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The case method requires that students have read and prepared cases in advance. Cases are often used to explore a certain theory or model. Theories are provided within the text of the case itself or in supplementary readings. While students should prepare all cases, a written case analysis should be prepared by each student for the cases assigned. A proper case analysis is short (no more than 4 pages), well-organized, and applies a conceptual model(s) to the issues presented in a case. Do not spend time just rewriting background information that is already contained in the case. I can read the case for that information. I also look very closely as the “little” things in live, such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. All those little things will also impact the grade you receive on an analysis. Case studies normally state various options that a company is considering in order to solve its problem. However, I expect student to provide not only those options, but provide other potential solutions as well. I want you to think of creative ways to solve the problem identified in the case, not to simply regurgitate what is already being considered. State the problem. Begin your paper with a statement of the main problem. Your problem statement should not be an exhaustive list of everything that is wrong. Rather, it should be one or two central issues around which all else are organized. You should be able to state a problem in three sentences, or less.
Analyze the problem. This is where you identify relevant facts from the case and apply a conceptual model to diagnose the problem. Analyze the problem you identified (and not some other problem). Organize the facts into a coherent whole as if you were presenting evidence to persuade a skeptic. Clearly state any assumptions that you have made. Provide evidence from the case to support your analysis: use quotes, numbers, and facts from the case or other sources. Analyze the problem using a conceptual model from the readings or lectures. Apply the conceptual model fully and explicitly; do not “cherry pick.”
State potential solutions to the problem. State all the potential solutions that you have developed to potentially solve the problem. You must state the potential solutions and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each of the potential solutions that you have stated. You must provide multiple potential solutions, not just one. Do not simply restate potential solutions contained in the case.
Recommend a solution and explain your rationale for the recommended solution. Recommend one or more of the potential solutions that you have previously stated and provide an explanation for the solution that you have recommended. You should only recommend a solution that you previously discussed.