What is a Case Study?
Without doubt, case studies are likely to feature prominently when writing an assignment for college. Case studies are critical methods in research among different disciplines. This is underlined by their relevance in research in different fields, whether it is social sciences, life sciences, or business. Rightly, case study definition in research is a significantly important issue for both scholars and researchers.
Generally, a case study can be defined as an informed analysis of a business problem, company, project, or campaign that aims to identify a particular situation and factors attributed to the situation, different alternative solutions, and most recommendable solution and its implementation process.
The case study will therefore require you to analyze an issue, provide appropriate interpretations, discuss entailed issues, and finally come up with recommendations on actions to improve the existing condition(s).In this, case studies tell stories of how a particular business challenge was solved or a goal was realized.
The ultimate objective is to analyze a business challenge and provide the most suitable solution within a particular context.
All kinds of analysis done have to be founded on measurable metrics to help create an accurate and realistic picture of the recommended solution.Notably, most college courses will require you to have requisite skills on how to write a case study analysis.
Key Factors on how to Writea Case Study
Case Study Subject
The case study subject is an essential factor to consider when it comes to how to write a case study. It entails the key focus you intend to illuminate in the case study. Note that this is more important in cases where you are allowed to select the case study to work on.
Notably good subjects should have a number of elements that include:
1)The subject must be able to produce specific results. When selecting a case study, you should go through the entailed business problem to ensure that it is possible to come up with a particular solution. You should understand that results are the ultimate goal. As such, you should steer away from subjects not likely to generate solid solutions/ recommendations on the issue under study.
2)The subject should relate to an issue that has been already dealt with. It is important to ensure that the subject addresses a past issue. In this, you should not seek to address on-going issues. This is because it is not possible to evaluate an issue that has not seen its conclusion.
3)The subject should be unbiased. It is essential to ensure that the problem you seek to address in the case study is not likely to raise contentious or controversial issues. You must focus on areas with discourses that border on professionalism and standard practice.
Selecting a Case Study
Selecting a case study is an important factor when it comes to how to write a case study. As earlier mentioned, you could have the discretion to select the case study you wish to address. Several factors should be considered when choosing the case study to analyze. Generally, you have to ensure that there is adequate data to support the analysis. After ascertaining that there is adequate data, you should go ahead to examine factors related to the content to include. Such factors encompass:
1)Potential insights. It is important to ensure that you select a case study that will provide insights to a concealed issue. You should look for cases likely to reveal practice and conduct with impacts on a particular field, and their potential to bring new ideas to the practice.
2)Different points of view. A good case study should offer alternative viewpoints about an issue. You should be able to evaluate different approaches to the issue under study. It is important to understand that case studies seek to find alternative solutions to a problem. Therefore, you should avoid ones with a singular approach.
3)Tangible recommendations of solution. You should focus on case studies that will produce recommendations on how to find a solution to an existing problem. This includes the process entailed in realizing the solution and the specific tangible solution.
Tips on how to Write a Case Study
Good case studies should find unique solutions to existing business problems. Whether it’s a minor business problem requiring straight forward solutions or a major one that demands a comprehensive solution, the derived solutions should be realistic. In order to realize the most appropriate solutions, you are advised to observe some tips during the case study execution process. These tips are as discussed below.
1) Identify the specific goal of your case study. The goal of the case study defines the direction you will take when addressing an issue. In this, you must be clear in what you want to achieve, whether it is identifying the negative or positive impact of a marketing approach adopted or management decision made by a particular firm, and then finding the most appropriate solution.This goal acts as the key guideline on how to write a business case study.
2) Find a particular view. It is important to come up with a unique and interesting viewpoint. Remember that case studies seek to tell a particular story. As such, you should explore an angle that is distinctive to the firm or the case being studied. You should find covert issues in the case and pay adequate attention to their implications. Also, seek unique but realistic answers to the solutions.
3) Apply data in your analysis. This is an elemental tip on how to write a case study. It is important to ensure that points advanced in the case study are founded on credible data. Note that one of the key areas is the analysis part, and it has to utilize data. Despite being a story, it has to rely on data to advance its arguments and support respective points. You should therefore avoid uninformed assumptions and anecdotes at all costs.
4) Make the case study generalizable.Generalizability is an important factor on how to write a case study assignment. Herein, it is important to ensure that all stakeholders in the field under study can relate with your work. Despite the need to make it unique, you have to make sure that you remain relevant and relatable. The audience should be able to apply the entailed analysis and recommendations in other similar or closely related cases.
5) Adopt the appropriate tone. Notably, how you view the entailed issues is essential in the way your target audience perceives the case study. You should therefore not sound like you are chastising the firm under study. Instead, you should focus more on the issues at hand other than the firm.
6) Adopt the Classic Narrative Arch. The case study should have a start, middle, and finish. It is important to ensure that an appropriate structure is used to tell the entailed story. In this, the middle should the grit and climax of the story, supported by solid data.
Steps on how to Write a Case Study
Executing a case study is a systematic process. Different from essays that may have an amorphous structure, a case study usually has a specific structure, with each part being well highlighted with a subheading. The steps entailed in generating these parts is as discussed below.
1) Examining the case. This is the first step and entails identifying the underlying issues. You should thoroughly read the case to understand the different issues that are entailed in the case. As you read through, you should underline the key problems and highlight all the relevant facts. You should as well take notes on the entailed problems and facts.
2) Narrow down your analysis. This is the second step on how to write a case studyand should entailed devising the focus of your case study. In this step, you should isolate between two and five key problems, come up with the reasons for their existence, clearly stipulate how they affect the business/ organization, and determine the person or situation responsible for them.
3) Determine possible solutions. This step entails devising solutions for the key problems. In doing so, you should go through course readings to identify relevant materials, conduct discussions with your peers, carry out outside research, and apply your personal experiences in evaluating the different applicable solutions. All solutions considered should be realistic and relevant to the prevailing situation.
4) Identifying the best solution.This step is quite essential when it comes to how to write a case study. Itrequires you to evaluate the suitability of respective solutions. To do this, you should compare the strengths and weaknesses of the respective solutions. You should also look at the applicability of the solutions.
Structure of a Case Study
It is important to ensure that your case study assumes the correct structure. Adhering to such a structure is an important rule on how to write a case study report. This structure encompasses different parts, with each part playing a particular role. These parts should be as illustrated below.
1)Introduction. The introduction should highlight the entailed issues and problems in the case study. In this part, you should go ahead and formulate the thesis statement. When it comes to how to write a case study, youshould as well provide a summary of your analysis. It should be short and precise.
2)Background. This part should entail the background information that lays foundation for the study. You should highlight the most pertinent issues and relevant facts. In general, it offers you the opportunity to demonstrate an in-depth research on the issues under study.
3)Analysis. This part entails an evaluation of the specific elements of the case study you seek to focus on. As a key rule on how to write a case study, youshould clearly stipulate what the problem is, what is not working and what is working. In this, you should explain why each issue is not working or is working effectively. Note that each issue should be analyzed separately, preferably under a different subheading.
4)Proposed Solutions. This part looks at the different solutions to the highlighted problems. The solutions should be specific and realistic. You should explain why the solution is the most suitable to the existing solution. Also, it is important to provide solid evidence to support the solution. Such evidence should include course concepts and ideas, ideas from outside research, and ideas borrowed from personal experience.
5)Recommendations. The recommendations part should focus on the specific solution that should be adopted to address the entailed problems. You should explain how the solution solves the problem and if possible propose further action to help improve the situation under study. You should also explain what should be avoided.
6)Implementation. Although sometimes incorporated in the recommendations, this part should look at the specific actions to be taken in the implementation of the recommendations. You should discuss the relevant strategies, actions, and steps used to implement the selected solution.