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Case Study Methods

In: Business and Management

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Case-Study Method and Report Guidelines

Why case studies?
“Decision making is what managers do, so do Project Managers” The decisions of managers directly influence revenues, costs, and profits of an agribusiness firm. If you are to be successful in a management career, you must learn to be a good decision maker. You must develop the ability to apply classroom training in business and economics to problem solving so that you can learn how to (1) make decision making easier, (2) improve the analytical quality of decisions, (3) reduce the time required to make decisions, and (4) increase the frequency of correct decisions.
As you discuss cases with your fellow students, you will learn that decision making is often a confrontational activity involving people with different points of view. Most important, you will learn how to work toward consensus while tolerating legitimate differences of opinion.
The Seven Steps of Problem Analysis 1. Read the case thoroughly. To understand fully what is happening in a case, it is necessary to read the case carefully and thoroughly. You may want to read the case rather quickly the first time to get an overview of the industry, the company, the people, and the situation. Read the case again more slowly, making notes as you go. 2. Define the central issue. Many cases will involve several issues or problems. Identify the most important problems and separate them from the more trivial issues. After identifying what appears to be a major underlying issue, examine related problems in the functional areas (for example, marketing, finance, personnel, and so on). Functional area problems may help you identify deep-rooted problems that are the responsibility of top management. 3. Define the firm's goals. Inconsistencies between a firm's goals and its performance may further highlight the problems discovered in step 2. At the…...

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