What is a case study?
In management, a case study is an account of an administrative problem in either a real or imagined organization. The purpose of using case studies in a classroom environment is to bring students close to the realities of everyday administrative problems. The purpose is to present problem scenarios that the student must work hard to solve. The aim of case studies is not to provide answers to already known questions but rather to raise questions that will allow the student to find a solution through a decision making process.
What are the difficulties in writing a Management case study?
When writing a Management case study, it is often difficult for students to understand what is expected from them. In other words, grasping the purpose of the case study often presents a problem. It will be much easier to write, if the students are able to understand the purpose of the case studies.
Basically, case studies are to help students develop a natural responsibility for learning in other to develop learning skills. The following skills can be easily developed through case studies:
- identifying and recognising the problems
- understanding and interpreting the data
- understanding and recognising assumptions and inferences, as opposed to concrete facts
- hinking analytically and critically
- understanding and assessing interpersonal relationships
- exercising and making judgments
- communicating ideas and opinions
- making and defending decisions.
A case study presents a realistic problem, one that might reasonably take place within the normal work environment. The case study will include the complexities natural in the work environment, such as questions of policy or procedure, issues relating to reporting relationships or hierarchies or financial or administrative concerns.
Much of the difficulties faced by students when writing a Management case study
come from not properly understanding the elements of case studies. For example, when writing a case study, a student is expected to play out roles. These roles will better help the audience understand what the case is about. When a student fails to play out a role, even he will find it difficult understanding the problem he is meant to solve. There will be no cohesion in his work and he might lose focus and derail from his original aim.
Another difficulty experienced by students when writing a management case study is failure to conduct interview and class discussions.
For a management
case study to be successful there must be appropriate interviews conducted. The difficulty in this stems from the ability of students to find appropriate persons to interview. In order to overcome this problem, it is important for the students to seek out heads of organizations that are knowledgeable about their topics. A case study is usually given to explore problems in a fictitious organization. As a student, it is important that you look for local organizations or companies that have similar structures to your case study company. Book appointments to interview appropriate people within the organization and you would have scaled this problem.
Inability to rally round to hold class discussions on a case study is often a problem to students. Students should organize themselves into groups with the aim to hold discussions on the case study. Discussions when held successfully will help students reate a firm grasp of their case study topic.