Essential Elements for Case Study

A few characteristics and qualifications are essential for preparing case studies. The person should have passion to become the creator of case studies. He needs to involve and immerse himself in the case scenario thoroughly so as to have the feel of the real situation. Then only the best can be expected. The author should have flair for writing the case studies. He should be a voracious reader of various books from the discipline in which he is preparing. For instance, the writer of the case studies of HR should have read various books related to Human Resources functional area in order to do justification. Having industrial experience in the same discipline will help to create effective case studies. Imagination works out to some extent but having worked in the same field will bring out the best as the author knows the practical problems.

Lot of patience is essential to create the stuff. Ability to analyze the problems and prospects of the case and logical correlation of various activities in a given situation will prove to be highly beneficial. To put it in a nut shell, the author should have analytical bent of mind, problems solving skills and decision making skills for preparing case studies.

HOW TO PREPARE A CASE STUDY?

“Case study is a description of an actual administrative solution involving a decision to be made or a problem to be solved. It can be a real situation that actually happened just as described, or portions have been disguised for reasons of privacy”.

Usually the case study can be brief or extensive running from 2 to 30 pages. As such there is no specific rule that the content should be limited or extended up to certain levels. Read the entire text thoroughly once and jot down the key points and concepts and also the important issues involved in it in a separate sheet. Look for 4 W’s in the case such as what is the problem? where is the problem? when the problem started? And why the problem occurred? Relate and correlate all the factors and forces together to have better quick grasp about the case. Also read between the lines keenly. Apply your common sense and make comparative study of the situation. Observe closely if any statistical data is given. Look at the cause and effect relation with in the case study. At times the causes are hidden and it requires extraordinary ability to unearth the hidden causes. It needs probing temperament and correlate the same with the effects. This will help to get at the root of the problem for generating bags of solutions. During this process, the visualization technique is highly useful in order to correlate various things mentally. If time permits read and reread the text more times for getting at the crux of the case. Repeat the process till you get perfection.

Create number of multiple solutions to a given problem. Choose the best that suits the present position and adopt. It requires intuition and gut feeling to shortlist the best logical, analytical and appropriate decision. Don’t repeat what is already stated in the case.

During the case study analysis and preparation the academician with industrial exposure can deliver better results than mere academician without any industrial experience. The academicians always look at the case purely from their vast theoretical perspective as they are not exposed to industry. Of course, they honed their skills based on reading plenty of case studies. But that will not be sufficient to create effective case studies. On the other hand, the academician who hailed from industrial or from corporate background look at the case from multiple perspectives. They might have faced the same scenario as stated in the case study in their practical life. Therefore, they have ready made and tailor made answers and more solutions to each problem. Case study analysis requires critical and creative thinking. It also requires empathy i.e. stepping into the shoes of a situation and generating multiple solutions.

CONCLUSION:

Case Study is the heart of the management curriculum. Creating case study is a skill not a talent. If the case study writer has creative mind, passion, nose for writing, eye for detail, analytical bent of mind, problem solving skills, decision making skills and the ability to see the big picture and the capability to think out of the box, the best and the most memorable case studies can be crafted.