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Instructions to Students for the Case Study Report
1
Case Study Method
The use of case studies is a widely accepted means of bringing theoretical concepts and practical situations together. It is not possible to take a class into an organisation and observe the subject matter of management or organisational behaviour in real life – hence a written case study outlining a real, or realistic, situation is the best available alternative.
When reading and studying a case study it is possible to take two different approaches. The first of these is the ‘analytical’ approach where a case structure is examined to try to understand what has happened and why. In this approach you do not identify problems or attempt to develop solutions. The second approach is the problem-oriented method. In this approach a case is analysed to identify the major problems that exist, the causes of and possible solutions to the problems and finally a recommendation as to the best solution to implement.
In this course we mainly utilise a ‘PROBLEM SOLVING’ case study method. As with most things in the management area there is not ‘one best way’ to analyse or write up a case report. Everyone develops their own methods of sorting and sifting through the information and presenting their findings. However, in this unit we have a set format which we would like you to utilise when presenting your case reports. This format is outlined briefly below.
Online Resources for the Case Study Report
In working on this case study you may want to access the MGF1010 online resource on how to write a case study report. The online resource is available at: http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/business- economics/management/index.xml
Some General Issues:
In a case study it is crucial that you integrate relevant theory from the course and evidence from the case. Failure to attempt to integrate theory will lead to severe mark reduction or failure. Referencing of all non-original material is essential. You will lose marks for poor referencing. The Faculty of Business and Economics Q-Manual should be used as a guide. This is available in the library, for sale in the bookshop and on the web (http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/qmanual/qmanual.pdf). The Q-Manual should also be used as a guide for correct presentation of written material.
Check your completed work for internal consistency, for example make sure that you attempt to solve the key issues you have identified. Don’t say ‘X’ is the major problem and then recommend a solution to ‘Y’. Try not to be overly descriptive. Remember you are trying to identify, analyse and solve the problems of the case using the relevant theories from MGF1010 – not just repeating what the text book, or case information, has said.
Instructions to Students for the Case Study Report
2
Case Study Report Format
(which you must follow – failure to do so may result in a fail grade for the assignment)
Title Page
Create a title page – who is the case study report for, prepared by whom, you could even create your own business name.
Table of Contents
AUTOGENERATE this – Learn how to customise headings so that you can autogenerate this. It is numbered in ROMAN NUMERALS – eg ii or iii.
Executive Summary
This section should comprise a brief overview of the case, giving a brief background of the current situation to set the scene for the report and noting any important assumptions made. (You will not have all the information you would like – so you may need to make some assumptions). As well as this, you should give a synopsis of your case report, outlining the major problems identified and the recommendations that have been made in the report. This should be NO more than one page double spaced. The executive summary should be on its own page. It is numbered in ROMAN NUMERALS – eg ii or iii.
1.0 Problem Identification and Analysis
In this section you should identify and analyse all the major problems in the case in behavioural terms, ie. in management terms (it is not a marketing or an accounting case). Try to get to underlying causes of problems, not just symptoms. Seek advice from your tutor on the layout of this information. You should link each problem identified to relevant theory and also to actual evidence from the case. Remember you MUST integrate theory and reference all non- original work. Use Headings and subheadings. The page numbers begin with 1, 2, …
2.0 Statement of Major Problems
In most case studies you will identify a number of problems – too many to actually ‘solve’ in the number of words allowed. Hence it is crucial to make it very clear which are the major two or three problems or key issues that must be solved first. Therefore this section is just a short concise statement of the problems you are going to solve in the remainder of the case. Half a page is adequate. Having once identified the key problems, you can continually check back to ensure that you are actually attempting to solve them and not some other minor problems you identified. This section is crucial to a good case report.
Instructions to Students for the Case Study Report
3
3.0 Generation and Evaluation of a Range of Alternative Solutions
While most problems will have a very large number of possible solutions it is your task to identify and evaluate a number of the more appropriate (at least 2-3 for each major problem identified). Each alternative solution should be briefly outlined and then evaluated in terms of its advantages and disadvantages (strong and weak points). Note: You must evaluate alternatives. It is not necessary to make a statement in this section as to which alternative is considered best – this is the next section. Do not integrate theory in this section and do not recommend theory. Practical solutions to the problems are required.
4.0 Recommendations
This section should state which of the alternative solutions (either singly or in combination) identified in section six is recommended for implementation. You should briefly justify your choice, explaining how it will solve the major problems identified in section six. Integration of relevant theory is essential here to make the justifications for your recommendations credible.
5.0 Implementation
In this section you should specifically explain with a series of action steps how you will implement the recommended solutions. Theory cannot be implemented; you must translate it into actions, as usually a number of people will be affected by what is recommended. Remember if a recommended solution cannot be realistically implemented, then it is no solution at all. The section should also have sufficient detail so that we do not have to refer to the case study report at all
– ALL recommendations must have an IMPLEMENTATION schedule.
An example:
A meeting must be held as soon as possible to explain to employees the reason for the proposed changes and other feedback.
The action steps are: WHO: CEO
WHAT:
– walk the affected managers through the key findings of the review and explain objectively the outcomes of the review.
– Clearly articulate the key performance indicators that are required i.e. – staff satisfaction, customer satisfaction, staff turnover.
WHEN/WHERE: 29th Aug 2014 / Melbourne office
4
Instructions to Students for the Case Study Report
HOW: CEO to arrange a meeting to explain the reasoning of the review to affected managers.
COST:
– Relocation expenses
– recruitment costs
– redundancy costs
** NOTE: This depends on what is recommended.
OR if you are going to use a TABLE (if you are using a table, the words in the table are NOT included in your word count):
The actions steps are:
WHO
WHAT
WHEN
WHERE
HOW
Cost
CEO
– walk the affected
managers through the key findings of the review and explain objectively the outcomes of the review.
– Clearly articulate the key performance indicators that are required i.e. – staff satisfaction, customer satisfaction, staff turnover.
29th Aug
2014
Melbourne office
CEO to arrange a
meeting to explain the reasoning of the review to affected managers.
– Relocation
expenses
– recruitment costs
– redundancy
costs
5
Instructions to Students for the Case Study Report
Appendices (if any)
Include any tables or diagrams etc that would add value to your case study report. Ensure that it is referenced accordingly and that it is referred to in the discussion.
Reference List
This will contain an alphabetical list of all the references you have cited in the body of the report. Do not include details of any sources you have not used. Ensure the style used is correct and consistent with the APA system which is the required format for Business & Economic students. Make sure you consult the Q- manual if you are uncertain how to do it correctly.
Before You Submit Your Assignment
As a final point it is also highly recommended that you critically assess your own assignment before you submit your assignment. In particular, pay attention to the 8 criteria/sections outlined in the left hand column in the Marking and Feedback Sheet for the Case Study Report. You will find that this form is also available in the Resource Folder for Assignment 2.
Word Count
The 2000 word count:
– begins from the problem identification section until the implementation section.
– Does not include the table of contents or the executive summary.
– Does not include any words in any tables if they have been used in the implementation section.
– Includes In text referencing.
– Does not include the reference list.
HINT
Explore the use of PAGE BREAKS, SECTION BREAKS, CUSTOMISATION OF PAGE NUMBERS, HEADINGS and AUTOGENERATION OF TABLE OF
CONTENTS. Skills that will come in handy for future documents that you
produce!
1
Case Study Method
The use of case studies is a widely accepted means of bringing theoretical concepts and practical situations together. It is not possible to take a class into an organisation and observe the subject matter of management or organisational behaviour in real life – hence a written case study outlining a real, or realistic, situation is the best available alternative.
When reading and studying a case study it is possible to take two different approaches. The first of these is the ‘analytical’ approach where a case structure is examined to try to understand what has happened and why. In this approach you do not identify problems or attempt to develop solutions. The second approach is the problem-oriented method. In this approach a case is analysed to identify the major problems that exist, the causes of and possible solutions to the problems and finally a recommendation as to the best solution to implement.
In this course we mainly utilise a ‘PROBLEM SOLVING’ case study method. As with most things in the management area there is not ‘one best way’ to analyse or write up a case report. Everyone develops their own methods of sorting and sifting through the information and presenting their findings. However, in this unit we have a set format which we would like you to utilise when presenting your case reports. This format is outlined briefly below.
Online Resources for the Case Study Report
In working on this case study you may want to access the MGF1010 online resource on how to write a case study report. The online resource is available at: http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/business- economics/management/index.xml
Some General Issues:
In a case study it is crucial that you integrate relevant theory from the course and evidence from the case. Failure to attempt to integrate theory will lead to severe mark reduction or failure. Referencing of all non-original material is essential. You will lose marks for poor referencing. The Faculty of Business and Economics Q-Manual should be used as a guide. This is available in the library, for sale in the bookshop and on the web (http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/qmanual/qmanual.pdf). The Q-Manual should also be used as a guide for correct presentation of written material.
Check your completed work for internal consistency, for example make sure that you attempt to solve the key issues you have identified. Don’t say ‘X’ is the major problem and then recommend a solution to ‘Y’. Try not to be overly descriptive. Remember you are trying to identify, analyse and solve the problems of the case using the relevant theories from MGF1010 – not just repeating what the text book, or case information, has said.
Instructions to Students for the Case Study Report
2
Case Study Report Format
(which you must follow – failure to do so may result in a fail grade for the assignment)
Title Page
Create a title page – who is the case study report for, prepared by whom, you could even create your own business name.
Table of Contents
AUTOGENERATE this – Learn how to customise headings so that you can autogenerate this. It is numbered in ROMAN NUMERALS – eg ii or iii.
Executive Summary
This section should comprise a brief overview of the case, giving a brief background of the current situation to set the scene for the report and noting any important assumptions made. (You will not have all the information you would like – so you may need to make some assumptions). As well as this, you should give a synopsis of your case report, outlining the major problems identified and the recommendations that have been made in the report. This should be NO more than one page double spaced. The executive summary should be on its own page. It is numbered in ROMAN NUMERALS – eg ii or iii.
1.0 Problem Identification and Analysis
In this section you should identify and analyse all the major problems in the case in behavioural terms, ie. in management terms (it is not a marketing or an accounting case). Try to get to underlying causes of problems, not just symptoms. Seek advice from your tutor on the layout of this information. You should link each problem identified to relevant theory and also to actual evidence from the case. Remember you MUST integrate theory and reference all non- original work. Use Headings and subheadings. The page numbers begin with 1, 2, …
2.0 Statement of Major Problems
In most case studies you will identify a number of problems – too many to actually ‘solve’ in the number of words allowed. Hence it is crucial to make it very clear which are the major two or three problems or key issues that must be solved first. Therefore this section is just a short concise statement of the problems you are going to solve in the remainder of the case. Half a page is adequate. Having once identified the key problems, you can continually check back to ensure that you are actually attempting to solve them and not some other minor problems you identified. This section is crucial to a good case report.
Instructions to Students for the Case Study Report
3
3.0 Generation and Evaluation of a Range of Alternative Solutions
While most problems will have a very large number of possible solutions it is your task to identify and evaluate a number of the more appropriate (at least 2-3 for each major problem identified). Each alternative solution should be briefly outlined and then evaluated in terms of its advantages and disadvantages (strong and weak points). Note: You must evaluate alternatives. It is not necessary to make a statement in this section as to which alternative is considered best – this is the next section. Do not integrate theory in this section and do not recommend theory. Practical solutions to the problems are required.
4.0 Recommendations
This section should state which of the alternative solutions (either singly or in combination) identified in section six is recommended for implementation. You should briefly justify your choice, explaining how it will solve the major problems identified in section six. Integration of relevant theory is essential here to make the justifications for your recommendations credible.
5.0 Implementation
In this section you should specifically explain with a series of action steps how you will implement the recommended solutions. Theory cannot be implemented; you must translate it into actions, as usually a number of people will be affected by what is recommended. Remember if a recommended solution cannot be realistically implemented, then it is no solution at all. The section should also have sufficient detail so that we do not have to refer to the case study report at all
– ALL recommendations must have an IMPLEMENTATION schedule.
An example:
A meeting must be held as soon as possible to explain to employees the reason for the proposed changes and other feedback.
The action steps are: WHO: CEO
WHAT:
– walk the affected managers through the key findings of the review and explain objectively the outcomes of the review.
– Clearly articulate the key performance indicators that are required i.e. – staff satisfaction, customer satisfaction, staff turnover.
WHEN/WHERE: 29th Aug 2014 / Melbourne office
4
Instructions to Students for the Case Study Report
HOW: CEO to arrange a meeting to explain the reasoning of the review to affected managers.
COST:
– Relocation expenses
– recruitment costs
– redundancy costs
** NOTE: This depends on what is recommended.
OR if you are going to use a TABLE (if you are using a table, the words in the table are NOT included in your word count):
The actions steps are:
WHO
WHAT
WHEN
WHERE
HOW
Cost
CEO
– walk the affected
managers through the key findings of the review and explain objectively the outcomes of the review.
– Clearly articulate the key performance indicators that are required i.e. – staff satisfaction, customer satisfaction, staff turnover.
29th Aug
2014
Melbourne office
CEO to arrange a
meeting to explain the reasoning of the review to affected managers.
– Relocation
expenses
– recruitment costs
– redundancy
costs
5
Instructions to Students for the Case Study Report
Appendices (if any)
Include any tables or diagrams etc that would add value to your case study report. Ensure that it is referenced accordingly and that it is referred to in the discussion.
Reference List
This will contain an alphabetical list of all the references you have cited in the body of the report. Do not include details of any sources you have not used. Ensure the style used is correct and consistent with the APA system which is the required format for Business & Economic students. Make sure you consult the Q- manual if you are uncertain how to do it correctly.
Before You Submit Your Assignment
As a final point it is also highly recommended that you critically assess your own assignment before you submit your assignment. In particular, pay attention to the 8 criteria/sections outlined in the left hand column in the Marking and Feedback Sheet for the Case Study Report. You will find that this form is also available in the Resource Folder for Assignment 2.
Word Count
The 2000 word count:
– begins from the problem identification section until the implementation section.
– Does not include the table of contents or the executive summary.
– Does not include any words in any tables if they have been used in the implementation section.
– Includes In text referencing.
– Does not include the reference list.
HINT
Explore the use of PAGE BREAKS, SECTION BREAKS, CUSTOMISATION OF PAGE NUMBERS, HEADINGS and AUTOGENERATION OF TABLE OF
CONTENTS. Skills that will come in handy for future documents that you
produce!

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