Efficient analysis of business case study
The case study analysis is a popular way of critical thinking development in students, especially those ones, who master business studies. Case study in learning process is a complex method that consists of several stages:
familiarization with the text of the case;
- Case study analysis;
- Discussion of the case, discussions, presentations;
- Estimation of panelists;
Summarizing the results of the discussion.
First and foremost, the proposed guidelines are not the only way to solve case studies. Each business problem is unique to some extent. Below, we consider the most important common elements that can be used to analyze any business situation.
Step 1: Read and re-read the text of the case
Each case is a review of the business problem, which requires the development of a number of solutions to overcome it. Decisions should be based on an understanding of the facts presented in the case. Therefore, the main objective of the first stage of consideration of any business case is a careful reading of its terms.
During the first superficial reading of the case, the student must get the gist of the situation told, mark the basic facts but not draw neither any conclusions nor decisions. During the second course of the next reading of the text, a student may take short notes or use a symbols or drawings that will help to convey the key moments of the text. It is important to ask questions in order to identify the problem of the case.
Step 2: Identify the main problems
While reading a text of the case, try not just to assimilate the information given, but also analyze it critically and respond the following questions:
- What is the problem?
- What are the reasons that have led to this situation?
- What kind of action should be taken in this situation?
Step 3: Analysis of the facts
Once a student read case twice and answer the questions, she should proceed to analyze the facts in order to identify the most important parameters that affect the environment and the company and find issues and causes that root in the problem.
The difficulties associated with the identification of problems and the causes begot them, depend on the situation described in the case. In many situations, the problem is located at the surface. What is described as an obvious seemingly perceived as a problem may be only a symptom of a deeper and more fundamental problem. Therefore, it is vital to reread the text twice.
Be aware, that the real problem and the reasons that might lead to their emergence, detected in the course of scrutiny and analysis of the basic facts of the case. Stage of defining the problem is critical for all of the following stages of analysis. In addition, the time spent will be compensated in the future.
Step 4: Hypothesis development and finding alternative solutions
The study of the decision-making process shows that most people are limited to only one part of the information and begins to act in one direction only. Experienced managers analyze all available information and detect a variety of ways to overcome problems or implementing opportunities to achieve their goals. The next step after identifying problems is the generation of possible alternative ways to proceed. Some of them may be imperfect and quickly disregarded from further consideration, but at least three main alternatives (strategic directions) must be found and deeply analyzed.
Step 5. Evaluation of alternative solutions to case study
Strategic directions should be deeply analyzed in order to solve the problems. There should be a list of strengths and weaknesses of each alternative. It is useful, for example, to analyze the profitability goals of the company, demand in the market in which it operates, the attitude of buyers, their motivation, a behavior of competitors, marketing environment in general, the main economic indicators of the company.
Step 6: Decisions and/or development of recommendations
The real market conditions indecisiveness can be fatal for the company. Therefore, when considering the case study, a student must choose and justify scientifically the way to solve the problem and her solution implementation. The choice should be characterized by transparency, clarity of arguments, facts, analysis perfection.