The Long Cycle Process of case analysis
The case analysis will evaluate your ability to analyze and report on a case study specific to your area of specialization. Your response to this assessment should include a thorough and detailed analysis of the case study you have been assigned that is well-researched.
Below, you will find the required format and the recommended approach you should take to analyze the case study. A detailed rubric is provided that will provide the grading criteria that will be used to assure you meet the quality guidelines.
The process you should use for analyzing a case study is:
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- Read all assigned readings, view all videos, and review the grading rubric from ADMG 700 before proceeding.
- Review all coursework related to your specialization.
- Use the Learning with Cases book (Erskine, Leenders, & Mauffette-Leenders, 2007) to help you work through the case study process.
- Read the case study using the Short-Cycle approach to familiarize yourself with the case.
- Read the case study using the Long-Cycle approach to analyze the case.
- Draft your analysis of the case.
- Prepare and submit your analysis following the guidelines listed below.
You will have two weeks to complete your paper. The case study must be completed within the time allowed. Your case study analysis is a multi-page document, written in APA format. You must cite all sources used to support the information written in this paper. Your recommendations must be supported using research and concepts from your specialization coursework. Your case analysis paper should be free from spelling and grammatical errors.
Your written analysis should have the following sections:
- Title page (in accordance with APA format)
- Table of contents
- Executive summary
- Problem statement
- Problem and Data analysis
- Key decision criteria
- Alternatives analysis and evaluation
- Action and implementation plan
- Appendices (if any)
Note: Sections 3-11 should be level one headings in your paper.
Case Study Analysis Steps
Analysis of the case should take the following steps:
- Draft the problem statement
- Analyze the case
- Generate alternatives
- Develop key decision criteria
- Analyze and evaluate alternatives
- Recommend and justify the preferred alternative
- Developing an action/implementation plan
- Write the executive summary
The problem statement should be a clear, concise statement of exactly what needs to be addressed. At most, it should be two sentences. One sentence is preferred.
You may find yourself rewriting this problem statement several times as you continue with your analysis.
Analyze the Case
When analyzing the case, you should determine how the issues in the case came about, who in the organization is most affected by the issues, any constraints, and any opportunities for improvement. You should NOT be generating or discussing any alternatives. This analysis is should further develop and substantiate your problem statement. This section should be used to summarize the basics of your case analysis. It should not be used to simply retell the case scenario.
Each alternative you develop should offer a different way in which the problem could be resolved. Typically, there are many alternatives that could solve the issues in the case. Some alternatives may be discussed in the case. You should develop your own alternative(s) as well. It is very likely that the alternatives presented in the case are not sufficient to solve the problem. Things to remember at this stage are:
- Be realistic.
- The alternatives should be mutually exclusive.
- Not making a decision pending further investigation is not an acceptable decision for any case study that you will analyze.
- If you recommend doing nothing as your strategy, you must provide clear reasons why this is an acceptable alternative.
- Avoid providing one desirable alternative and two other clearly undesirable alternatives.
- Any alternative should be able to be implemented successfully.
Each alternative should have a level two heading.
Key Decision Criteria
Once the alternatives have been identified, a method of evaluating them and selecting the most appropriate one needs to be used to arrive at a decision. Develop the key decision criteria you will use to select the alternative you wish to implement. These criteria should address the issues/opportunities you have previously identified. Key decision criteria should be:
- Related to your problem statement and alternatives.
Each criterion should be a level two heading. A description of the criterion and how it will be used should follow each heading.
Evaluation of Alternatives
Measure each alternative against the key decision criteria. Each alternative should also be a level two heading. Describe how each of the alternatives do not meet, meet, or exceed the key decision criteria. You may also wish to write up a pros-and-cons list for each alternative.
At the end of this section, include a summary table that lists each alternative and the key decision criteria.
Recommend one, and only one, of your alternatives. Justify your recommendation using the key decision criteria that you previously developed.
Action and implementation plan
Discuss how the recommended course of action will be implemented. Include costs, schedule, and scope in this plan. Include any stakeholders and their responsibilities.
The executive summary should summarize the entire analysis and should be written last. It should be directed toward an executive in the organization that is being analyzed. It should stand on its own and not be longer than one page.
The goal of an executive summary is for an executive to be able to read it and make a decision. If the executive wishes more detail, the executive will then read the more detailed analysis.
Process for Analyzing a Case Study (Erskine, Leenders, & Mauffette-Leenders, 2007)
The Short Cycle Process
- Quickly read the case. If it is a long case, at this stage you may want to read only the first few and last paragraphs. You should then be able to answer the following questions:
- Who is the decision maker in this case, and what is their position and responsibilities?
- What appears to be the issue (of concern, problem, challenge, or opportunity) and its significance for the organization?
- Why has the issue arisen and why is the decision maker involved now?
- When does the decision maker have to decide, resolve, act or dispose of the issue?
- What is the urgency to the situation?
- Take a look at any exhibits to see what numbers have been provided.
- Review the case subtitles to see what areas are covered in more depth.
- Review the case questions, if any have been provided.
The Long Cycle Process
The Long Cycle Process consists of:
- A detailed reading of the case
- An analysis of the case.
When you are doing the detailed reading of the case study, look for the following sections:
- Opening paragraph: introduces the situation.
- Background information: industry, organization, products, history, competition, financial information, and anything else of significance.
- Specific area of interest: marketing, finance, operations, human resources, IT, or integrated
- The specific problem or decision(s) to be made.
- Alternatives open to the decision maker, which may or may not be stated in the case.
- Conclusion: sets up the task, any constraints or limitations, and the urgency of the situation.