Student Guide to the Case Method: Note 2 - Performing a Case Analysis
Case analysis is an effective tool for teaching, learning, and most importantly, practising the art and science of management. The case method immerses students in real-life situations, allowing them to develop their business skills by analyzing realistic situations, applying business theories and tools, and making substantiated recommendations for a course of action. However, working with cases is a pedagogical approach that is unfamiliar to most new business students and often inadequately understood by advanced students. The Case Guide Series introduces students to the case method and, in discrete notes, walks them through the tasks that are typically involved in case assignments: analyzing a case, discussing cases in class, writing case reports and giving presentations (individually and in groups), and writing case exams. A final note introduces students to the most common business tools used for case analysis. This field-tested series is best used as a complete package to orient students to the case method, but each note also stands on its own and can be used to supplement other course materials. Performing a Case Analysis: All case assignments require students to analyze a case by performing one or more of four basic steps: identifying the issues, analyzing the issues, developing and evaluating alternative solutions, and recommending a course of action. Note 2 of the Case Guide Series takes students through the four steps of a full case analysis and introduces variations for partial case analysis and directed cases. This note provides content that is core to, and can be used for, any process involving case analysis: discussing a case in class; writing a report or making a presentation, individually or in groups; and writing a case exam. Susan J. Van Weelden and Laurie George Busuttil are affiliated with Redeemer University College.