Recent Question/Assignment

• Case Study Analysis
• Dr. Graeme Walker
• Tips on Analysing a Case
• No one can analyse a case after reading it only one time, or even worse, doing the analysis during the first reading of the case.
• Read through the case once just to get an understanding of the nature of the case.
• During the second reading, begin to structure and classify the issues as they appear.
• A truly comprehensive case analysis will probably require at least three readings.
• These readings should take place with some time in between.
• Tips on Analysing a Case
• Don’t get trapped into thinking the ‘answer’ to the case is hidden somewhere in the case text.
• There is never a single answer to a case just as there is never a single marketing strategy that is appropriate for all situations.
• Each case is unique. Looking for tricks or shortcuts is not appropriate.
• Types of Case Studies
• There are 3 types of case situations:
• problem
• decision
• evaluation
• You need to decide which is appropriate as this affects the case analysis.
• However, you need to use judgement, as each case may have problems, require decisions, and need some evaluation.
• Case Type 1: Problem Situation
• Something important has happened, but we don’t know why it did- there is a significant outcome (normally a change which results in a negative outcome), and there is no explicit explanation of the outcome.
• The analysis of a ‘problem situation’ case begins with a definition of the problem; after that you work out an explanation of the problem by linking the (negative) outcome to its root causes.
• Case Type 2: Decision Situation
• As an example - What is the best strategy the company should pursue in the future?
• In this case, you need to first analyse the current strategy and how well it works.
• Case Type 3: Evaluation Situation
• The case expresses a judgement about the effectiveness/value of a performance/act/outcome.
• Examples are- a new CEO evaluating the performance of the company; assessing a decision already taken.
• Toyota
• Identify what “type” of case is the Toyota case study.
• Analysing a “Problem Situation” Case
• Understand the situation: start by asking the question- what is the situation? First understand the big picture and then fill in the details.
• Ask pertinent questions: knowing the situation allows you to ask questions pertinent to a problem. The most important question is- what do I need to know about the situation?
• Analysing a “Problem Situation” Case
• For a ‘problem situation’ case, some relevant questions are the following (NOTE: you may not be able to answer all of these questions at this stage, and further study of the case may be required):
o Who or what is the subject of the problem?
o What is the problem?
o Am I trying to account for a failure or a success?
o What is the significance of the problem to the subject?
o Who is responsible for the problem?
o What might the person/s in the case faced with resolving the problem need to know, in order to do something about it?
• Analysing a “Problem Situation” Case
• Develop a hypothesis: armed with a list of thing that you want to know about the situation and a map of the content, you are ready for this question- what is my hypothesis?
• This is the most important phase of work on the case. Through close study of high value sections and exhibits, you narrow the possibilities to the one that seems most plausible to you.
• If there is more than one alternative for a decision, test them, starting with the one you suspect has the most promise.
• Taking notes helps you to organize and remember information.
• Analysing a “Problem Situation” Case
• Make sure that you know the problem that needs to be diagnosed. Consider whether the characteristics of the problem suggest causes.
• Think about the framework that seems most appropriate to the situation. For example, if is this a strategic problem, you may want to look at using Porter’s models.
• Pursue the diagnosis by looking at case information through the lens that you are most certain about.
• Analysing a “Problem Situation” Case
• For each cause make a separate pass through the case looking for evidence of it.
• If the case has a lot of quantitative evidence, to what cause is it most relevant?
• In a case with a protagonist, consider whether he/she is a potential cause. If you think this person is, work out how they contribute to the problem. In the Fabritek case, consider Arthur Moreno to be a protagonist.
• Analysing a “Problem Situation” Case
• Prove the hypothesis and suggest actions by asking these questions:
o What evidence do I have that supports the hypothesis?
o What additional evidence do I need?
• Go back to the case with the single purpose of bringing out more evidence that aligns with your hypothesis.
• Give thought to the actionable content of your position. How would you implement the decision that you are recommending?
• Analysing a “Problem Situation” Case
• A question often asked by students is- “But what if my hypothesis is wrong?”
• A hypothesis fails when you can’t make a credible argument for it from the case evidence. If the evidence is not there, develop and work with a new hypothesis.
• Hints for Toyota
While analysing the case, consider the following questions:
• As Doug Friesen, what would you do to address the seat problem? Where would you focus your attention and solution efforts?
• What options exist? What would you recommend? Why?
• Where, if at all, does the current routine for handling defective seats deviate from the principles of the Toyota Production System?
• What is the real problem facing Doug Friesen?
• Suggested Structure of Report
• Exe Summary
• Table of Contents
• Introduction (~200 words)
o What is the case about?
• Situation Analysis (~1500 words)
o Key Problem (e.g. defective seats)
o Key Questions (e.g. what is the root cause of the problem)
o Limitations (e.g. what information would be useful, but is missing)
o Assumptions (e.g. what needs to be assumed to be able to draw conclusions)
• Solution and Discussion (~800 words)
o Provide solutions to the problem. Your discussion may require research outside the case to provide support. (Peer reviewed)