You will be required to review and analyze the 09-0093_Religious_Racial_SW.pdf. Prior to the next class, the student will be required to write a 2 page analysis of the week’s case study which addresses the 5 components of case analysis listed below. Each case is worth 10% of your total grade for a combined total of 40%. Your case analysis will be due at the beginning of each course in which the case will be discussed; however, an unmarked copy of each case will also be included within the Chapter Exercise Binder that is due on April 19.
Evaluating a Case Study:
A case study analysis must not merely summarize the case. It should identify key issues and problems, outline and assess alternative courses of action, and draw appropriate conclusions. The case study analysis can be broken down into the following steps:
- Identify the most important facts surrounding the case.
- Identify the key issue or issues.
- Specify alternative courses of action.
- Evaluate each course of action.
- Recommend the best course of action.
Let’s look at what each step involves.
- Identify the most important facts surrounding the case. Read the case several times to become familiar with the information it contains. Pay attention to the information in any accompanying exhibits, tables, or figures. Many case scenarios, as in real life, present a great deal of detailed information. Some of these facts are more relevant than others for problem identification. One can assume the facts and figures in the case are true, but statements, judgments, or decisions made by individuals should be questioned. Underline and then list the most important facts and figures that would help you define the central problem or issue. If key facts and numbers are not available, you can make assumptions, but these assumptions should be reasonable given the situation. The “correctness” of your conclusions may depend on the assumptions you make.
- Identify the key issue or issues. Use the facts provided by the case to identify the key issue or issues facing the company you are studying. Many cases present multiple issues or problems. Identify the most important and separate them from more trivial issues. State the major problem or challenge facing the company. You should be able to describe the problem or challenge in one or two sentences. You should be able to explain how this problem affects the strategy or performance of the organization.
- Specify alternative courses of action. List the courses of action the company can take to solve its problem or meet the challenge it faces. For information system-related problems, do these alternatives require a new information system or the modification of an existing system? Are new technologies, business processes, organizational structures, or management behavior required? What changes to organizational processes would be required by each alternative? What management policy would be required to implement each alternative?
Remember, there is a difference between what an organization “should do” and what that organization actually “can do”. Some solutions are too expensive or operationally difficult to implement, and you should avoid solutions that are beyond the organization’s resources. Identify the constraints that will limit the solutions available. Is each alternative executable given these constraints?
- Evaluate each course of action. Evaluate each alternative using the facts and issues you identified earlier, given the conditions and information available. Identify the costs and benefits of each alternative. Ask yourself “what would be the likely outcome of this course of action? State the risks as well as the rewards associated with each course of action. Is your recommendation feasible from a technical, operational, and financial standpoint? Be sure to state any assumptions on which you have based your decision.
- Recommend the best course of action. State your choice for the best course of action and provide a detailed explanation of why you made this selection. You may also want to provide an explanation of why other alternatives were not selected. Your final recommendation should flow logically from the rest of your case analysis and should clearly specify what assumptions were used to shape your conclusion. There is often no single “right” answer, and each option is likely to have risks as well as rewards.