Submitted By shikder
May 11, 2012
How to Write a Business Case Study
A business case study confronts students with a real-life dilemma and engages all their abilities to solve its challenges. In presenting a specific business or policy situation—one that does not have an obvious solution—the case provides information for classroom discussion and other study. A good case study stimulates an educated conversation and the building of business knowledge. The best case studies are learning-centered, not instructor-centered. Details describing the differences between the two can be found in Exhibit 1. A student reading the case should be provided with the information needed to make good decisions about the case, or the ability to find the information if that is a learning objective. Information critical to solving the case should never be contained exclusively in the case’s teaching note, because doing so puts the instructor in the center of the learning, and leads to frustrated students. Cases should satisfy professors and students as well as the businesses, organizations, and people featured in the cases. Although these interests might appear in conflict, a case that is written with fairness and intelligence will ultimately receive the respect of all parties. The best cases have several structural characteristics in common including a protagonist, specific time frame, and use of past tense. An author who becomes experienced in case writing may deviate from this pattern, but doing so may result in an inferior case. The structure is discussed more fully below, but in general each case opens with a well-crafted story that establishes the problem and the context, as well as the protagonist. It is essential that the case “hook” the student in the introduction. One of the critical responsibilities of the case writer is to make the case and the protagonist interesting and...