyzing a case study can take several forms, and you should check with your instructor on the
specific approach or point of view that he or she recommends. For example, you might analyze
the case from the perspective that you are the central character of the narrative and must provide
a report of what you would do in the situation. On the other hand, you might play the role of an
outside consultant hired to evaluate the situation for which you provide a report.
Make sure you allow enough time for the various tasks you must perform. These tasks are listed
below and explained in more detail in the following sections.
(Note: When writing a case analysis as an exercise in a writing class, there will be no content-related course
concepts (e.g., management or health care theories) that apply directly to the case. The objective of the
assignment will be to produce a well-written analysis. You should check with your instructor to determine the
expectations of content and the amount of research required.
Analyzing the Case
1. Read and study the case thoroughly.
2. Define the problem(s).
3. Select a focus for your analysis by identifying key issues and their causes.
4. Identify and apply course concepts in order to identify possible solutions.
5. Evaluate alternative solutions and choose the solution you believe is best.
Writing the Case Analysis
1. Determine how you want to present your views and structure your paper.
2. Produce a first draft of your case analysis.
3. Revise and edit the draft.
4. Format and proofread the final report.
Analyzing the Case
1. Read and study the case thoroughly.
Read the case once for familiarity with the overall situation, background, and characters
involved, noting issues that you think may be important. Read the case again, and highlight
all relevant facts. Make sure you understand the situation and have all the facts. Make notes
about issues, symptoms of problems, root problems, unresolved issues, and the roles of key
players. Watch for indications of issues beneath the surface.
2. Define the problem(s).
Identify the key problems or issues in the case. Case studies often contain an
overabundance of information about a particular situation, not all of which may be relevant.
Do not try to analyze every fact and issue. Part of the skill of good case analysis is in
determining which facts are relevant.
3. Select a focus for your analysis by identifying the key issues and their causes.
Determine how to focus your analysis. Narrow the problem(s) you have identified to between
two and five key issues. Do not try to examine every possible aspect of the case. Identify the
most important issues that relate to the concepts you have been studying in the course (if
applicable).
Once you have focused on one or two key issues, try to gain a fuller understanding of their
causes. Why do these problem(s) exist? What caused them? What is the effect of the
problem(s) on the organization or the relationships among individuals in the organization?
Who is responsible for or affected by the problem(s)?
4. Identify and apply course concepts in order to identify possible solutions. (See previous note
regarding writing a case analysis as an exercise in a writing class.) This section is included
so that you become familiar with the application of case studies in context of applying
content-related course concepts.)
a. Identify and apply one or more concepts discussed in class, covered in your readings, or
learned from your own experience that would apply to the case and provide some insight
or guidance in solving the problem(s).
b. Review your notes from class discussions and your texts and other readings in the
course, conduct outside research, and use your own knowledge and experience to
decide what concepts, theories, or ideas could be relevant.
5. Evaluate alternative solutions and choose the solution you believe best reflects the findings
from your analysis.
Make certain you can support the solution you choose with solid evidence from your case
analysis. Weigh the pros and cons of each alternative. Which solution is the most feasible?
Make certain you can defend that solution.
Now you are ready to proceed to the next step—determining how to present your ideas and
structure your paper.
Writing the Case Analysis
W ritten case analyses are short, structured reports. Usually, the instructor will ask for between
two and ten typed pages, depending upon the complexity of the case. Some case studies are
assigned as individual efforts; others are group projects. Still others may be a partial group effort,
with the group collaborating in the analysis and each individual student being asked to prepare a
separate written analysis.
Your task, in writing your case analysis, is to combine aspects of the case and key issues with
your perceptions and supported opinions. You must then examine alternatives, choose the most
viable solution, and provide evidence to support your views. You obtain this evidence from class
discussions, your text readings, outside research, and your personal experiences.
1. Determine how you want to present your views and structure your paper.
Most case studies follow a prescribed format and structure and can vary depending upon the
course in which it is used, such as those discussed next. Check with your instructor regarding
his or her preference as to the sections of the case study analysis report. Case study
analyses are written as reports with headings, not as essays. The report should clearly
identify the relevant sections for the reader.
a. Title page
Use standard APA format to develop a title page.
b. Introduction
Determine a thesis. Summarize, in one sentence, the principal outcome of your analysis.
This is the thesis for your report and should be clearly stated in the first few paragraphs.
The introduction identifies the central problem.
c. Background
Take the central problem, and place it in a context for the reader providing background
information about the case. Do not reiterate or rehash the facts stated in the case.
Rather, place the case in a research context. The background section demonstrates to
the reader that you have conducted research, either academically or in the field,
regarding the types of problems that the case study describes. Be sure that your written
presentation focuses your diagnosis of the problems on the most important issues.
d. Key Problems
This is where you identify your thoughts about the problems that exist. It is considered a
very important part of the report. Start with the “who-when-where-what-why-how” typical
questions (Gerson & Gerson, 2002). Ask yourself here as you ponder the situation: “What
are the problems at this company?” There certainly is usually more than one problem.
Identify the ones you see as being instrumental to the success of the company or its
project.
e. Alternatives
Now that you have conducted research and placed the problem(s) into a context, you will
have informed choices about the alternative solutions to the problem(s).
You are not expected to analyze all possible alternatives. However, you should have
considered several alternatives when you formed your opinion about the case. Discuss
these alternatives and why you rejected them in determining your solution to the case.
Why are these viable alternatives? What are the constraints (e.g. money, time,
personnel, resources) imposed and the reason that you do not recommend the
alternative at this time?

  1. Proposed Solution
    Discuss your proposed solution providing support with solid evidence. Generally, you
    should only provide one proposed solution. Keep in mind that in the context of the case
    study, the characters or company can only start on one solution at a time. Which one do
    you propose and why? Justify why this solution is the best option through a logical
    argument supported by research.
    The proposed solution should be specific and realistic.
    g. Recommendations
    If appropriate, you may conclude your written analysis with a discussion of the
    implications of the problems you identified on the functioning of the organization or on the
    relationship among individuals in the case. You may also want to make recommendations
    for further action that might be taken to resolve some of these issues. Be specific about
    what should be done and who should do it. This section discusses specific strategies that
    the individuals in the case can do to accomplish the proposed solution.
    Check with your instructor as to whether this section should be included in your case
    analysis report.
    2. Produce a first draft of your case analysis.
    3. Revise and edit the draft.
    4. Format and proofread the final report.
    Case study reports are written in a structured format, not as essays. Case study reports
    usually contain an Executive Summary that contains brief summaries of the Introduction,
    Background, and Proposed Solution sections of your report. The Executive Summary
    provides a quick, easy-to-read summary of these three main parts of the case study. (Check
    with your instructor to see if he or she requires an Executive Summary to be included with
    your report.)
    Tips for formatting the final report:
    a. If an Executive Summary is to be included, it should be single-spaced with relevant
    headings identifying the sections. The Executive Summary should summarize those
    sections of the report, and not contain any information not discussed by the report.
    b. The case study analysis should be written as a structured report, with relevant headings.
    The case study analysis is not an essay.
    5. Include any relevant appendices and references in a proper APA format.

 
 
 

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