The following approach to the analysis of cases has proven to be successful.
1. Skim the case to identify the key issues.
2. Reread the case in detail and prepare a preliminary analysis. (Bullet points will most likely suffice.)
3. Formulate a written analysis of the case. The format of the written analysis will differ, depending on the issues presented in the case. Normally, you would like to start with a short synopsis of the case (one paragraph at most). Furthermore, the best case analyses will usually have an exhibit or two (or more, depending on the case) to support your arguments.
4. Learning through the case method occurs at two different levels: on your own, as you read and analyze the case, and with the members of your class, as you are able to listen to, and critically evaluate, alternative points of view.
Some other things to keep in mind:
1. The questions Professor Harry and I have provided are meant only to guide and focus your analysis.
2. Your case analysis:
You are expected to, as much as possible, stick with the facts presented in the case. However, as decision-makers in actual practice don’t have perfect information, cases are also intentionally incomplete and may often be ambiguous. You are free to make reasonable assumptions when
Analyzing a case. However, be wary of making unreasonable and unwarranted assumptions. 26.04.2011; Read accompanying document: Harvard Case Study Guide, Sept. 1996
Try to analyze the case in the context of the economic and other conditions that existed when the case was written.
Do not waste time and space rehashing facts and data from the case that are not pertinent to your solution.
Exhibits are important, but are only secondary to your written analysis. Be sure that the reader can understand what you are saying by simply reading the case analysis, and can proceed to view exhibits if more detail is called for.
Proofread your case analyses! Read for grammar, syntax, spelling, comprehension.
My evaluation of the written analyses will be based on the quality of the presentation, its clarity, the:
Depth of the analysis, the logic of arguments, the effective use of fact and opinion from the case to defend arguments, the reasonableness of any assumptions made, and the appropriateness of the
Issues identified. Considerable attention will be paid to the qualitative Analyses, although for a number of the cases you will likely need quantitative data to support your arguments.
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