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Ase Analysis Research – Striving for Best Academic Practice


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Student Name: | Chen ZhiQing | Student ID No.: | 22012511 | Unit Code & Name: | MNG91002 | Campus: | MDIS | Tutor’s Name: | Frankie-Lim | Assignment No: | 1 | Assignment Title: | Case Analysis Research – Striving for Best Academic Practice | Word Count: | 1193 | Due Date: | 21 Apr 2014 | Date submitted: | 20 Apr 2014 | Declaration:
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Paper Title:
Case Analysis Research – Striving for Best Academic Practice
Executive Summary
This paper reviews a series of academic literatures associated with the methods for conducting case analysis in order to find out the best case analysis method to benefit researchers and business managers in case analysis process. 3A thinking method, graphic illustration method, standardized PDCA method, seven-steps method, and joint analysis method are reviewed in this paper. Finally, this paper adds all advantages from these case analysis methods to develop the best case analysis method which is formed basing on seven-steps method by adding all main features from other methods.

Content Executive Summary 1 1. Introduction 3 2. Literature Review on Case Analysis Approaches 3 3. Justification on the Best Case Analysis Approach 5 4. Conclusion 6 References 8

1. Introduction
For business students, case study is the main and the most important method for them to approach real business cases in reality world to learn, discuss, apply, review and process their concept and theory learnings from business courses in class. For business marketers, managers and operators, case analysis is a critical skill for them better analyzing the problems and issues they faced in working situation and developing the most suitable and rational solutions to solve problems and methods to deal with business issues (Racine, 2007). Therefore, identifying the best case analysis method is a critical requirement for all business students to better develop their future career and all business managers to better deal with their management issues. This paper will review a series of academic literatures to justify a best case analysis approach in business and academic world, in order to provide convenient learning process for all business students and managers.

2. Literature Review on Case Analysis Approaches
A best case analysis method must have a critical feature which is standardization. It refers to the standardized process that can analyze and evaluate all kinds of cases in business world. Therefore, standardized analyzing process should be the main feature for the best case analysis approach. Anderson, Morgan and Williams (2011) demonstrates a standardized case analysis method called A3 Thinking firstly applied by Toyota in its management reporting system. A3 Thinking represents an analysis process to develop results and management methods into an A3 paper report. Because of the size of A3 paper, it means the report must be detailed and effective by linking all useful and critical points with standardized process. For achieving this, Anderson et al. (2011) demonstrates two important points. Firstly, case analysis process should strictly follow the PDCA process which means Plan, Do, Check and Act. Plan refers to the process to carefully review the cases or problem issues, then develop a test plan to conduct analysis process. Next, Do represents the process to implement the test plan. Moreover, Check refers to the evaluation process to the implementation of test plan to check the validity and reliability of analysis process to the case or problem issues. Finally, Act means use the best analyzing process to develop the best results to the case and the most effective solution to problem issues. Therefore, in case analysis process, PDCA process can be illustrated as firstly review the case, then list key points and issues in the case, next evaluate the relations among key points or the factors linking key points, finally develop analysis results to the case.

On the other hand, Anderson et al. (2011) believes graphics are the best illustration in case analysis process because it can significantly improve visualization to analysis process and results and increase effectiveness to analysis process. Phillips and Nagy (2014) supports this view that illustrates using graphic in case analysis process can help students more clearly finding out the links among key points and issues developed from case reviewing process. It also can benefit students to obtain more correct analysis results from the cases.

McClure (2011) introduces a traditional method using in academic and business world to analyze case study. McClure (2011) calls it as ‘Seven Steps Method’. The first step is reading the case thoroughly and carefully that can help analyst better understanding whole story illustrated in the case. Then, the second step is defining the central and key issues in the case that can help analyst to identify the critical points for further analysis process. Next, the third step is defining the goals to analyzing this case. In academic world, it is the process to define research goals for analyzing the case. In business world, it is the process to define organization’s goals for analyzing the case. Moreover, the fourth step is identifying the constraints to analyze this case. The constraints can be time, finance, knowledge limitation and problems to process analysis. Furthermore, the fifth step is identifying all the relevant alternative solutions for this case. In this step, all solutions should be clearly noted with their features, process, requirements and limitations. In addition, the sixth step is selecting the best solution for analyzing the case. Integration the results from the fourth step and the fifth step can find out the best solution to match the resources and knowledge analyst owned. Finally, the seventh step is developing an implementation plan for case analysis process. This step can be illustrated as the report development process to design schedule of analysis process, then implement the process and finally document the results and form a report after analysis process.

Boulesnane and Bouzidi (2013) demonstrates information technology provides great benefits and convenience for people to improve effectiveness of case analysis process. In solution selection process in case analysis, analyst can provide critical points and case background to obtain analysis suggestion from others though information technology. This process can help analyst obtain alternative solutions to the case as much. Similarly, Guercini (2004) supports this idea that illustrates managers can use information platforms to connect with researchers for helping them developing better solutions for the case they faced. Wang and Wang (2011) demonstrates similar view that joint analyses by different analysts can develop more effective solution to solve the case in the best way.

3. Justification on the Best Case Analysis Approach
Stake (2006) believes the best case analysis method should integrate advantages of different case analysis methods together to form a standardized analysis process with the most effective result.

Accordingly, the best case analysis method in this paper will be formed basing on Seven-Steps Method, then adding elements of standardization, graphic illustration, and joint analysis process through information platforms into the method establish a new Seven-Steps Method. The process of new Seven-Steps Method can be illustrated as below.

Firstly, analyst should carefully and thoroughly read the case to understand the content and process demonstrated in the case.

Secondly, analyst should clearly find out all the key issues and points in the case. Then, develop a graphic illustration to link all key issues and points into a problem framework.

Thirdly, analyst should identify the analyzing goals to the case in order to clearly understand the objective for conducting this case analysis.

Moreover, analyst should identify the limitations related to case analyzing process including time limitation, capital limitation, resource limitation and knowledge limitation.

Furthermore, analyst should identify all the case solutions by personal analysis and supporting analyses from joint analysis process through information platforms.

In addition, analyst should develop a graphic illustration to link all case solutions, limitations to implementing analyzing process, and analyzing goals to the case. The graphic illustration can visually demonstrates the best solution for the case which should best match with analyzing goals and avoid all the limitations to implementing analysis.

Finally, an implementation plan should be developed by analyst to effective conduct analysis process.

4. Conclusion
The redeveloped Seven-Steps Method illustrated in this paper can help researchers and business managers to improve their abilities to better analyze research and business cases they faced. The effective process can help them better obtaining the best solutions to solve all the problems and issues they identified in the cases.
(words count : 1193)

Anderson, J. S., Morgan, J. N. and Williams, S. K. (2011) Using Toyota's A3 Thinking for Analyzing MBA Business Cases, Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 9, 2, pp.275-285.

Boulesnane, S. and Bouzidi, L. (2013) A case study analysis in the context of information technology: Toward a collective intelligence approach, International Journal of Technology Management & Sustainable Development, 12, 2, pp.185-201.

Guercini, S. (2004) Developing the researcher-manager interface in the case analysis process, Management Decision, 42, 3, pp.464-472.

McClure, R. (2011) SMA Innovative Teacher Comment Staged Cases: Combining Traditional Case Analysis, Live Case Analysis, and Simulation, Society for Marketing Advances Proceedings, 25, 1, pp.6-6.

Phillips, F. and Nagy, A. (2014) Does Reading Case Responses and Using Graphic Organizers Enhance Accounting Students' Case Analyses, Issues in Accounting Education, 29, 1, pp.149-168.

Racine, E. (2007) HEC Member Perspectives on the Case Analysis Process: A Qualitative Multi-Site Study, HEC Forum, 19, 3, pp.185-206.

Stake, R. E. (2006) Multiple Case Study Analysis, The Guilford Press, New York.

Wang, S. H. and Wang, H. (2011) Teaching Design Thinking Through Case Analysis: Joint Analytical Process, Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 9, 1, pp.113-118.

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