General Guidelines for Case Studies

A case study is a short description of a real business situation. Analyzing case studies gives you the opportunity to apply concepts you’re learning to real business problems. Cases are generally written for several types of analysis. Usually, there is not a "right or wrong" answer. Rather, cases provide a vehicle for you to demonstrate your understanding and ability  to apply  course concepts and theories. You must use appropriate sources (properly cited) to support your position. Check your analysis by assessing how well it demonstrates your subject knowledge. If your answer relies solely on your ‘impressions’ of the topic, it is likely that the analysis is not your best effort.

Simply answering the questions which are part of the case is not enough; consider the questions to be clues to the important concepts and facts. You are strongly encouraged to use the following outline so that your analysis is organized appropriately:

1.   Identify both the key issues and the underlying issues. In identifying the issues, you should be able to connect them to the business principles which apply to this situation.

2.   Discuss the facts which affect these issues. The case may have too much information. In your discussion, you should filter the information and discuss those facts which are pertinent to the issues identified above.

3.   Discuss your tentative solution to the problem and how you would implement your solution. What actions would you propose to respond to the situation, based on the knowledge you have gained in this course?  You should draw on knowledge gained in your readings, experience and coursework (in this course and others) to support your response. Be sure to properly cite references in APA format. You should also draw on other references such as business periodicals and relevant journals. Remember that an analysis is more than simply a summary of the Case Study.

4.   Discuss follow-up and contingency plans. How will the organization know that your proposed solution is working?

What should they do if it does not work?

Your analysis of each case study should be written in APA format. If you need assistance with APA formatting, the  Online

Writing Lab at Purdue University has excellent APA-specific resources available here: Purdue OWL APA Style Help.

Evaluation Criteria

•   Have you identified the critical issues/problems in the case and analyzed the key facts related to the issues/problems?

•   Have you discussed a tentative solution that addresses the issues/problems and how you would implement your solution?

•   Is information from the textbook and other sources integrated into your analysis appropriately? For all sources, you must provide complete APA citations.

•   Is the paper professionally presented? Remember your audience.  It is important to present your information as clearly and succinctly as possible. Do not sacrifice thoroughness for mere brevity.

•   Have you read it over carefully and corrected any grammar and spelling errors?