Case Study Method in Management
Management education is mainly aimed at developing managerial skills in students. Amongst the various methods adopted in teaching management and management functions, the case study method developed in 1910 in U.S.A. and is now being propagated during the last decade or so, providing opportunities to both the teacher and the taught to promote managerial I understanding and competence, since it helps in contemplation and discussion of an actual situation. It is a wrong notion that the case studies are confined to management students. Cases may pertain lo any discipline, where skills for solving complex unstructured problems or preparing plans are required. ...view middle of the document...
Small ones may be lacking particulars and hence, may be taxing with more assumptions than realities, while lengthy ones may not project the conflict correctly and therefore solution may seem easy because there are not many alternatives. All available information may not be sufficient and at the same time of analysing a case, further information may have to be injected by reasonable assumptions about the unknown.
A written case study can be anything from 300 to 6000 words long. The length depends on the purpose for which it is being used, type of participants and availability of time. The parts of a case study generally are:
1. Subject : Motivation.
2. Setting : The office of the vice-president (Personnel)
3. Data : Nature and number of complaints received by the department.
4. Background :Type of complaints – low productivity, depressed morale of
employees / workers.
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#1. Types of Case Studies
1. Informational type case studies:
These, include a variety of items like working environment, inter-organizational context, coordination, activities, problem areas, history of events, inhibiting factors on, decision making, etc.. This type increases 'awareness' about the environment and helps in the decision making process. This also helps in the evaluation of consequences of a decision.
2. Appraisal cases;
These involve problem solving and decision making process,
3. Historical cases:
These involve research and educational interests.
4. Project cases:
These are radical educational processes involving
5. Live and experimental cases or Functional cases:
Social welfare rehabilitation or introduction of ideas and analytical concepts form the basis for these cases: These types of' cases help-to analysing psycho/ social problems like drug addiction, alcoholism amongst workers, etc."'
# 2. Objectives of the Case Study Method
The habit of logical thinking and conceptualization can be developed through a systematic study of cases: Analysis of cases enables arguing view points with peers and this again develops good communicative skills. The case study method of learning helps in developing skills on alternatives and decision-making. Case studies develop 'creative' problem solving techniques.
According to Geofftaston the following six major skills areas are developed through case studies:
1. Analytical skills·
One learns to classify, organize, and evaluate the information handled. Using this information one attempts to understand the situation described. This is, however, fraught with the danger of not thinking logically when the information is taxing.
2. Application skills
This is useful at a lower level where concepts and principles, are applied, e.g.,
discounted cash flow.
3. Creative skills:
When cases cannot be-solved by logical process alone creativity is a vital quality for a manager and is more useful in...