How to Analyze a Case

In: Business and Management

Submitted By google151535
Words 6772
Pages 28
CHAPTER 3

HO W TO A NA LYZE A C A SE

A

case is a text that refuses to explain itself. How do you construct a meaning for it? Start by recognizing some contextual factors that help limit and narrow the analysis. Cases are usually studied in a course.A marketing case requires you to think as a marketer, not a strategist or manufacturing manager. Courses are often divided into different modules or themes defined by certain types of situations and, often, concepts, theories, and practices appropriate for these situations.You can expect to encounter the themes in the cases that are part of the modules and opportunities to put to work the analytical tools and best practices you have learned. Past case discussions provide a foundation for thinking about a new case, and study questions can call attention to important issues.You should make use of all these contextual factors, but they don’t amount to a method for analyzing a case. STARTING POINT FOR UNDERSTANDING The case method is heuristic—a term for self-guided learning that employs analysis to help draw conclusions about a situation. Analysis is derived from a Greek word meaning, “a dissolving.” In English, analysis has two closely related definitions: to break something up into its constituent parts; and to study the relationships of the parts to the whole. To analyze a case, you therefore need ways of identifying and understanding important aspects of a situation and what they mean in relation to the overall situation. Each business discipline has its own theories, frameworks, processes and practices, and quantitative tools.All of them are adapted to help understand specific types of situations. Michael Porter’s concepts are productive when investigating competitive advantage—but they aren’t very helpful for deciding whether to launch a product at a particular price or choosing the best method to finance the…...

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